Most mornings I’m up and writing by 3:30. Five to six hours sleep is my normal. My ritual hardly ever changes. On this January morning when my brain’s internal clock nudges me awake, I slowly untangle my arms and feet from my partner, rise quietly and slip into some warm clothes. It’s chilly in the front rooms so I start a fire in the hearth. In any other season it’s a straight shot to the kitchen where I press the start button on my laptop and head to the coffeemaker. It was Matilda, my abuelita, who gave me my first cup of coffee when I was still a teenager. I fondly remember that she brewed the best coffee known to mankind—an inimitable Santa Fe latte using beans she probably bought directly from Juan Valdez and a spurt of Pet milk. Forty years later I’m still drinking it, albeit not nearly as strong or satisfying as hers.
We live in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains just outside of Santa Fe. It’s a truly magical place we found after taking early retirement from a past life I fondly think back upon. Our house is small compared to our past urban digs. In winter we use a wood stovebox—a combination fireplace/stove—to heat our front rooms. It’s cheaper and more comfy than propane. For much of the winter season there’s snow and ice on the mountain. During occasional warm days it melts and forms mud bogs. So the dirt road leading up to our house becomes a blistered washboard. We try not to forget the milk or bread too often because it’s a three mile trek to the small village store. Although that’s not a particularly long distance, but the mountain slog is slow going. So we frequently end up strolling next door to one of our neighbors to borrow whatever it is we need from their amply furnished pantry. They’ve become friemaly (friends as close as family.) And they’re so much more organized than us.
David, my soul mate, and I hooked up while still in college in Albuquerque. Three and one-half decades later we’re still kicking it. And it just keeps getting better. He’s my biggest fan and gives a first read to most of the stuff I write. I trust his judgment implicitly.
My kitchen desk is situated right below a window looking out onto a stunning forest of Ponderosa Pines, Piñions and Cedars. That’s where I‘m perched most mornings watching the sun come up. It’s a comfortable place to observe nature—deer foraging, turkey’s trotting, coyote’s roaming and the occasional neighbor walking their dog. It’s also a good place to write. Most mornings when my creative vitality starts its treadmill jog, its pace fluctuates between a dawdling plod and a marathon run. But my passion seldom wanes and my soul rarely exhausts, except for the occasional mind freeze.
When I’m not writing, I read, travel, golf, hike, and spend lots of time with neighbors and the interesting locals in the village below us. I’ve discovered that sharing good food and wine leads to juicy yarns that more often than not become the ingredients for rapt-filled storybook narratives.
Thanks for being here. Please write me with your comments, criticisms and musings.
Feel free to contact me via email: MChavezAuthor@aol.com