Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Doña Anas blow, it’s prime time to go fly a kite

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — I opened the garage door during high winds and was attacked by an eagle, a giant fish, a Navy jet and a ship with red and black sails.
It was my kite collection, jumping off their hooks, wagging their tails, raring to fly.
I can sympathize. This is the time of year when a young man’s fancy allegedly turns to spring thoughts of love. Many of us are just ready for winter to be over.
Even here in high desert country, where the February snow that finally frosted my backyard was bracketed between two 70 degree days and only lasted from about 2 to 3 a.m. If my ancient Michigan snow-alert genes had not activated and awoken me, I would have entirely missed the big blizzard of ’08.
I feel embarrassed even mentioning it to anyone but my Florida relatives.
Loved ones in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest tell me sad tales of being snowed in for days, in an inaccessible Iowa cabin the snow plows can’t reach, or e-mail photos of a blue VW almost totally buried in the icy Idaho drifts.
Here, all we have to contend with are the blustery Doña Anas, but that’s enough. They may seem refreshing at first, especially since we know they are the dues we must pay for full-tilt spring. But it doesn’t take long to wear us down. We go from being delicately air-brushed to feeling brutally sand-blasted.
We go out to investigate the state of the yard and notice the peeling paint we should do something about, the cracks in the stucco and adobe.
Then there are the piles of debris, organic and manmade, all democratically windblown into my previously neat little courtyard. It’s mostly yucca and evergreens, red rock and bark mulch. There’s nothing much to shed or blow away.
Maybe it’s a matter of balance. I don’t know if it’s true that nature abhors a vacuum, but nature in my neighborhood seems inclined to vacuum up everybody else’s leaves, twigs, leftover Halloween candy, Styrofoam and plastic and airlift it into my yard.
I’ve already done one autumn run with the leaf blower and was saving the next blitz for the end of the worst siege of Doña Anas. But when will that be? Quién sabe? Who knows?
No, I should probably stay indoors, build bookcases to replace the ones that collapsed and organize the closets and throw things away. Then I would finally have room to stash away those holiday and birthday gifts and display the For the Love of Art Month purchases I swore I would not make this year.
But after watching dozens of happy ladies in red and purple doing the can-can and forming a conga line to dance through Hotel Encanto, I found I did not feel guilty at all about lingering with a friend over Sunday brunch and cool jazz at the wonderful new incarnation of Meson de Mesilla.
When I got home, I contemplated spring cleaning, but decided the eagle, fish, jet and ship have the right idea.
Maybe I should just go with the air flow. I think I’ll go fly some kites.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at

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