Taos Mountain When the Cold Blew In

Taos Mounain

The wind is blowing left to right. If you listen, you can hear it roar.

Saturday was when it started. A beautiful day, just tough to stay outside. The wind was ferocious, up to 40 or 50 mph in the gusts, and there was plenty of dust.

At one point I looked toward the kitchen and saw my big aluminum ladder leaning over at a crazy angle just outside the window. Oh no, I hadn’t taken it down after cleaning the chimney the day before! I ran outside into the gale and found it wobbling against a drain spout, ready to slip and smash the glass. Somehow I was just in time and laid it down safely. Talk about avoiding a disaster! I could see myself nailing a tarp over the window frame as the temperture dropped into the teens, my wife waiting for me in the nearest motel.

To reward myself for saving the day, I decided to get rid of the wood stove ashes. Not the stuff fresh from the stove, but the ashes in a metal garbage can outside, where I leave them to cool down and get safe. Usually that’s a messy procedure involving a garbage bag, but on a day with wind like this, it’s something of a treat. All you have to do is scoop them up, throw them in the air, and they disappear into the treetops in the distance. Just a little more New Mexico dust, so in a way I’m building up the place.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • christian ienni January 5, 2014, 11:33 PM

    and you didn’t shoot video of the ashes? i’m disappointed. 😉

    • JHF January 5, 2014, 11:35 PM

      Hard to do both of those things at once. And the ashes disappeared really quickly. Great fun!

  • Rita January 6, 2014, 12:58 AM

    That works well for folks in the country who have leaves to rake, too. Folks in town do it, too, but incur the wrath of downwind neighbors. Gone with the wind…

    • JHF January 6, 2014, 9:14 PM

      Of course, at one point I realized I was flinging huge nails into the sagebrush from old boards I’d burned once, so I stopped after a couple more tosses.

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