Eli Halpin ~ BLOG

Road Trip Time

Renew. Refresh. Remind. Road Trip.
It is no secret that I am a control freak.
I painted every SINGLE day for almost 2 months, because that's how I operate.  I adore painting and watching the progress of each piece move along day by day but DANG sometimes i need a break!  I guess I'm addicted to the control it sort of gives me.  I know that if I paint every single day then I know what is going to happen with my time.  Don't worry, I just reserved a book at the library called 
so maybe I can pick up some tips on how to not over work myself and go on more adventures.  I would love to go on more vacations, road trips, adventures, retreats and do an equal amount of watching and being curious rather than mostly just creating and making. I would love to work that into my life and my work ~ as a regular requirement for making paintings just like any other art supply or tool that I use.  
That is my plan. I have spent so much time the last few years getting rid of clutter, resentment, regrets, old beliefs, bad habits and debt so I can make room for new positive situations to enter. Four of my animals died recently (they were very elderly and were happy to cross over) which was sad but so fitting for the clearing I have been doing.  I want to make room for new healthy things to sprout but I have not made any definite plans for what that will be. I wanted to just make a wide open space and see what happens. I've spent so much of my life making plans and making additions and adding adding adding to my life that I finally decided that wasn't working. I want to make room for something wonderful.
I finally made enough space to just take off on a spontaneous road trip with my two sweeties, my man Michael and my big dog Cashius. We rented a house in Santa Fe for a couple of nights with no plans and just drove there. It was fantastic! I love those guys and spending time just enjoying them was great and much needed. 
 This is what we saw when we pulled up into the driveway ~
This was our front door ~
And this was the yard...
..which we couldn't walk in without getting cactus prickles in our paws.
Okay! I admit it! I had a plan! I wanted to see the cacti flowers and thought that if they were this gorgeous in Texas right now then they must be super spectacular in New Mexico, right? Wrong. At least not on the last day of May. Santa Fe was beautiful and weird and wonderful with all its adobe buildings, and I mean EVERY house and building was adobe.  If I moved there and built a little Swedish gingerbread house with lace wood trim and flower boxes with heart cutouts I think they would put me in jail.
Thank goodness we packed everything we had from the refrigerator into the cooler because there was seriously NO rest stops and barely any towns or gas stations the whole 12 hours it took us.  From the edge of Texas to Santa Fe and back to Texas again it was cactus, cactus, cow, cactus, and that's about it.  And no flowers.  I mean there were flowers on the way out of Texas but I was all like never mind those flowers! I'm going to see DIFFERENT BETTER flowers! In New Mexico!  Well this is what I found in New Mexico:
There was plenty to love in Santa Fe and I want to go back there every year.  I don't have any traditions or holidays that I celebrate so I'm ready for one. We soaked in a healing hot springs, visited the Audubon Center, ate lots of chocolate, drank tons of water and took a bunch of photos. 

I appreciate that Santa Fe took so much time to paint so many buildings pink.

We took a different route on the way back, still hoping to see some cacti flowers in New Mexico. We stopped on the side of the road to take car breaks but just like on the way there we couldn't walk anywhere, the ground was full of spikes. Until we crossed into Texas, the ground instantly softened up enough to walk on. The house we stayed at was a dream, but we couldn't walk in the yard without thorns going through our shoes and into my dogs feet.  The wind was so strong, combined with the mandatory air conditioner in the car blasting into my eyeballs that I was happy to get back to Texas with its assertive but mild winds. 
And on the way back into Texas we saw the most gorgeous flowering cacti I have ever seen.  The wild agave plants were flowering into 20 ft yellow Dr. Seuss trees.  I've seen these things in Austin where I live but not thousands of them all at once on the sides of wind sculpted mountains.  The yucca plants were blooming their white fluffy 6 ft tall flowers too, all growing in the ditches on the side of the road in groups of 20 and 50 looking lovely. And I didn't even take any photos.  Because I was still blind that I was getting what I hoped for. I just didn't see it because it didn't fit my rigid details. I wanted fields of cute little colorful cacti flowers that I had made up in my mind. I don't even know if that even exists. 
This is Texas ~

I got my dose of flowers!  Mission accomplished. 
Sometimes I just want more of something that I already have.

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