I like that we have four real seasons here at our Tijeras, NM headquarters. Not that I even pretend to like each of them equally. Winter wears me out. By February, I have cold-fatigue, and start hoping for Spring to show.
Which it always does, bringing forth, first forsythia and daffodils and then, beautiful pink blossoms on our two nectarine trees.
And then it snows, freezing those blossoms and guaranteeing there will be no nectarines in August. Five Springs we’ve been here, five years we’ve had no fruit.
Actually, this year we’ve had several post-blossom freezes, and hope for fruit at the end of Summer has again been abandoned.
Thus it was of no consequence, and some petty satisfaction on my part, that I missed a 10-inch snowfall last Saturday night. By the time I got home from the annual Reva and David Logan Foundation/UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program Symposium late Sunday afternoon temps in the 50s and our usual bright New Mexico sunshine had melted almost all of it away.
Gone, and I say, done. Today, I started my Spring mowing.
On one mower-tank of gas, I got about half of the mow-worthy portion of our property done. The rest I’ll finish during the week. The considerable portion decreed “natural meadow” is not mowed, just admired.
You may have noted a missing word here: the word “lawn.”
Even after a wet winter took down the drought markers here and almost everywhere else in America, we still live on arid land. There are grasses, grama mostly, and lots of weeds whose names I ought to learn, and lots of our beloved, sweet-smelling sage, but put ‘em all together and squint your eyes, and they’re still nothing like a lawn.
But like my own scraggly, mostly bare head, the yard does look better with a trim.
And New Mexico’s unmistakable absence of lawns, like its equally easy to spot absence of neckties and jackets, is liberating.
And so is this emphatic symbolic declaration: Winter is over. (I hope.)
*** The second Wednesday of the month is marked by a Santa Fe City Council meeting, which pre-empts HERE & THERE, but the other three days of this week offer excellent programs on important topics.
On Monday, Elisabeth Rosenthal, whose new book An American Sickness is deservedly a best-seller, talks with us about that shambles we call a “healthcare system.” Dr. Rosenthal, who worked for years as an emergency room physician before joining the New York Times, details both follies and conspiracies that corrupt American medicine, as well as some fixes for politicians to try, and some suggestions for things you can do to better protect your physical and financial health.
On Tuesday, Sandra Fish an award-winning practitioner of the art of data-driven journalism for the fine news website, nmindepth.com, looks at what the published numbers tell us about lobbyist-spending on the un-salaried members of the New Mexico State Legislature. Equally valuable, she lets us in on the numbers that are not made public, and what they might conceal. The bottom line for unpaid law-making and 2 months of free meals and other gifts from lobbyists is, “You get what you pay for.”
And on Thursday, on this week of accomplished women journalists, Caitlin Dickerson of the New York Times brings us up to date on how the Trump Administration is changing the rules on immigration. When it comes to the numbers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Protection officers being put on the payroll, not to mention the number of raids and immigrants apprehended, everything is higher. But when it comes to the standards for officer-candidates, detention facilities, food, and basic human, civil and legal rights for these “undocumented” migrants, everything is lower, much lower.
I spoke earlier of the Reva and David Logan Foundation. It gives me great pleasure to thank the Foundation, and particularly Richard Logan, for continuing financial and moral support and for his friendship.
Here is just one way Richard’s support is empowering. Starting in June, HERE & THERE will be campaigning much more aggressively on social media, principally Facebook and Twitter, trying to bring our program/podcast to more listeners. Your Likes and Shares, and Re-Tweets can help make this campaign, directed by the thoroughly simpatico Nader Ashway of Moddern Marketing, succeed.
If you agree with me that HERE & THERE regularly presents in-depth information about a wide range of interesting and important news stories, I’m sure you’ll want to alert more people to what’s on offer here. Thanks.
As usual, our editorial material is delightfully and pointedly enhanced by the illustrations of Amy Marash, whose contributions to this enterprise are numerous and luminous.