Monday, July 9, 2012

Too Small For One — Just Right For Two


A few years ago there were still a number of VW buses on the road. Today there are fewer. There are reasons for this. Our buses are getting older, harder to maintain, are wearing out.

But I think there is more. Buses are small. America has changed. The original McDonald's drink was  7-ounces. Today 42 ounces is the norm. KFC's Mega Jug is 64 ounces (two quarts) and 7-11's Team Gulp is 128 ounces  (a full gallon).

Living Large, at first a slogan, has become a national way of life.

I am at an RV park in Truth or Consequences, NM, and am by far the smallest RV— if you can call a VW bus an RV —  in the park. Yet I seem to be the only vehicle with room inside.

Someone asked a while back if my bus wasn't a bit small to live in. "Yes, it can be a bit tight for one," I said. "But it's just right for two."

The more we clutter up our lives with things that aren't essential the less room we have for those that are.

Life is a journey. A wonderful journey. But not one that is meant to be traveled alone.


New Mexico is not India. It is mostly desert. Yet in July something happens. Black clouds suddenly roll in from nowhere. Lightening flashes. The sky erupts. Water torrents down.

A black monsoon cloud moves in at dusk.
These seasonal outbreaks are referred to as monsoons. Quickly over  they are awaited with the same eagerness that children wait for snow in other parts of the country at Christmas time.

Cactus that has been shriveling up drink there fill. Water overflows creek beds and soaks the nearby vegetation. Brown hillsides are momentarily green.

Last year the monsoons came late and were spotty. This year we are off to a good start. Three storms in three days.

Who says it does not rain in the desert?

Actually desert here is a misnomer. I was at Colorado National Monument. A park ranger was conducting a field hike.

"It's wrong the think there is a water shortage here," she said. "There is plenty of water for the kind of life that lives here."  And plenty of life does indeed.

And water is tricky. Three weeks ago I accidentally left my cell phone in my jeans when I washed them. Bye-bye phone. I bought a new one on eBay. Five days ago I did the same thing. The replacement arrived today.

But Truth or Consequences is a special place. I have not been without a phone. Three people insisted on lending me their extra phones and more would have done so had I let them.


The Black Cat coffee shop and book store here closed for the summer two weeks ago. The owner, Rhonda Brittan, threw a customer appreciation party. About 80 guests ate about 30 pizzas, danced and sang to music and generally enjoyed themselves well into the soft evening night.

Rhonda Brittan
The Black Cat will reopen August 31. During most of the year it is a literary gathering place on weekends, Friday through Monday, when it is open. There are tables, pastries, The New York Times and rooms full of books stacked to the ceiling.

But like so much of TorC it doesn't take itself seriously, and Rhonda knows almost every customer by name.

Computers are shunned. Every purchase is written up by hand. And profit isn't the real motive.

Running a great book store is.


In September I will be joined by a companion and after spending some time here in TorC we will likely be heading north to see the pines and the aspens and the great painted landscapes above Santa Fe and around Taos.

A bus may be small but this totally amazing world isn't.