Bumfuck nowhere

We needed to see two teeth doctors yesterday: the wisdom teeth remover and the braces tightener.

Wisdom teeth guy – same one that created the cavern in my tender little mouth.

Braces guy – we had Christmas Dinner with his family.

Anyway, to do so meant that we had to drive and hour and a half to another state. 

My fuel light was on. I work next door to the gas station so I ran over there to fill up.

The fucking gas station was closed. CLOSED, I tell you.


It is the only gas station within a 15 mile radius.

People passing through were stranded in our small community because they couldn’t risk venturing towards another town without ending up gasless on the side of the road.

I spent the next hour calling all of our friends trying to find someone with a gas can in their garage with enough fuel in it to get me to the next stop.

Found someone, sent E over there in his car (which wouldn’t make it to New Mexico) to get the gas and pour it into my truck and we left.

20 minutes later, I let out a huge sigh of relief and discovered that there are still pumps in this area that do not take credit cards – it’s a prepay place.

This is about when I started mumbling “Is nothing simple?” and threatening to charge LC, the owner of our station, for my time and stress…and gas.

Doctor. Doctor.

Doctor #1, after looking at E and telling us that his teeth need to come out, looked at mine to see why I am still in agony. Apparently I now have an infection (this is post dry socket.)

So he cleaned it out and gave me a prescription.

Pharmacies in New Mexico don’t take Colorado Insurance.

Is nothing simple????

So back to Colorado and home, drop off the kids.

Next stop, pharmacy, 21 miles in the opposite direction from whence I had just come. So, combining the drive and the time it takes to put pills in a bottle, I managed to lose another two hours of my precious time, during which I had a total blood sugar crash which led me to standing in the middle of the produce section of the grocery store inhaling Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and gulping down a protein shake.

I got back to my town and went into work to do some cooking and realized that I had forgotten the cookbook that contains the recipe for the cake that I was going to bake.

Try Googling Mancos LDS Relief Society Cookbook – yeah, it doesn’t show up anywhere.

So I went home. Took a lortab  and called it a day.

And to answer my own question…

No, nothing is simple when you live in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Let me qualify that…

Life itself is very simple here. It’s when one has to interact with the outside world that things become really complicated.


The approach to this day, in climbing terms, was a low-ish 5th class scramble: somewhat sketchy, but totally doable if you can stay out of your head.

I had a few moments of panic and deep sadness and nostalgia along with this fucking tooth pain (which, I’ve concluded, is actually phantom tooth pain) which made me a little nervous about how hard today might be without 2 of my children and my mom and dad.

So today, I spent my time with my (to be hip and p.c.) “family of choice.”

I am so fucking lucky to have the people around me that I do. I want to tell each and every one of you that I love you and so appreciate you in my life.

Such goodness and love and passion and generosity – in every home that we entered during Christmas Visiting.

And the food – Holy Shit the food. Everything made with love, made with eggs from someone’s chickens, and sausage from another’s pig, and veggies from multiple gardens.

It was a day for children. Now that mine are older, I have the luxury of watching my friends’ children feel the magic without being directly involved – it’s fantastic.

My last stop of the day was part of a tradition that had almost been lost. I have missed these friends so. They are my “oldest” family members here. I’ve watched their children grow up and have children.

Life has given us little space to connect lately. Last night, as I dressed for church, I donned the antique earrings and brooch that K had given me. On the way to church I told MCB that I was very sad that we weren’t all spending Christmas together with K’s family. In the church, K and her mother walked in and without seeing us, sat down directly in front of us.

They invited us for Christmas Dinner.

MCB couldn’t go. It was okay.

Driving out to their house, in the snow, like I’d done so many times before, I got giddy about spending this evening with this family: four generations of them.

They are my family, my people.

So are the people with whom we had brunch and shot (pellet) guns.

And so are the family that invited us to be with them today to watch their five year old painfully slice each and every piece of tape on each and every present in the room (not just his) with his pocket knife so that the paper can be reused.

I feel such deep love and gratitude.

They may not be my mother and father or one of my sons, but these folks are my family.

I, we, have something so special; I hope that I never take this for granted.

Okay, I’m finished being mushy.

Maybe it wasn’t all magic with the children; when my favorite seven year old girl asked to trade a bar of soap for the amazing fuzzy socks I’d just scored in the white elephant event, I actually considered saying no.

a moment in a day in a life in a small town

I ran into town to get my paycheck and a cup of coffee.

When I got to work the paycheck wasn’t there but several friends were.

Quick chat, even quicker cup of soup. Forgot the coffee.

M said, “My wife just hit a deer on the highway by the Cattle Drive. Do you want it?”

I said I’d think about it on my way to check on her which was on the way home.

And maybe I could stop at the Cattle Drive and get some homemade ice cream.

On the way out the door I suggested to a customer that she say yes to the offer of a naked hot tub with a younger man.

Called a friend, “Want a deer?”

Stopped to see the wife and give her a hug.

Went to get ice cream and realized that I could also get a latte.

While waiting for my latte, had a conversation with the owner and discovered that she is the one other person in the world who didn’t discover Downton Abbey until now. Years behind the rest of the world.

Gossiped about the Granthams.

Drove home.

Turned on PBS.

Drank my latte.

Ate my ice cream.

I’d been gone for a half an hour.



Things I am learning in my convalescence

Okay, “convalescence” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am prone to exaggeration, so, what do you expect?

Anyway, last week was the leg, this week, the tooth.

I was so excited to get the thing removed from my leg and even more excited to get the oh-so-painful tooth out of my mouth that it never crossed my mind that there might be anything challenging to it all.

So I’ve got pain and scarring and a mouth gap and a swollen face and weird spreading bruises all over the place that gravity seems to play with and I am on a liquid diet and so I’m starving; but those aren’t that big of a deal.

Here are the Big Deals:

Learned fact number one…As much as I fantasize about being an invalid so I have a valid excuse to lie around and watch tv and stare at the walls and eat soup and pudding and feel sorry for myself, it’s boring. I’m bored. Out of my fucking mind.

Learned fact number two…Even I can OD on Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding.

Learned fact number three…Undercooked soft boiled eggs smell like the henhouse when cracked open.

LF#4…Head hair can get tangled up in leg stitches as it travels from one’s head to the shower drain.

LF#5…I am vain about my legs.

LF#6…I was actually quite attached to the gold tooth, or at least attached to actually having a tooth.

LF#7…I’m not really liking “scars” that come from aging rather than adventures.

LF#8…For fuck’s sake, FLOSS.

and wear SUNSCREEN (#9).

Fact #10…When they offer you stronger pain medication, take it because they can’t call in controlled substances to the pharmacy later when you realize that you need them.

Learned Fact #11…If the oral surgeon has to leverage his feet against the arm of your chair to better yard on your tooth with his pliers, there’s going to be some swelling later.

Learned Fact #12…I already kind of knew this but am just now acknowledging it…the voices that tell me that I am being lazy, not contributing enough, being a puss, and am selfishly expecting my partner to take care of me when he clearly has more important things to do are just that…voices…old ones…ones from which I can divorce myself…voices not worth listening to.

And Learned Fact #13…There is a fantastic television series from Masterpiece Theater called Downton Abbey available at the Mancos Public Library. I highly recommend it. It has saved my sanity.