It has been 7 months since I’ve been back at the ranch–since Christmas. A lot has happened in that time–fun things, exciting things, challenging things, too. I started blogging and tweeting for one thing. Now I’m back and it feels so good. There has been rain almost twice a day. This wouldn’t be good right now if you’re a New Yorker, but here in New Mexico it’s manna from heaven and as a result, the ranch has welcomed me back dressed in its most resplendent greenery.
I’ve been hiking an hour or more every day, swimming, getting back into a semblance of shape. Saw a bear yesterday from my office window on the other side of the river, ambling lazily through the grove of box elders. I camped out on various parts of the ranch back in 2000 when I got it and was trying to decide where to build my home. One reason I decided on this spot is because I like looking across the river at the tall cliffs with that dense grove of box elders at the base that turn bright yellow in the fall.
I’ve seen bear there quite often as well as coyote, fox, bob cat, and ring-tailed cat. I look out from my bedroom and office across the river to those trees and it makes my heart sing. I identify with bear. They are social, playful creatures who love to frolic and cavort. But then, they need to be alone. Being here for me is a form of hibernation when I replenish. So much (too much?) of the rest of my life is public, moving around, being ‘on.’ I need this place to fill back up and be reminded of who I am behind the public persona. I have a wonderful crew of guys–Gilbert, Miguel, Rudy and Julien-who take care of the land and the equipment. It’s big so it takes a lot of caring for. Something’s always going wrong: rabbits or gophers have eaten through the electric lines; I am unable to get internet service (the case right now which is why I am writing this on my Blackberry); the roads get washed out; dogs get bitten by rattle snakes which are particularly abundant this year. This doesn’t happen to Tulea because she’s always at my side. A horse gets colic or goes lame. Carole who was helping me out in L.A. post op, is here now with her husband Tommy. I especially need them when my family’s here and right now it’s Vanessa, her 2 children and next week Matt Arnett, their Daddy, arrives along with the James Andrews family. James is the one who persuaded me to start blogging last January and his 2 children go to school in Atlanta with my grandkids. Still, we can hold a lot of people so it’s far from a full house.
I’ve finally begun to tackle the chapter on sex. As of now, I begin it with my interview with 101 year old Ben Burke who told me how he had developed a fondness for 95 year old Edith who lives in the assisted living floor of his senior living center. He called her and asked if he could come up and share a banana and animal crackers with her. On the 2nd visit things progressed from there…the slow, titillating unbuttoning of flannel pajamas… It’s nice to know that skin time never gets old even if the bodies do.
I will now got back to that chapter.
See you next time.