We just returned from a few days in New Mexico, one of our favorite destinations. In October the cottonwoods are turning bright yellow, the low-growing chamisa is otherworldly, and the changes in the sky are dramatic.
One day we drove up to Taos and to Arroyo Seco, the new home of Weaving Southwest. Many of us began our fiber journeys by reading The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book by Rachel Brown* (here's a sweet biography of Rachel Brown)—Weaving Southwest is the store she began many years ago. Theresa, Rachel's granddaughter, was very welcoming, and I encourage anyone who enjoys fiber to take the side trip to the inviting little town of Arroyo Seco.
*What? Out of print??? If you see a copy, grab it. Mine is held together by tape.
Church in Abiquiu
The highlight of the trip, for me, was a tour of Georgia O'Keeffe's home in Abiquiu, set on a mesa above the Chama River. O'Keeffe purchased the old ruins in the 1940s and had them extensively restored. The tour guide explained how the buildings were originally and how O'Keeffe changed them over time. I was struck, gobsmacked, really, at the light and the spaces she created—the trustees of the place have kept it as it was when she left, two years before her death in 1986, and the docent was very knowledgable about every detail. I was surprised by how touched I was, to be honest. No photos are allowed, and I'm glad: the experience would have been less immediate if I'd been looking through the camera lens.
If you are curious about this, a wonderful book has just been published called Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Houses, by Barbara Buhler Lynes and Agapita Judy Lopez--this is a beautiful collection of history, photos both old and new, reproductions of O'Keeffe paintings, and personal anecdotes. Highly recommended for your holiday wish list!
While driving around, we stopped at the very old church in Abiquiu, a town of about 200 people. It had a lovely feel about it; as we were leaving, Sister Johanna encouraged us to pick some apples from the tree on the property, sweet green apples that tasted even sweeter because of our encounter with this charming nun.
I also enjoyed the Santa Fe Farmer's Market. We go to the Farmer's Market in Berkeley quite regularly, so it was interesting to see the contrast in local, seasonal produce between the two climates. The range of chiles was fascinating, and I flew home with a huge bag of medium-heat red chile powder. We saw lots of squashes, too, and tomatoes of all shapes and colors.
Here I am, waiting for that excellent New Mexican food to arrive!
As always, our days were filled with museums and ruins and galleries and eating and long drives with sweeping vistas....