Sunday, November 21, 2010

Historical Marker - Highway 70 October 26, 2010

This is the time of the year that huge rolling tumble weeds become road kill. My car hurls towards the tan skeletons of the plants crossing the road and BAM. Shreds of their existence fly into the wind. I’ve heard this is the time of year that some people collect, spray paint and shape them into festive trees for the upcoming December holidays. Save a pine tree, harvest a tumble weed.
Placed, documented and photographed #63 on a historical marker which sign read, "In 1846, General Kearney’s ARMY OF THE WEST guided by Kit Carson followed the Gila River from New Mexico to the occupation of California in the Mexican War. Thus opening the southern snowfree route to the Pacific Coast."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

City of Safford/Graham County Library - October 26, 2010

One of the nice features around this type of year is that some of the leaves that fall from my eucalyptus tree - get crunchy. When one picks up a dried eucalyptus and crunches it up between their fingers - a wonderful pungent smell is emitted. The gift of cooler days and nights in the desert.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything with the Cowboy and Indian Found Art Project. On October 1, 2010, my first horse, Princess Lulu, had to be put down due to her cancerous tumor in her eye. Then the other horse, who shared the corral with Lulu and was her adopted mother, Lady Latte called out for companion all that weekend - day and night. Since that day, I feel as if a train as run right through my heart. My healing process has been impacted by my hospice work. Loss, death, grief, are all around me, each and every day.
Princess Lulu may have been the first horse I’ve owned, however, she wasn’t my favorite.
She stealthily taught my other horses how to get into the dog and chicken feed. When it came to administering minor first aid, applying on bug repellent or giving her apple flavored worm paste - she would run circles around the corral. That horse would do anything and everything to avoid me. My impressionable young filly, Lady Latte, started to imitate Princess Lulu’s behavior. I hired a professional horse trainer to "undo" all Lady’s unwanted behavior. Going solo on the trail, quail - a bird she was quite familiar with in the corral or on the property - freaked her out. She acted as if they were flying Pterodactyl dinosaurs coming just for her.
However, her strongest asset shined around other horses and riders. Princess Lulu, wearing no horse shoes, was fearless and sure-footed. I felt completely safe when I rode her up Mt. Graham on the tiniest, rocky trail. That horse was fearless.
Another feature of this time of year is when the ofrendas (altars) are put up and decorated in the City of Safford/Graham County Library in tribute of the Hispanic holiday, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s during this time period that people from our community put photos of their deceased loved ones, calaveras (colorfully decorated iced sugar skulls), Pan de Muerto (specially baked bread), flowers and candles on the altars.
Papel Picado (colorful Mexican paper cuttings) hang in swags above the altars.
Along with the photos of my grandmothers, grandpa and uncle was a photo of Lulu and I.
It was a photo that was taken when she and I delivered some baked goods to one of our hospice patients. This man’s last request was to spend some time with a horse before he died. We obliged. The man died later on that day. He got his wish.
I decided to put place, photograph and document art piece #64 on one of the altars. After the altars come down, I’ll discreetly place #64 outside of the library. Yeah, the cowboys and indians of long ago are dead and so is Princess Lulu. Just pleasant memories just like the smell of eucalyptus leaves on my skin.