At 2:20 p.m. on Friday afternoon, my mother passed away into the next world. Her soul and spirit are now beginning a new phase in the journey that God gives all of us. As such, the rest of us in the family, in various ways, are beginning new phases in our own journeys.

ridin’ on the southwest chief (somehow sung to the tune of “city of new orleans”)

It felt like we were looking into everyone's backyard in a way, kind of seeing the reality of the lives of these people as opposed to the Disney-esque setting in which most towns and cities want to present themselves. I saw a lot of backyards that had pick-up trucks in various states of disassembly , but this authenticity made these little New Mexico towns appeal to me that much more.