And therefore I must have a birthday. This is a hard one…so I’ve stopped writing book or blog. Stopped thinking generally. I’ve just been Marie Kondo-ing my past. This compulsion to ‘tidy up’ closets, bookshelves, desks, drawers, bins, and cupboards; to rid my life of what doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ elicit a tear, of that which no son or grandchild will want, is powerful. It has become very nearly an obsession and I’m not sure of the impetus other than age. But I’ve had many birthdays now on which to practice getting another year older and they have been cause for a certain measure of anxiety…even a modicum of fear perhaps. This year is different somehow; but no, I do not believe I will draw my last breath at 3pm on April 3rd; and yes, I’m in excellent health (for my age!) and will climb Black Mountain that day…it’s just that…well…it really is all downhill from here…no matter how many steps my Fitbit claims I’ve walked or how many vitamins (or worse yet leafy greens) I’ve consumed. Downhill.

This post is intended to get us from the end of January until now—when travel resumes and life and this blog have purpose once again. The next post will arrive via cyberspace from the Democratic Republic of California, San Diego to be exact. Now however, join me for a picture album of February, March, and me in Albuquerque.

Finally, Volume Six of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s massive outpouring of mostly trivial life stuff—somehow brilliantly written. I’m almost through Volume Four. Wish me luck.

Sara and I make a trip to the UNM bookstore at the beginning of the new semester

Spending some time on the phone with Scott as serious planning for the Stans in September begins.

I can’t resist setting a table with my mom’s favorite wild rose plates (which she got with green stamps) on a piece of cloth I brought home as a souvenir of my first trip to the continent of Africa. Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) had Mobutu’s face everywhere; he was a monster and of course a favorite of the U.S. Somehow the juxtaposition of wild rose/monster seems interesting. So much of our lives thusly contrasted.

Let the Travel Year 2019 Begin.


  1. I finally got around to reading this…my life during the past two months has been rather a bit of a blurr…but getting back to normal now…and time to read your great posts….I really really do enjoy them. Speaking of planning, I need a time line of your visit and what you have and or want planned so I can help fill in the blanks so to speak…getting excited for this visit…I need a vacation as well. Thanks again for this post, I really enjoyed it.

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