Friday, July 23, 2010

river vignettes 5 & 6 & 7

We are still without air conditioning. The parts didn't arrive until yesterday and one of them was the wrong one. In the meantime, we considered how much we were going to spend to repair this 25 year old system and that the heating unit was probably going to need some work as well later in the year so we have decided to spend over 6 times as much and replace it. Ouch! Unless we get a big job in (and there is nothing close to the horizon) this is going to seriously set back our plans for finishing the shop.

Fortunately it has been a little cooler this week due to all the rain and cloudiness. Still, afternoons are hot and sticky even with all the fans and since the new unit won't be installed til Monday we decided that if we are going to be hot and sticky, we'll just be hot and sticky at the beach. So we are headed back there today with the last g'girl.

I'm thinking cool river thoughts so here is another (or two or three) vignette.

river vignette 5 – the Pecos

Farther back in the canyon, there is an area of ground that is just humming. The air is practically vibrating. If you pay attention you see hundreds, thousands of little bees swarming around. The ground is covered with little holes. The bees are coming and going in and out of all these little holes in the ground to their underground, immense, hive.

river vignette 6 – Rio Grande

The water is up...8 1/2 feet. The current is moving fast with boils and whirlpools. The weather is beautiful; days sunny and warm with cool, clear, star-filled Milky Way nights and we see lots of shooting stars. The moon is just the barest sliver of a new cycle setting about an hour after sunset.

river vignette 7 – the Pecos

We get to Cold Springs Rapid. We pull over to scout it out and I make my way up and sit on a boulder overlooking the rapid just below the drop. I feel surprisingly serene. Not nervous or anxious. I walk back to my canoe and push off. Enter, drop, a little left, a big right another big right, taking on water but I’m off the rock now, big left, dodge a few rocks in the current and I'm through and just so stoked.


  1. So sorry! I don't want to imagine the discomfort you must feel. Yes, imagine river vignettes; it might take your mind somewhere else, and help your body cope with the heat. Wishing cool winds and refreshing rain for you.

  2. The river trip sounds so relaxing and beautiful! Love the drawing...I can only see one?!
    And here is hoping cool breezes come your way until Tuesday...after your new unit is installed. And I hope also a big job in coming soon. I am needing one too!! Fingers crossed!!

  3. So sorry about the A/C - I hope your weather has cooled some - it is almost impossible to breath in some of the heat we have been having without A/C - but it was a good choice. You'll have another job soon I am sure.

    The drawing is beautiful [of the Pecos] - but the bee thing wigs me out! eeek. ~SkippyMom~

  4. To be a bee just to go into that amazing world for about three minutes... to see what it looks like under there, though it most likely would be bee body upon bee body, in the heat...It has been in the upper 50's and low 60's here, still wearing hoodies and long pants. I like it, usually. But this is Summer, we are supposed to melt a little bit,like a lengthy sauna- I think it's supposed to be good for us...Love your canyon drawing!Stay cool!

  5. I thought you were having a Reya moment in that first vignette - the thrumming of all the native people's souls or something :)

    I would LOVE to shoot a rapid - but I am not competent to do that on my own (now, you're supposed to float feet first when you get dumped out, right - so you don't hit your head on a rock? That's what I remember from rafting trips because that was knowledge I figured I would use).

  6. At least you're close enough to get to the beach, a perfect option. Enjoy :)

  7. I love your vignettes, I am happy for your to continue with them forever. I learned a new expression 'a boil' in the river; describes perfectly what it is.

    I think I am also learning to watch my own river more closely, thank you for the lesson.

  8. ellen such cool - vignettes - they fill my mind. it's been really hot here also. we use the air sparingly to bring the house down when it's just too much and people start getting franxious. steven

  9. Beautiful. You are so talented.

    When I lived in Japan, we never had airconditioning in the apartment or at school. I would take extra clothes to work with me in the summer time so that I could change because I would be saturated with sweat by the time I walked the mile to school.

    Here are some things that we did to stay cool. We drank iced 'mugi cha,' wheat tea, no caffiene and no calories. It revives you and keeps you hydrated. We carried towels to mop our brows, even our bed sheets were made of terri cloth. We ate spicey food, which is somehow supposed to cool you down. We put chemical ice packs on the backs of our necks. And we told ghost stories to give us the chills.

    Sending you chilly thoughts. Peace.

  10. Lovely vignettes. I think that I'd camp down by the river and leave the air con for another day.

  11. I love your drawings. Do you sell them? I would love to own at least one Ellen drawing. Glass would be nice too though it doesn't travel as well.

    Hope you have a nice time at the beach. No A/C? Yikes.


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