The song that's been in my head

Edie, Andy, Suze, Richard or you? This song has really resonated with me in the last three days or so... Previously, it was a song of little significance, but the lyrics suddenly began swimming in my head. I had to hear it tonight, and actually made time to sit and listen. I didn't know more than the first line.
All at once I became fascinated with the lyrics. The words that shoot like spears to the one it is intended for, all the while, the organ smirks behind them, like a good friend. For the first time, I see Dylan in a different light. This song is so specific to his own experience, creativity or story, yet it sounds like it was written just for me, from thoughts I have dictated and feelings that have come up.


She enjoys the backyard with the hens, bunnies and the little puppy that drops by every now and then to play.  She can be found chasing butterflies with a net and bug house. Once a week I give her an empty main street, full of buildings that she finds tall and towering, as she strolls about with her dolls in a buggy. We regularly dine out at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, where we have our corner table, order the same delicious dish and listen to our favorite musician play the tunes we love.

I feel more Texan in this place. I feel more authentic. I am plugged into the ancient energy that radiates from the petroglyphs. Still, I mourn the city, the illusion of a good life. We could not afford it, we could not make it to every event, we could not have a yard filled with all the happiness we do here. Sill, I do mourn, however, less and less. But on Friday evening, hearing Perfidia performed on the piano, seeing my child singing and dancing, having completed a fufilling week at work, I could only be thankful for this opportunity.

Every morning this week, at 5:38 am, the moon shined so brightly, it was almost bothersome. The weather is changing. We  have met a real cowboy who tells us about raising goats and knows how to fix things. We heard Beto O'Rourke and the Castro brothers speak down the street from our house, shook their hands, told them what we wanted for our country and briefly spoke about single motherhood. My head is full of inspirations and projects I would like to carry out. My child doesn't want to return to the city and I have found it too far  a drive, lately.

I wish I could have heard this song {pounding the dance floor...going 100 miles an hour, the horns in my stomach, vocals blowing out my eardrums and my chest exploding} in the Wigan Casino back when the soulies danced their brains out in England. After listening to music like this, one tune after could you not be fueled for hours upon hours on end by just the beat and the lyrics from a voice singing like their life depended on it, all in, lungs, heart and soul. These are man made sounds, we can be amazing sometimes.

This song resonates.

Pho of our own

I had put all my spices in a giant stockpot to move. They arrived to their destination six hours later. The final drive to our new town was long and grueling. I put the blame on a very late start. They sat in the pot, on our new counter for three weeks. I finally took them out today to use the stockpot.

We have been melancholic lately. We miss our old city, mostly because the drive to our new school has bits and pieces that remind us of our old homes. It's like a dream where both places exist as they are. That is not the case. Beyond the round about we do not see The Thinkery, if only we did, the pond is not at Mueller, the highway isn't South 183 leading out of the city, if only we could have the best of both places in one place. 

We found alocal pho place and excitedly sat down but soon found out that MSG was used and no MSG is used at all our old pho places in the city. I sat there feeling obnoxious that we were about to just ask for a drink and not order. My child started crying and through her tears said," I miss Korea House, I miss Pho Saigon, I miss the sushi and Chinese food, I miss the Japanese place, I'm tired of Mexican food."  I wanted to cry with her. We are in a food desert and all you find here is Tex-Mex and chain restaurants. We went straight to the grocery store where I bought neck bones and oxtails and started on pho as soon as we got home.

Out came the stockpot and I finally unpacked my spices. One by one and with each glass jar in my hand I felt better and better. I reminded myself why we were here. It was not to go to restaurants but to cook for us and spend as much time together as possible. I thought of where we would be had we not moved. I would be working and she would be at daycare and there would be no pho when we got home, not until the weekend. So I kept the cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks out and started on our first pho in a new place.

As the scents fill the house and warm our space, I am no longer feeling so homesick, I start to think of how we have been together all day, enjoying our memories and missing our city but together. My sweet perfect walks into the kitchen and asks if the soup is ready, I tell her it's dinner not lunch, she tells me she is so excited about our very own pho. I know it will taste just like it did in the city. I remember those flavors so well, the images of every spice and the onions, ginger and herbs popping into my head with every spoonful. It is made patiently, not rushed, it is made with love and today we want to taste some of the past so I know we will find it in our bowls.

It's Reading Program Season

The summer of 2016 I introduced my four year old to the graphic novel El Deafo, the wonderful autobiographical account of the author Cece Bell. It was something we happened to stumble upon. After the first few pages she wanted me to read more, then every morning some more, then she couldn't wait to hop into bed to read some more. We finished it in two days and she was not happy. She wanted more, so for two years we have been reading graphic novels. Its summer 2018 and we are re-reading El Deafo , for the upteenth time... it's one of our special books.

We recently enjoyed Swing It, Sunny by siblings Jennifer and Matthew Holm. Sunny Side Up was the graphic novel we read after El Deafo. The Hildafolk series by Luke Pearson is another favorite book series that we just fell head over  heels for.  If you ask my child to dress up as her favorite book character she will bring out her Hildafolk costume and doll. A very sweet and talented friend made her an awesome Hilda doll. Now and then I find my now six year old, still chuckling about the first time the Woodman character was introduced in the first book.

Not a comic or graphic novel but another favorite book series is The Witches of Benevento by John Bemelmans Marciano and Sophie Blackall. We discovered these last year and the characters made a huge impression, inspiring the "Village Girl" costume and a strong desire to travel to Italy and know more about the country.  

We have our own copies of all these delicious books because we were constantly checking them out, renewing and getting fined for holding on to them too long. All were discovered during the library summer reading program. This is what happens when you just click with a book, so keep reading and digging through shelves and find those special titles that want to become part of a family library.

"La Santana"

Harpist Santana Perez-Avila would often perform at Breckenridge Park, under the pavilion at the Japanese Tea Garden. He would also perform around town as "La Santana".  He was my great-grandfather's brother. 

There is a recording of him performing with his a son, Juan, who played the violin for the San Antonio Symphony. I would love it if this recording had been preserved then digitized so  I could hear it. According to the book, Tell Me a Story, Sing Me a Song: A Texas Chronicle by William Owens, the harp was over 300 years old and made in Mexico. The song that was recorded by Owens was called Sobre Las Ollas/Orillas Del Agua, known to East Texas fiddlers as Over the Waves. It was of interest to Owens because it showed how Anglo fiddlers had borrowed from Spanish sheet music. They also played Jesusita en Chihuahua.

My grandfather had his cheekbones, eyes and his hands and I also have those hands. My grandfather would visit his Tio Santana when in San Antonio. Santana died of a heart attack at the age of 79, while at his home on 733 East Huisache Avenue, in San Antonio, on November 6, 1958.