Ruthie, Here I Come!

With almost daily reminders to ‘carpe diem’ while I’m alive and relatively healthy, I took the plunge and got a ticket to the Ruthie Foster/Eric Bibb concert in Las Cruces, New Mexico on February 2. They’ll also be in Albuquerque on February 4, but I’m calling a dance that night. I suggested to Hands Five that I find another caller for the dance so I could attend the Albuquerque concert. But the band wasn’t too keen about being pawned off on another caller. Plus, Hands Five is really fun to work with, and we’ve already had a 2-hour practice.

I will stop at my favorite place in New Mexico on the way down to Cruces, the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. I never know what wonders I’ll encounter there. Being at the Bosque is almost as much a treasure hunt as the thrift store. Once I saw a coyote with his entire face stuffed inside a snow-white goose carcass. When he emerged momentarily after tossing the carcass around gleefully, his snout was smeared with blood. Another time a tanager flashed across the windshield, his startling scarlet color one I’d never seen before. Years ago, right over my head, the one whooping crane on site flew in with a flock of sandhill cranes, the whooper’s giant breast gleaming with the peachy pink setting sunlight.

snow geese at sunset
Photo by Merri Rudd

Or the deer that seems nailed to place along the back trail because I’ve seen her several times in the exact spot. Or the muskrat paddling in the lagoon, the vermillion flycatcher winging its way up the middle loop, the merlin ripping apart the meadowlark, the eagle shredding a duck. The latter images may seem gruesome, but they are the ebb and flow of the Bosque. Maybe I’ll stop at Percha Dam Campground and listen for the owls in the secret tree or the red-winged blackbirds in the cattails. An opening act for Ruthie.

I am taking this trip because Ruthie’s singing “restoreth my soul.” I am taking this trip to honor the memory of Mike Smith and his love of good music. And I am taking this trip to fuel my own sense of adventure. I love gliding down the highway, alone, not knowing what will happen next. When I find out, I will post another entry.