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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Day in June: Flowers in Rustavi

By Nely's building, Rustavi, Georgia. First day of summer 2012.

Yes, I've been gathering stray photo lambs of late.

Today it's a memory of a day in June in Old Rustavi, Caucasus Georgia. Look at the patina on this building! I lived in this building for about nine months, in a room with a fairy-tale view from the French windows and the wide wooden sill.  

View from my window, Rustavi, Georgia. September 2011.

Most weekdays, I walked down this gravel path to work, crossed the street, cut through some yards, traversed the courthouse square, skirted the city-center park, then went down the street to the police building where I taught. 

By Nely's building, Rustavi, Georgia. First day of summer 2012.

On the first day of summer, June 20, 2012, the blue and yellow and white flowers were too merry to pass by without a proper howdy-do by my camera.

Fat apricots lolling about on first day of summer 2012, Rustavi, Georgia
 Sumptous apricots, so plentiful, they rolled about the yards.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On a Dark and Stormy Day On a Marshrutka. A Plan.

Scene from a marshrutka. Between Rustavi and Tbilisi. June 2012. 

Just about every weekend I was on a marshrutka from Rustavi to Tbilisi.

Friday, June 8, 2012, was no exception.

It may have been this very day when it struck me, just like this storm wave that I watched from the marshrutka window as it reared up to devour multiple villages and roving livestock. "It" being the idea of seeing the world one year at a time.

Scene from a marshrutka. Between Rustavi and Tbilisi. June 2012. 

So far, this plan for super s-l-o-w travel has been working out even better than I could have imagined.

What's surprising to me is that I spent the first two years post-Georgia (country of) in the USA - one year in New Mexico and the next in South Louisiana.

Each year, I keep thinking I'll be out of the US. My plan for 2015 was no exception - it was to be the year of Oaxaca, Mexico. Ah, Mexico - always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Maybe next year.

Instead, in a plot twist I didn't see coming, I'm going to do a second year in Louisiana. Not just Louisiana, but South Louisiana. Not in Lafayette, though. A different town.

South Louisiana has too much depth to study in only one year. I've barely touched on the Creole history and culture, the co-dependent relationship between Louisiana and oil, how the state is literally drowning, Indian history, and some things I'll get into later. Also, I want to get more into canoeing and get better at dancing.

Anyway, this time next week I'll be back in South Louisiana, looking for a new place to live.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome to Missouri

When I crossed back over the border into Missouri for my annual layover this year, this was my welcome:

There's something so Route 66 about this.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Caucasus Georgia: Trains

Kukushka, Borjomi, Caucasus Georgia

It was in Caucasus Georgia that I first slept on a train. If you think it might be cool to lie on a bed, being gently shaken, while looking at a full moon through the window as you pass by a dark landscape, you'd be right.

I present for you some scenes from Georgian trains.

Traveling from Zugdidi to Tbilisi:

Correction for above - hey, that's not a scene from a train, it's a scene from a marshrutka. But what the hey, it shows off Georgian countryside and has a pretty song in the background. My companions and I did take a train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi (and then a marshrutka to the legendary Svaneti), and it was even an overnight train, but where the visual evidence of that might be? Somewhere in the archives. I'll hunt for it another day.

From Borjomi to Bakuriani on the kukushka:

Another leg of the Borjomi to Bakuriani trip, including whistle and bridge crossing:

My friend, Sandy, and I took the overnight train between Batumi and Tbilisi one weekend:

Train from Batumi to Tbilisi, Caucasus Georgia

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Mexico: Trains

Rail crossing, Lordsburg, New Mexico

I've been thinking about trains lately. I definitely had a relationship with trains in New Mexico. Usually a good song was playing while I waited for a train to cross or while I drove alongside a moving train.

Driving east on I-10 between Lordsburg and Deming:

Music by La Grande Sophie, Ce jour-la, from the album Des vagues et des ruisseaux.

Below is on Highway 54 between Vaughn and Carrizozo:

Music by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World.

A railroad crossing in Lordsburg:

Music by crossing signal.

On the road to Santa Fe with my mother:

Music by Cat Stevens, Miles From Nowhere.

Highway 54 train between Corona and Vaughn

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rootless Games: Geocaching

Los Angeles en San Francisco

I thought geocaching was like orienteering, something that required a compass and that I'd have to attend some sort of training for. Which was on my list of things to do one day.

It made me happy to hear the other day that geocaching pretty much just requires a smart phone, a tool I now have. And geocaching is free. Part of geocaching is leaving small trinkets behind. I'm thinking this could be a cool way to set free some of my lone earrings. 

Deer at Bosque del Apache Bosque, New Mexico

My brother said he likes geocaching because it takes him places he'd never go otherwise. This is exactly the kind of thing a rootless girl likes to do.

I've downloaded a free geocaching app onto my phone and am ready to go adventureering.

Lordsburg, New Mexico

Borjomi, Caucasus Georgia

Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Missouri: Potosi ~ formerly known as Mine au Breton

Presbyterian Cemetery, Potosi, Missouri

Potosi, Missouri, like nearby Old Mines, was established as a village by the French. It's original name was Mine au Breton.  My mother and I swung through a few days ago on a short day trip.

Presbyterian Church, Potosi, Missouri

The old Presbyterian Church in Potosi, Missouri, was established in 1832.

Presbyterian Church, Potosi, Missouri

 I like the lines of this old church.

Presbyterian Cemetery, Potosi, Missouri

The good folks over at carrollscorner offer intel about the cemetery's inhabitants here.

Log house, Potosi, Missouri

Nearby is a large log house.  It looks like there is a lot of stuff pile up inside the house, based on what can be seen from the road through the windows.

A son of Potosi, Tom Huck, memorialized his perspective of his hometown by way of woodcuts he called Two Weeks in August. Mr. Huck's memories are not as fond as the Chamber of Commerce might like.