The Journey – Day Nineteen

Posted On: October 23, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017


The Secret of the Book Cover


Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace

Julius Apus, Wayne Hill’s partner, took the photo that graces the cover of my book. Last February, Julius took a sunrise walk through their neighborhood when he captured this scene.


On my last two nights in Santa Fe, I stayed in Wayne and Julius’s spare bedroom. So . . . on this Saturday morning with a temperature of 41o F (5o Celsius), I took a sunrise walk myself, intent on retracing Julius’s steps and finding this horticultural specimen that’s on my book cover.





Fernbush, or sweet grass

Within minutes I found it. The plant is known as  fernbush or desert sweet, for its fragrant white flowers that bloom in the summer. As you can see, the fernbush in early October bears little resemblance to its appearance following the light overnight snowfall eight months earlier.





So that’s the secret of the book cover. And, once again, thank you Julius for your sparkling photograph!





Our “Peak” Experience – Santa Fe Ski Basin


The chair lift at Santa Fe Ski Basin

Saturday’s expedition took us up 20+ miles of twists, turns and switchbacks on Highway 475 into the mountains northeast of Santa Fe. Our destination was the chair lift at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.



Wayne Hill made sure our Saipanese visitors—Ping and Lino—were well-dressed in gloves, toques and extra sweaters for the expected cold at the top.

Wayne Hill, Lino Olopai and Ping Limes on the chair lift to the peak





But on an unseasonably warm day at the peak, Ping and Lino doffed their toques and enjoyed the sunshine.

Tom with Ping (front), Lino (behind) and former Oleai neighbors, Bev and Ralph Chumbley












While our reunion days together were filled with many high points, our final day on Aspen Peak at the top of the chair lift was certainly the topographic high point.

Ping, Wayne Hill, Teresa Maebori and Ralph Chumbley