Retracing my steps

This is what a juniper dusted with snow looks like at 5:14 in the ayem.

I meant to post this pic the other day and completely spaced it whilst mumbling on and on about podcasting and whatnot.

We woke on Wednesday to a measurable amount of precip’, not enough to resolve the megadrought, but just enough to keep me off a bicycle. Instead I went for a short run once the temps rose a bit.

I have no idea what made these tracks in the backyard. Fox? Coyote? La Llorona of Hobbiton?

Ten years ago I would come to The Duck! City from Bibleburg in February to get away from winter.

I’d check into the Hampton at Carlisle and I-40 and ride the bike all the doo-dah day, and in shorts and short sleeves, too.

Hit the Mexican restaurants, or fetch a sack of tasty treats from the Wholeazon Amafoods across the interstate from the motel. Binge-watch HBO in the room come evening.

I had no idea that in a year we’d be living down here. Zee-ro. If you’da told me I’da laughed in your face.

“Herself is going to get a job at Sandia National Labs that pays more money in one year than I’ve made in my entire life? We’re moving to Albuquerque? Ho, ho. Pull the other leg so I’ll be even when I go out to run in the snow. Albuquerque. Hee, and also haw.”

Well, she did, and we did, and here I am, running in February on the New Mexican snow.

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10 Responses to “Retracing my steps”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Funny how we end up where we are. Had no idea I’d be here, either. But life happens and one says “golly”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Indeed. It was the first time we moved somewhere specifically for Herself. We left Fanta Se for B-burg to take care of my mom, then moved to Weirdcliffe (which was a joint decision; we can, so why not?).

      Then it was back to B-burg, because I needed a cycling community to riff off of for the bike mags.

      And finally down here, so Herself could join the Empire.

      Don’t me started on all the other migrations. Hay Zeus, etc. Two countries, 11 states, and 20 towns, a couple of which I lived in more than once, or in more than one place. Hell, I lived in B-burg four or five times, in four or five different places.

  2. John A Levy Says:

    I love the caption on your pic, However, you need an undefined amount of water form for La Liorona to appear, Us peons that grew up in the southwest heard the stories in grade school from our classmates. Your pic is nice but the snow melt in your pic would not fill a diversion pond. However, mi espousa and I are researching the move south to ABQ. Prices are not as bad as us refugee laden places in NW Montana. Another wave will hit when the south blows up with race wars and CA becomes so screwed up that no one but a person from Latin America will want to live there. Ergo time to blow this pop stand. will have to suck sweat for agua but right-wing horse crap is at the brim of my lower lip and I hope the devil doesn’t go water skiing. 22 F overcast argghh!!!!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Duck! City remains pretty affordable, especially when compared with other desert bolt holes. There were a few repos in the ’hood when we moved here in 2014 and they all got snatched up and turned into nice homes by people who intended to live in them (rather than make Airbnbs out of them).

      The lab and UNM pump a lot of money into town, and there are more than a few folks who live here (or in Rio Rancho) and commute to jobs in Fanta Se.

      The guy who owns the Fanta Se roofing company we’re dealing with lives here, and I asked if he makes the drive north every day. Waving a thumb at his big-ass truck he said, “Nope.” He rides the Rail Runner train back and forth four days and week and spends Friday doing whatever Duck! City bidness needs doing.

      One thing I really dislike about Albuquerque is the car culture. I saw a couple kids legging it across Montgomery between Juan Tabo and Tramway the other day, and I mean legging it, as in running for their lives. Three lanes in each direction and no pedestrian crosswalk from Cairo to Tramway. That’s a long mile.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Got here 42 years ago. We moved to Kentucky for 6 months in 1989 and came right back. After I retired, we looked around Arizona and New Mexico for somewhere better and never found it. So, here we are. By the way, the place is full.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Southwest has its issues, as you know. Arizona is in dire need of a political enema. But I have a hard time imagining myself anywhere other than the high desert.

      If pressed I suppose we could move back to Colorado. But I can’t pretend to be thrilled by the idea. And I’m already as far east of I-25 as I care to go.

      We’re in a pretty good place for a geezer and his child bride. No stairs in this house, just one step down into the living room. None of the bathrooms is geezer-friendly, so we might have to do a bit of work there if we intend to “age in place,” in the parlance of our times. And the driveway is distinctly geezer-unfriendly. There’s a broken hip just a-waitin’ for Commander Senile to stumble out there with a snow shovel.

      Meanwhile, we will be seeing some drawings for the backyard tomorrow, and the roof crew will be giving us a touchup next week. Herself remains gainfully employed. I don’t think we’re moving anytime soon.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      We considered big Al, but big was the problem. It reminded us of Tucson. I guess we are small town folks. So, we checked out Socorro. The point of the whole exercise was to get a day’s drive closer to Kentucky for the oblications. But, the majority of the family never bothered to visit us, we said screw it and just flew when we had to. But, no longer. We will go see Andy and Liz in Seattle, but that’s it. We have already travelled enough for a lifetime.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I like Seattle. Which is to say I like the Seattle I remember from the early Eighties, when my buddy Merrill and I would run wild up there over the occasional weekend — he was working at the Tri-City Herald in southeastern Washington and I was at the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon — and from the early Nineties, when I covered a couple of cyclocross national championships there.

        Not sure I could deal with the climate, though. ’Twas a miracle that I escaped Corvallis with a functioning liver.

        Midsize cities like ABQ, B-burg, and Tucson are basically all the same. Military, tourism, and a third leg of the economic tripod for backup (a university, a hospital, a university hospital).

        The trick is to find some little corner of it and pretend it’s a small town. I could do that in Bibleburg, but not in Tucson or The Duck! City. I wasn’t in Tucson long enough, and the main criterion for finding a house here was being a very, very, very short drive from Herself’s employer. She got over that B-burg-to-Denver commute real quick.

        When I lived at 13th and Clayton in Denver’s Congress Park I could walk or cycle damn near everywhere. There was a great Greek breakfast place one block up, a Chinese joint across the street from that, and plenty of bars down on Colfax. I worked at 84th and I-25 but that was a whole other story. …

        • Shawn Says:

          Yeah, I liked Seattle “back then” too. I suppose if I was as intelligent as the cute friend that I had, who dropped out of school in 1982 and went back home to Seattle, and then went to work for the small company called Microsoft (1982, remember) and prospered, I think I might like Seattle now as well.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          In 1982 I was working at the Corvallis paper. I was beyond stupid. Starting around March 1980 I set about digging myself a hole I wouldn’t climb out of until 1988, when I landed the gig at The New Mexican. A few years later I was married to a not-stupid and freelancing to VeloNews, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, and a rotating and ever-changing number of other outdoorsy outfits.

          And the rest, as they say, is history.

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