After the Snow

Taos Pueblo land in snow

Taos Pueblo lands

Make of the beauty what you will, it’s awfully cold. This must be what winter looks like, only it’s November. I had to go outside again to get the shot. (There’s a window beside my desk that faces the mountain, but there are treetops in the way.) What I do is climb the driveway to the road and walk about sixty yards to where it goes up a little rise, then turn left into the piñon and juniper until I reach a certain spot. You can’t see the cactus under the snow. A couple of times I’ve picked up spines.

That’s a slice of Taos Mountain to the left. The white shapes at the bottom on the right are burned areas from a major fire the summer my wife moved to Dubuque. Not only was I on my own, there was heavy smoke and ashes falling in the parking lot outside our rented condo. Hot and dirty, couldn’t breathe, I had to find a cheaper rental. Turns out this was where I ended up, a one-bedroom adobe on the side of a hill across from Taos Mountain. She came back a few years later, piled her stuff on top of mine, and we have been here ever since. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Whenever I want to run away, I must remember this. For all my criticism and paranoia, our lives have been incredibly full.

Think of how much more I could have piled in if I hadn’t been complaining.

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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.  

  • clare November 23, 2014, 6:53 AM

    hey john, i’ve been following your blog for a while and i just love the design and layout for this latest incarnation. the single large image, the narrow column, so aesthetically pleasing! i have a wordpress.com blog of my own and just can’t seem to customize it to my satisfaction and am curious how you created the design that you have, if you should be willing to divulge. love those mountain shots! feel free to email me if you are so moved. thanks! c

    • JHF November 24, 2014, 7:30 PM

      Hi Clare! Sorry for not replying sooner.

      What I’ve done here is customize a basic theme framework called Thesis. (There’s a link on my Dashboard page.) You could probably do the same thing with the basic default WordPress theme. If things fall apart with Thesis, that’s what I’ll be doing.

      The “secret” is that it’s all done with CSS. The width of the big photo at the top, the width of the content column, and how they work on a page, every single thing… If you can work with CSS, you can make a WordPress theme do anything. Other than that, you’d have to hunt around and find a theme that mostly looks the way you want it to. The design I started with in Thesis doesn’t look like this at all!

      • clare November 25, 2014, 9:28 AM

        thanks for your reply john! i’ve been taking a very basic HTML and CSS class so hopefully i can put it all together when the time comes. i’ll check out thesis. have a great thanksgiving!

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