Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are We Spring Yet?

Entrance to my Courtyard, May 2011

Well, the first day of spring is finally here (I am so done with winter) but, since I live in Santa Fe, I have to be a little more patient.

A lot of people who haven't spent much time in the Southwest lump everything into the "Phoenix" stereotype—blazing hot summers, warm winters and relatively no spring or fall. That isn't the truth with Santa Fe. Because we are further north than Phoenix and at a 7000+ foot elevation, we have all four seasons (including snow in the winter—there's even a ski resort here). All of our seasons are fairly mild, but for some reason winter seems to last forever to me. As a matter of fact, it just snowed at my house last week—blarf!!

March teases me with a few really nice warm days and then shoves my face into a pile of 45 degree cold and windy mess like I'm a puppy that crapped on the floor.

Daffodils and Tulips, April 2011

Since I have been outside a lot the past few weekends building the Nano Farm, the cold and wind have been more irritating to me than usual. But, building the farm has got me thinking about my Grandma Nit (pronounced neat).

When I was a kid growing up in northeastern Oklahoma, we would often (once a month or so) load up the car and make the drive to visit my maternal grandmother. She hated the word "grandmother" so we either called her Grandma Nit or Enisi (Cherokee for maternal grandmother). The trip was maybe two hours long, but having the patience and attention span of gnats, my brother and I would start the chorus of "Are we there yets" about ten minutes into the trip and repeat every five minutes or as often as we deemed necessary. We would only pause our relentless queries when we saw the sequential roadside signs for Buffalo Ranch which would immediately launch us into the refrain "Can we stop?...Can we stop?!... Can we stop?!!...Pleeease!!! CAN. WE. STOP??!!!" (I force myself to remember doing crap like that to my parents whenever I am tempted to throw them into a nursing home—it calms me like "mind yoga") Wow, exercise is exhausting.

Anyway, we always did stop and, even though it was the 80's, Buffalo Ranch looked exactly the same as it did in the link above.

Iris bed, April 2011

As I have mentioned on this blog before, my mothers side of the family is Cherokee. My grandmother lived on a piece of land that has been in the family since the Dawes Act of 1887. The land is heavily forested, hilly and rocky. Beautiful to look at, difficult to cultivate and use.

Somehow my ancestors were able to carve out a true homestead and sustenance farm way before it became the suburban trendy thing to do. I remember my brother and I "helping out" (which wasn't much) while we were visiting. When we would bitch about having to remove rocks from the garden at planting time my grandmother would gently and quietly say with a wry smile (as only my Enisi could), that our family had cleared that patch of land and had been removing rocks for over 100 years and if we would spend more of our time working instead of complaining, we just might get the job done that year.

Mostly my brother and I would run around in the woods exploring, eating wild blackberries, building forts, fishing and swimming in the streams and tributaries that would eventually lead to Twin Bridges , never realizing how lucky we were to have such an amazing playground, all while being completely unaware of how much we were learning about nature and the earth simply by immersion.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips, April 2011

I am modeling my Nano Farm after my grandmother's homestead with some definite old-school Santa Fe farm influence. I should be ready to start really writing about it in a few weeks.

In the meantime, as I sit here on a cold March day waiting for my garden to begin to look like the photos I have posted from last spring, I can't help but say to myself over and over again "Are we spring yet?...Are we spring yet?!...ARE. WE. SPRING. YET??!!!"

If you enjoyed this post, please follow Santa Fe Steeze using the links below:


  1. TEEZY!!!! Glad to have you back man!! I'm very sorry for your loss, friend. Having lost a mother, almost a sister and a grandfather who I'm told only has a few weeks left... I can relate.

    I'm glad so many showed their appreciation!!!

    I have sort of let my blog fall by the wayside and am trying to catch up....I'm a YEAR behind on posts!! Ugh.

    Good to have ya back in the virtual world, kid

  2. It's good to hear from you Mick. I'm going to try to get the ball rolling again myself.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...