And just like that … my summer in Santa Fe is coming to an end. I will miss the beautiful sunsets, the buzz of the hummingbirds and the good times with friends I have met over the past few summers. One of my best friends since high school came to visit, as did a friend from our New Jersey days who lives just up the road in Angel Fire, near Taos. A visit from my sisters Eloise and Elaine is capping off my stay here. They have been camping for two months in their 17-foot Casita trailer. We all had to adapt when our summer of cruising Europe ended before it started.
I spent more time organizing my paints than painting this summer. I am fascinated by the properties of different watercolors, whether they are transparent or opaque, how much they stain or granulate. So I keep trying different pigments and debating which I prefer. I’m a big fan of Joan Blundell and her watercolor research. In the past few days, I have packed away my Santa Fe palette and prepared another one more suited to my fall cruise to the South Pacific.
This year I tried a different sketchbook layout – a “ZigZag” book that opens like an accordion. I don’t think I took full advantage of the design, but at least I have something to show.
I do love the various blues and aquas of the Santa Fe architectural style, so I finished up with a panorama of various doors and entries along Canyon Drive, the mile-long street of art galleries.
I also love the glorious sunsets from my western condo view, and the evening clouds make them more interesting. For the first time in three summers here, we’ve had a true monsoon season, with rain many afternoons and evenings during July.
Recently I posted one of the better sunset pictures to the Facebook group “View from My Window.” If you are on Facebook, you should follow it. People from around the world post their views. It’s the next best thing to traveling.
As a result of my post (more than 10,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments to date), a number of people have subscribed to this blog. Welcome to all of you! I will post more this fall when I’ll actually be a writer on a ship deck.
From here I’m hitting the road, stopping to see the aliens in Roswell, NM, and going on to Brownsville, the most southern point in Texas. My cruising friends Barbara and Richard live there, and I haven’t seen them since I visited last December. We had planned to cruise together through Northern Europe and the Mediterranean this summer, but we’ve put that off a year.
As I drive east, I’ll spend a couple of days in New Orleans and then head to Largo, Fla., where my good friend Daisy is living with my two Siamese cats, Cooper and Callie.
In September I’ll return to Fort Smith, Ark., to prepare for my 51-day fall cruise. My to-do- list includes selling my Subaru Outback rather than leave it sitting for months on end. Fingers crossed — I’ll sail from Seattle on Holland America’s Westerdam to Hawaii, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. As always, the itinerary could change, as at least two of those countries have yet to open to cruise ship stops. But after 923 days on land, I’ll just be happy to be on a ship.