15 months we’ve been on the road. Life is good. While I’ve begun to keep a paper record of when and where we’ve been, I’m finding it difficult to keep up here. I am finding a rhythm of sorts.
We’ve spent the last two months camping with friends throughout the desert. We’ve found some amazing places and people, finding sporadic rhythm between socializing and solitude. At the moment we’re alone in the desert close to the Mexican border.
Just outside a town called Ajo.
7 Things I like about Ajo:
1. There’s excellent boondocking only 2 miles out-of-town.
2. There’s 1 good restaurant, relieving us of trying to decide where to eat and making delicious meals at home instead. Hello hummus, avocado and fried egg sandwich! Thanks oh Tearful One!
3. A groovy boutique, gallery and Shaman’s Market in town that sells creosote oil and salve! Among many other groovy things.
4. The Olsen’s Supermarket and Hardware Store where they sell these:
along with paint and sewing supplies.
6. The gorgeous Curley School built in 1919 currently being used as an art space and Artisan’s Apartment complex. There’s a two bedroom currently available for $540 a month! First time I’ve been tempted since we’ve been on the road. They’ve got a clay studio and a wood shop open to the community as well as community gardens. I’m smitten!
7. Immaculate Conception Church in Ajo…
Originally Ajo was a copper mining town, the place was built and designed in 1915 to keep the miners happy and productive. It all went to shit in the 1980’s and a few years later they started calling Ajo the place “Where Summer Spends Winter” in an effort to attract Snowbirds. It doesn’t seem to be working. While the town has a certain charm, it also has a sad downtrodden sort of vibe. Most of the shops around the beautiful little plaza are empty, making it feel like a ghost town.
So around the same time that Ajo was being designed and built, Scottie’s great grandma Lola on the other side of the continent, was designing and making this quilt…
It was one of the few things I did not part with when The Big Parting happened. While the stitching still looks great and is holding up pretty well for its age, some of the fabrics are shredding. I’ve begun patching over those tatters keeping a similar palette. Enjoying the slow stitching. I marvel at those elaborate stitches I don’t recognize and can’t begin to work out. I try to imagine what the suit or dress looked like before it got tossed into the fabric scrap pile. There’s a mustardy brown color that could have been a suit. I’ve no doubt it’s wearer must have felt mighty fine in it.
This morning we came upon an abandoned homestead. A trash pile really. People actually do that shit. I can understand that it may have been too much effort to take all your clothes and kitchen items to a Goodwill or a dump. Maybe you were drunk and broke and alone, or trying to care for a kid, and you had no choice. That’s what it looked like this morning. A small woman with tiny feet and a weakness for plaid shirts and moccasins. Who tried to stay healthy, there was a juicer, and a slow cooker. She made an effort, but something when terribly wrong.
Maybe I’ve been in the desert too long. I’m communing with ghosts and spirits. Past and present, my own and other’s.
But that’s ok, I feel mighty fine.