Friday, January 30, 2009

swept away

I got a phone call yesterday from my friend Don Greene.  He’s the guy I worked for during my river guide days.  I was part of the crew that would take groups of 20 - 30 people on wilderness canoe camping trips through Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend.  Those were some fun days.  A lot of work, but lots of fun.  We would head out on a three day holiday weekend about 7 PM and drive straight through for 12 hours to the put in on the Rio Grande.  We’d get on the river by late morning of the next day and paddle for three days, get to take out, load up and drive another 12 hours straight back so people could get to work the next day.

I have some really great memories of that time.  Like the time Charles, the head guide, made me lead boat for the first time in Boquillas Canyon and I managed to get three boats flipped before lunch on the first day.  Then there was the time we drove through a hailstorm on the way into the park one Easter weekend.  It was cold and raining and we had a headwind so strong it was blowing us all backward.  We ended up having to do that trip in two days instead of three.  And then there was the time a helicopter landed near our campsite and one of the guests just about had a heart attack because he had bought a lottery ticket and told his wife if he won, to send a helicopter after him.  They were actually looking for some campers that had been reported lost.  

Not all the memories are like that though.  My friend Dee and I had a blast one trip on the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande ferrying all the boats one at a time through a particular rapid.  And the time Renee had us all will the rain storm away one sunset and we witnessed an unbelievable light show the rest of the night from the storm that skirted us.  Or the time I was sweep boat and lagging behind and so got to witness a stallion gallop to the water’s edge and whinney for his mares and foals to come get a drink.  Or chasing the blue heron downriver until he turns and flies back up river to the beginning of his territory.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

climate change

Yesterday afternoon the high was 78ยบ.  Last night it plunged to the very low 30s.  As I was shivering in front of the space heater this morning waiting for the room to warm up, I thought of those wooley mammoths that were found in Siberia frozen solid with their last meal of grass still undigested in their stomachs.  Scientists were astounded.  Obviously, those scientists had never spent a winter in South Texas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I watched a show on PBS last night about the development of atomic weapons.  Having been born in 1950, I lived through the arms race with Russia.  It had a profound effect on me, on all of us who were growing up at that time.  We would sit, mesmerized like mice about to be swallowed up by a snake, watching the films of the mushroom clouds.  I can’t really blame Russia.  After all, we had them.  Not only had them but were crazy enough to use them.  The insanity of that time is still incomprehansible to me.  We grew up and lived in fear of total annihilation.  Not satisfied with the atomic bomb, they went on to develop the hydrogen bomb.  A bomb that when tested, vaporized the island where it was set off.  What madness reigned in the minds of those men that not only conceived, but built, a weapon so destructive that it vaporized the very earth and then went on to build 300 more?  What madness that allowed a handful of men in each country to bring this planet to the brink of total destruction through their irrational fear and hatred?  

Monday, January 26, 2009

getting started

I was dicking around this morning during coffee time and finally decided to do this.  I've been thinking about it for awhile and actually have been doing sort of a blog on my website for several years on the news page.  That one is mostly about work stuff though, what we are working on, what shows we have coming up, workshop schedule, that sort of thing and some personal stuff, like our ever so slow move from city mice to country mice.  It only gets about four entries a year though.  I'll try to do better with this one but even so, every day ain't gonna happen.  Right now do I back up or go forward?  Backing up is easy, cut and paste.  Forward seemed easy when I was still drinking coffee this morning.

Well, for the uninitiated, my husband/partner and I are glass artists.  We established our studio in 1976, have done architectural commission carved and etched glass for 33 years and kiln cast glass in the pate de verre technique for 15 years.  You can see all our stuff on our website.  We teach the occasional workshop, usually as visiting artists at other studios.  We are in the process of moving from the big city where we have lived all our lives to the country outside the city limits of a small town with less than 10,000 people.  We do things out there like gawk at the kid haying the field behind us or yelling and jumping around when we scare a big rat snake out of the high grass.  It's very entertaining.

Well, I must really get to work now.