House By the Side of the Road

My mom, Beverly G. Garcia, who always insisted we include the “G” in her name so as not to mistake her for just any Beverly Garcia, died five years ago on July 5th, the day I launched this journey. I miss her and think about her every single day. I didn’t plan “driveway” day to commemorate the five-year anniversary of her passing, that’s kinda morbid, but since it worked out that way, it seemed rather fitting that my day of departure coincided with her day of departure … [Read more...]

Windows Pacing, Windows Gazing

I took it as a sign, the special exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was in New York in May. I trotted up the stairs to the Met and smack dab in front of me was a huge banner with this painting by Caspar David Friedrich, (1774-1840.) I was at that pivotal point with Off the Leash, should I stay or should I go? I ran to see the exhibit, “Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century” and this painting stopped me in my tracks. I felt myself … [Read more...]

Fear and High Water…

I  want to talk to you about fear -- fear over this impending journey. It rises and falls like the water in my basement last night. I have an 82-year-old house. We had torrential rain. Sometimes the storm sewers swell beyond capacity, and the water runs backwards, up through the floor drains in old basements like mine. I know I should have installed a sump pump, but college, cars, and emergency appendectomies were more important. So we bail, we mop. We cast a wary eye … [Read more...]

Holes in Our Hearts and Maybe My Head

The sign in front of the Standard Artificial Limbs store always makes me think of my step father.  On the day he died at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, after my mother and I summoned the rest of the family to tell them he’d passed, once everybody took turns patting him on his rapid cooling forehead, we all walked out into the broiling parking lot, the blacktop almost spongy under the August dessert sun, with my husband carrying Mike’s legs in a grocery sack. One was … [Read more...]

We’re Going

I’m taking my dog on a road trip. Not a short one, a long one. It’ll be about 8,400 miles, more or less, by the time we get back home. Lord knows what I’ll find when I return. I planted drought-resistant flowers just to hedge my bets. I hope they make it, because we’re going. I’m quitting my job and Libby and I are going. I may run out of gas, fall on my ass and not even make it home, but we’re going. It’s Libby’s fault. She started it. Her acceptance of the … [Read more...]