It’s Been a Year

I guess it’s reflection time, eh?  Here I am after Cinnamon’s post, doing the same thing, sorta.

I’ve been back here a year; it feels simultaneously like three months and like I never left.  I’ll say up front that between my trip to Ireland where I wasn’t doing my smell-spray medication, plus COVID, I’m running at about 10-20% on my sense of smell right now, but it’s okay.  I get whiffs of things as I’m out walking around, and I enjoy them for however long they last and then move on.

Krishna Das on the Plaza.

My birthday was Friday, and I turned it into a long weekend of small pleasures, strung together.  It kicked off Thursday night with a concert on the Plaza; Santa Fe has an amazing free summer concert lineup, both there and at the Railyard nearby.  Thursday night was Krishna Das, I love his voice and was thrilled to be able to hear him in person.  It’s been hot and dry, June’s a dry month here until monsoon season starts.  I was right in front of the stage and we were all singing and clapping.  Then about halfway through a totally unexpected, gentle rain started to fall for the first time in weeks, and it was absolutely magical, we all started dancing and laughing as we got drenched.  I got to walk home in the rain, full of joy. On Friday I had birthday lunch with a friend, and that night I went to see Calexico in the Railyard, another fun band.

Saturday evening this slow, gentle rain arrived, and it hung around off and on until almost noon on Sunday, which is really unusual here – typically the thunderheads build up over the day and then we get a big storm late afternoon or early evening, here and gone.  A full 12+ hours of cool, rainy weekend weather would have been annoyance back East, but here?  Such a delightful change. I took a really long walk downtown Sunday afternoon, mingling with tourists and reveling in the intermittent smells that would crop up – roses, evergreens, all of them magnified by the damp.

For decades, this past Sunday was “cake for breakfast” at my dad’s house, which I (and then my children) loved – we’d head over there mid-morning to celebrate my birthday and my dad’s birthday two days apart, plus Father’s day which is on the same weekend.  We had presents and then home-made cake and ice cream, that was the whole menu, I don’t know why, but hey: tradition.  This year I decided my “birthday cake” would be this dessert a friend told me about at a local restaurant: cinnamon ice cream served in a bunuelo-like bowl of sweet fried dough, with caramel sauce, whipped cream etc., and it was (unsurprisingly) absolutely delicious.

This birthday — not a “milestone” one — had been chafing at me for some reason, and I realized a few weeks ago that this particular birthday would be the one where I’d outlived my mother’s age when she died, in her late fifties.  So that’s clearly a milestone for me that I’m still processing; has anyone else felt that way?

Monday night is yet another free concert – Manzanares, on the Plaza – and with any luck on Tuesday morning while some of you are reading this I’ll be at my long-awaited allergy appointment, getting skin-tested to figure out what the heck got me this spring, with the potential outcome of allergy shots depending on what they discover.  Fingers crossed.

  • Sarah says:

    Happy belated birthday, March. Many, many more.

  • Musette says:

    Your birthday weekend sounds magical!!
    This year will be That Year – where I will be the age my mother was when she died. It comes and goes in my psyche – not quite sure how to process it.


    • Musette says:

      … and I love the notion of Cake for Breakfast, even as I can see myself being rushed to the ER for a glucose spike that would fell a rhino.


    • March says:

      Same. And hugs to you — it really does stick in the psyche, doesn’t it? Realizing how young my mom was… if I make it to my dad’s age I will be lucky. <3

  • Jennifer S says:

    Happy belated birthday! It sounded like such a relaxing weekend. And that cake!

    • March says:

      Thanks! That dessert was pretty large, they were impressed I ate the whole thing. I probably should have stopped halfway through but I … did not.

  • Tara C says:

    Happy birthday! A light warm rain on parched earth is glorious.

  • Dina C. says:

    Happy Birthday March! It sounds like it was a very good weekend of honoring the old traditions while also embracing your new location and all it has to offer. I DO understand your poignant self-awareness about your age relative to your mother’s age. My dad passed at age 52, and I’m a few years beyond him now. I feel like these are bonus years. I even marked it in a big way by stopping coloring my hair when I hit 52, which turned out to be a happy, healthy thing. I hope your allergy testing is a useful tool for you. I’ve got allergies, too. They’re the pits.

    • March says:

      Thank you so much … so it’s not just me, then. Self-awareness is a perfect term. Those bonus years. My fifties are also when I made some radical changes to my appearance and self-acceptance!

  • cinnamon says:

    What a wonderful birthday ‘cake’. And love your description of family celebration (my mother made this mad chocolate cake we called killer cake with almond flour and bittersweet chocolate butter cream which was best cold out of the fridge for breakfast). Best wishes on allergy testing. Hope it comes up with something useful — and even perhaps something helpful on your anosmia that hasn’t already emerged.

    • March says:

      I would LOVE that killer cake, sounds right up my alley although tbh most “quality” sweets are (I’m not much into junk-food sugar.) Getting some info from the dr. shortly!

  • alityke says:

    Happy belated birthday. Hope the appointment is helpful & gives you some answers & solutions.
    I’ve outlived my father. In my case forewarned has been forarmed.

  • Portia says:

    Happy Birthday March!
    That cake/ice cream thing looks killer.
    I’m glad you are so comfortable and happy in your new home.
    Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    Happy Birthday! Small pleasures can often be some of the best.

  • Maggiecat says:

    Happy Birthday, belatedly, but just keep celebrating!

  • Tom says:

    Happy birthday! I’m glad you had a nice weekend- especially glad you got some much-needed rain!

  • filomena813 says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! It sounds like you celebrated it well. Music is a necessity for me. My mother died young and I have outlived her for many years. Wish you good luck at the doctor’s tomorrow.