It’s frigid and snowing in Santa Fe right now, but the atmosphere is really warming up. I’ve now been here for six weeks and am finding wonderful new friends, especially since the first of January. My exploration of the surroundings – places to walk, the bus route, new shops and cafes – has pretty much stopped because of the windy weather here at 7000 feet in altitude. But that has been mighty good for my writing and for tackling all of the new computer goals I’ve set out for myself. This time last year, I was living as an expat in balmy Montevideo, Uruguay, during the South American summertime. Now, here I am back in The States and slushing about in the snow. But, there are compensations.
The cute little apartment I’m renting from the Santa Fe Opera Company through March is very quiet and private and I never even see the few neighbors living here during this off-season. But, everything that they say about Santa Fe and its spiritual vibes is absolutely true. There is a different atmosphere in the air and it lives up to its description as “The City Different.” This I know, even before attending the first concert or cultural event for which Santa Fe is so deservedly famous. I will start attending such as these when the season starts, but also when the days become longer. Right now, dark still falls pretty close to 5:00 p.m. and I don’t do any night stuff yet.
But, all of a sudden, I love Tuesdays and Sundays! Suddenly, I’m a member of the long-standing Tuesday Lunch Car Table at the Santa Fe Bar & Grill, thanks to my dear friend, Fred Gamble, whom I used to date at the University of Florida. One never falls off of his Christmas Letter list, even if he has to phone your daughter to learn your current address. Fred recently wrote that I should look up Denise McCluggage, The First Lady of Racing, here in town. In the 1960’s, he and Denise were fellow international sports car racers, driving at Sebring, Le Mans, and all the famous world venues.
I did get in touch with Denise, who invited me to become a member of the Car Table, a meetup of mostly men who are fascinated with cars in any aspect. When I explained that I didn’t even have a car, that made no difference, whatsoever; and so I jumped in and found myself warmly and immediately included in their next meetup group. Denise is recovering from surgery and hasn’t been there for awhile, but just her sponsorship is proving that “It isn’t what you know; it’s who you know!”
And each week, as I take whatever seat is available when I arrive, I get to become good buddies with a whole table-full of really interesting guys. Not only are they car buffs, dropping names like Maserati, Ferrari and Rolls Royce, but they’re movers and shakers of the world too. Wow! Only in Santa Fe! Maybe Aspen!
So, that’s my Tuesday schedule now! Here’s Sunday’s: I picked up a brochure at the Santa Fe Baking Company for Sharon Cheney, Psychic Medium, (www.sharoncheney.com) because I recognized her name from the Knowledge Newsletter which I already get on the internet. When I gave her a call saying that I would like to meet the metaphysical community here, she suggested that I attend the Sunday gathering of The Celebration, a loosely-defined community which has been meeting together for twenty-four years. So, I took a taxi last Sunday; was bowled over by the energy and friendship that I felt there; then took Sharon to lunch so we could get better acquainted. It’s not a church but it is a worship service, run by the members, who take turns speaking. I’m already on the schedule for early April. It’s called The Celebration and features singalong music, candle-lighting and really happy, spiritual people. They rent space from the National Education Association for the meetings. A very happy new family that I’m happy to now be a part of.