Friday, July 12

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Dispatch from the Edge

by Peter Anderson.

As you head into the good cheer of the holidays, you run into an old
friend on the corner downtown between the bank and the post office who
happens to be hauling a hydraulic wood splitter. And you have several
pinyons, decimated by an influx of beetles, which have been downed and
bucked up into some gnarly rounds that would take most of a winter to
split by hand. And she says, sure, I can drop the splitter by and leave
it for a while. And then you spend a weekend with a few buddies and
that wondrous piece of machinery and end up with enough wood to feed
the stove for the next two winters. And later, you remember you have
some aged rounds of juniper that haven’t been split and you share them
with your daughter who thinks it’s great fun to wield the maul, which
opens up the burgundy innards of this tender wood so readily. And as if
that weren’t enough, your turkey is fat and wobbly on his skinny legs
and ready to be slaughtered, but you have never done the deed before,
so you need a little coaching, and another friend says, no problem, I’ll
stop by on my way home from the community dinner, and she brings her
twenty-two and a sharp knife and a lot of know-how, and within an hour
or so, you have a ready-to-go turkey in the refrigerator. And now that the
work is done, you go down to the tavern, which is mostly empty except
for a friend whose son is coming home for the holidays as is your older
daughter, and you are both grateful that they have grown up here at the
end of the road.

Later, as you continue to reflect on your life, you feel such a strange
disconnect between time spent in your community and hours spent listening
to talking heads on weekend news shows. The practice of politics,
at least in theory, can be a process that improves our lives, but when it
comes to living the good life—which sure seems easier here in the flyover
zone—neither pundits or politicians really have a clue.

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