The night­mare is nearly over

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Dar­lings, Just think, it’s al­most over. By early Wed­nes­day morn­ing, we’ll know who our next POTUS is. Fi­nally. And then, Dear­est Read­ers, that lucky per­son’s four or eight years of ac­cel­er­ated ag­ing be­gins. I’m re­minded of an old car­toon from The New Yorker, which de­picts a young boy sit­ting on a high stool wear­ing a dunce cap, and his face is to the wall. His mother is stand­ing over him with her arms crossed. His fa­ther is stand­ing at the door with a per­plexed look on his face. The cap­tion reads, “Can you be­lieve it? Lit­tle Johnny said he wants to grow up to be pres­i­dent of the United States some­day!” That car­toon was years ago. I think the job has be­come even more thank­less to­day. But here’s the bright spot: the cam­paign is over! Sugar Pops, I sup­pose the real fight­ing will be­gin soon enough. Sigh. Are we tired yet??

I say it’s time to take a breath and turn our at­ten­tion to more lo­cal con­cerns, such as what will hap­pen to Santa Fe Bite now that Gar­rett’s Desert Inn is owned by the State Land Of­fice. Cur­rent leases should keep the Bite in place at least through Oc­to­ber 2017, said the owner, Bon­nie Eckre, in a re­cent ar­ti­cle in the Al­bu­querque Jour­nal. So eat up, Honey Buns, as we may not know where our next ham­burger is com­ing from. In that same ar­ti­cle, the Jour­nal re­ported that “The Land Of­fice plans towork­with the city govern­ment and oth­ers on a plan for the prop­erty.” Oh, my. Gummy Bears, does that sound like a headache to you??

Well, as Scar­lett O’Hara ut­tered when things were too un­set­tling for her, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that to­mor­row... af­ter all, to­mor­row is another day.” Yes. Cream­puffs, please let’s think pleas­ant thoughts for to­day. I’ll start first.

Close your eyes and imag­ine Chris Haynes (Sotheby’s) on his birth­day (Oct. 15). Now, imag­ine what would be heaven for hi­mand think of the fa­mousWiener Staat­soper, the Vi­enna State Opera, lo­cated in the cen­tre of Vi­enna with a long his­tory dat­ing back to the mid-19th cen­tury. (Uh­huh, Dumplings, older than Chris him­self.) Now, Kit­tens, see a plush box seat in the VIP sec­tion of the Staat­soper, and there you’ll find him, en­tranced and think­ing he’s in heaven while watch­ing Mozart’s “The Mar­riage of Fi­garo.” Vi­enna, his first but not last trip there. One­week of drink­ing in the mu­sic, the art, the ar­chi­tec­ture, the Lip­iz­zan horses, and drink­ing and eating, of course. Schiele, Bruegel, Klimt, Cranach, Mozart, Mahler, Strauss... plus schnitzels and strudels. (No vi­enna sausages for this birth­day boy.)

Next, let’s imag­ine Pat and Michael French is­land-hop­ping, vis­it­ing shrines and gar­dens and feast­ing their eyes on ex­quis­ite art while vis­it­ing Ja­pan last month. Sweet­hearts, this pair loves trekking around that part of the world. They travel light (Pat told me they al­low them­selves one carry-on and a mod­est back­pack each), and pre­fer delv­ing into the his­tory and cul­ture of the area rather than get­ting spa treat­ments and room ser­vice at five-star hotels. Pu­glets, give them a bentō box and an an­cient trail, and they’re off for the day. Even in that soli­tude, though, what do youwant to bet that they both have note­books so Michael can jot down his ideas for an up­com­ing novel, and Pat can­make notes about a new­pro­ject she’s dream­ing up? So much for a quiet mind, Cup­cakes. (Be still, my brain, that’s their med­i­ta­tion mantra.)

Pump­kins, here’s some­thing to quiet your mind while si­mul­ta­ne­ously piquing your cu­rios­ity (is that sort of like multi-task­ing?) with­out ever hav­ing to leave Santa Fe. Stay home, curl up in an easy chair in front a crack­ling fire (cold weather per­mit­ting), and en­joy “Dou­glas Atwill Houses,” the lat­est book by Dou­glas Atwill, de­signer/ builder, artist, writer, and greatly ad­mired hu­man be­ing by his clients and friends (not nec­es­sar­ily in that or­der). In writ­ing about the 59 houses that he’s re­mod­eled and/or built over the last 45 years, Doug gives us a glimpse into his own life, his loves (both peo­ple and houses), and an af­fec­tion­ate look at the Santa Fewe all love. If I were asked to de­scribe this book in one short sen­tence, I guess I’d say it is an en­chant­ing mem­oir told by the au­thor through the his­tory of houses that he him­self has in­hab­ited. You can get the book through Ama­zon, or bet­ter yet, stop in Col­lect­edWorks and ask the owner, Dorothy Massey, for it. (Ba­bies, I al­ways think it’s best to put off im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion for a few min­utes in or­der to sup­port our lo­cal busi­nesses, don’t you?)

Crum­b­cakes, my snip­pets of light­hearted news won’t be ap­pear­ing in next month’s Home/Real Es­tate Guide, be­cause I’m out of tech­nol­ogy range for the last two weeks of Novem­ber. In the mean­time, I wish you the best of hol­i­days and leave you to­day with my Christ­mas Story. Last Fe­bru­ary, in the dol­drums of a dark win­ter, Rox­anne (my dar­ling dog) died. With her, I died a lit­tle bit, too, and I was left won­der­ing if my heart could with­stand another break. Just when I was about to de­cide that it could not, some friends from Ok­la­homa City in­sisted that I take a dog­whose owner had also died.

Reluc­tantly, I picked the dog up and cried most of the way to Santa Fe, while she (the dog) kept her eyes glued to the road, wor­ry­ing that I might have a wreck and all the time won­der­ing where the hell she was go­ing. To­day, my heart is healed and spilling over with love for this girl, Coco Chanel, an eight-year-old stan­dard poo­dle, who is smarter and pret­tier than I am, butwho lovesme any­way. Af­ter all, why wouldn’t she? I take her ev­ery­where, feed her when­ever she’s hun­gry, let her sleep on my bed, and spend an in­or­di­nate amount of time each day com­ing up with newideas to en­ter­tain her. (Like I said, she’s smart, and she gets bored if she just sits around). Pup­pies, it’s funny, isn’t it, how a dog can break your heart, and then another one can come along and put it to­gether again? Is that lucky, or what? So long, Sweet­peas. Un­til next time... Oak­ley

OAK­LEY TALBOTT

The beau­ti­ful, the bril­liant…the spoiled…Coco Chanel

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