Tag Archives: Marfa

More Marfa: gallery

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Out of Office

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Marfa Time! It is Peter’s spring break and we’ve decamped to Texas, where temperatures have been in the high nineties and rain is a distant memory. First, some chores: mopping floors and wiping down dust. Then, a reward for all our hard work; a splendid meal out at Cochineal. It is definitely the celebrity hotspot in town, and we noticed Feist, who was performing the following evening at the Crowley Theatre. Sadly, it was a sold out show and the Duffs were not in attendance.

Day two we really settled in. David changed the battery in his old Chevy truck, Pete got a buzz cut, and I took down and washed all the curtains. I finally entered vacation mode and have been riding my bike around town taking photos;  the first installment is above.

Winding down Marfa

In between packing up and cleaning, we crammed in two special visits before our departure early Monday morning. We have a friend in Marfa who is an entomologist specializing in dung beetles, and I’d never seen his collection. On Saturday we visit with Dave and his wife Theresa and viewed tray after tray of spectacular bugs. As Jem would say, we were geeking out.

Sunday David and I went on a short drive to the Davis mountains, where our new friends Kosta and Ganka live. They are transforming what was, honest to goodness, a survivalist’s compound (complete with chain link fencing topped with razor wire and surveillance equipment), into a light filled and welcoming little paradise. After champagne and Ganka’s homemade biscotti, we walked around the property which is filled with red rock and scrubby trees and overlooks miles of plains and plateaus. It was a magical end to our Marfa visit.

Another Thanksgiving and one year older as well

Our Colorado family (missed you Owsleys though!) arrived about 9 pm Wednesday. John brought his signature chile and we tucked into a late dinner of that as well as cornbread and margaritas.

Thursday morning David placed a lovingly brined heritage turkey in the oven, and prep work began for all the sides. We paused for some locally produced cranberry salsa and chips around noon, and at 4pm we were joined by our neighbor Jim. Feast time! Turkey, madeira ham, mashed potatoes, David’s famous gravy, stuffing, green beans and ginger, cranberry relish, biscuits with local jam (tomatoes and preserved lemons–sunshine in a jar!), mashed carrots and turnips. We toasted each other, the chef, and all those who couldn’t be present. It was glorious.

A brief pause, followed by pecan and pumpkin pie, also baked locally. Amazing…

I awakened Friday morning a whole year older. We started the day with breakfast at Cochineal. Grits, Migas, french toast, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee strong enough to stand a spoon in. And yes, that is Luke Wilson at the table behind Laura and August (photos by Jemesii):

After breakfast we lingered in the Marfa Book Company, where I happily selected two birthday books; Frida Kahlo Her Photos and  The Importance Of Being Iceland. A little more walking/riding around town, a quick errand to return the basket the pie had been delivered in, and then lunch at The Pizza Foundation.

It was a lot chillier than it had been the previous day, and we huddled around the little gas fireplace. Amanda had brought along her wee chihuahua, Max. He was a source of fascination for those of us accustomed only to bigger canines (miss you, Buddy), and possibly one of the best little dogs in the world.

Soon it was time to eat again, and hot turkey sandwiches and margaritas were on the menu.

After dinner everyone but Jem and David bundled up for a ride out to the viewing platform for the Marfa Mystery Lights. They did not disappoint, and we were treated to a celestial show as well, under an incredibly clear night sky. The milky way was a clear as spilled milk, the constellations appeared in three dimensions (as they really are!) and there were tons of shooting stars.

Early the next morning John and Amanda (and Max) came and scooped up August and Laura for the long drive back to Colorado. Five minutes after departing, they returned for some forgotten pillows. One more hug for Aug, and they were on the road for real. Until next year.

Some parting shots of Marfa

Thanksgiving in Marfa, 2009

It has been the most wonderful week in Marfa; with nary a moment to write and an internet connection that was just way too slow even if I’d had the time. Pete and I are sitting in a hotel next to the El Paso airport (a hotel with free Wi-Fi), as a rare snowstorm is going to make travel from Marfa tomorrow morning difficult. I am sorry to miss this weather “event”, but as David had to transport us, (he is staying in Marfa with Jem for three more days), it would have meant some possibly treacherous driving for him. The upside is that I now have the time and the means to post a blog.

Where to start…family, food, fun:  all in copious amounts.  I received some amazing gifts, including a fat tire bicycle from the Owsley family, a pecan pie, and a small Rebecca Holland sculpture.  August is working on a song for my birthday and Jem is making a necklace.  Pete’s present was a piece of petrified wood.  My sister Laura came with birthday cakes for me and for Jemesii, who turned 25 on the 16th.  It was noted that I was now a half century, Jem a quarter, and Pete one eighth of a century in age.

The Thanksgiving meal was outrageous.  No one left the table hungry, and we laughed until our cheeks hurt.  It was really one of the best parties ever, and I am so glad (and honored) that much family made the long drive to join us. There was one more magic moment.  After nightfall, David called us outside to look up at the moon. It was surrounded by a large white halo: a perfect white circle ever so much like the one I imagine protecting us all.  I couldn’t help but feel this a positive omen; certainly I had received the best gift ever.  More time!

Marfa: in bits and pieces

We have had a wonderful week in Marfa.  Family, food, fun, and lots of love and laughter.  I’m a bit older than I was the last time I posted, and I have to say that the view is great from this side (the second half of the century).  Not only have I been far too busy to write, but I haven’t had a reliable internet connection.  Uploading anything takes a very long time:  hence, I am going to do a bunch of mini posts until I return to New Hampshire and a solid internet connection on Tuesday evening.

The first photo is looking up into the center of the Marfa Courthouse.  In the second image, some of my family are gathered around the splendid tin chandelier at the top.  More to follow!

Packing up my saddle bag

Rainy, rainy day here.  Just as well, so that I am not tempted to exchange my chores for a walk outside.  In two days we are hopping on a plane, and I’ve got lists of things to take care of.  Stop the mail and papers, refill prescriptions, pack, clean the house, do the laundry, make a carrot cake for Jem’s birthday, take Pete’s guitar to the luthier for a repair, drop the dog at camp (aka:  the kennel). Unfortunately, I must take frequent breaks from all this bustle, as my ankle swells up like a water logged sausage when I am on it too long.

All of this preparation is so that we can make our annual pilgrimage to Marfa, Texas for Thanksgiving.  It’s going to be extra special this year, as I was born on Thanksgiving in 1959.  This year my birthday will once again fall on that particular holiday and I will be hitting the half century mark.  We will be joined by all three of our children as well as three of my siblings and most of their kids. Everyone contributes beer, food (including my brother John’s famous chile) and wine.  Margaritas are on the house.  My husband David makes a very fine Thanksgiving feast, replete with a free range turkey.  My contribution will be some of the side dishes and I’m a whiz at doing dishes as well.  Actually, almost all of the adults who will be present have worked in restaurants and we’ve covered all the jobs from dishwashing, busing, serving to chef–so there is never a shortage of qualified help (and we’re all good tippers as well). Our assorted spawn will take turns djing; exposing their parents to a wide range of musical styles, including our son August’s own hiphop recordings. Soccer will be played, bikes and scooters will be ridden, and at least three of our party will play a round or two of golf at the Marfa course–“The Highest Golf Course in Texas”.

And I’m preparing to bask in all that warmth from the sunshine and my gathered family.  I don’t know how much time I will have to write in the next week, but I will certainly post some photos.  Until then, wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  To life!

Some of the gang last year- photo by Greg Owsley

And now Marfa

On tuesday morning we drove from Austin to Marfa. Texas is one big state, so it was a seven hour drive. Pretty country though.
We arrived in Marfa in the late afternoon. This is our home away from home and we come here as often as we can. It is a place both geographically remote and individual in spirit,  and it’s never hard to leave the rest of the world behind. And for a few days, I have. No news and virtually no contact with the outside world. Just the long lazy days of a summer that suddenly feels as endless as those of childhood.

A land shark in Marfa, Texas.

A land shark in Marfa, Texas.