From the Center of the World

Taos Mountain in the clouds

The mountain at 1:09 p.m.

No, not Taos, you ninny! Taos is just a place. Haven’t you been paying attention? Now everybody just stay calm. There is much to report!

I am raising giant rodents. Ten minutes after putting out bird food, there’s a two-foot squirrel standing straight up on its hind legs with cheeks puffed out like tennis balls and all the seeds are gone. The jays and such have a window of opportunity, but it’s small. Speaking of birds, we have scrub jays, piñon jays, towhees, magpies, doves, chickadees, nuthatches, robins, ravens, buzzards, flycatchers, nighthawks, finches, swallows, flickers, woodpeckers, starlings, hawks, and hummingbirds. Just now, I mean. Some desert they got going here.

We have a new toilet, but you already knew that. It continues to astonish because it works. It is also very small and cute. I want to take it with us when we move. The other day I checked out a house for rent on Craigslist and realized it wouldn’t have our toilet! The septic tank works now, too. Right there you have a mighty bar to cross.

I haven’t built a fire since way back in June. If that sounds strange, you better stay away. Coming up is three whole armloads of chopped piñon, each as much as I can carry at one time, every single day. Beyond a doubt the most satisfying heat there is. Also ashes and ice, checking the stove, “I think I smell smoke,” fixing the damper, knocking out the soot, and vacuuming the floor. And HAULING OUT THE RACKS TO DRY THE LAUNDRY!

Dryer trumps toilet. Pray for birds. Back to the ads.

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