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In the Beginning

The stirrings of The Calico Muse began on a working trip to Lubbock, Texas in 2019. I was flying right seat in a TurboCommander with Mission Man and had a few days of downtime to explore the ground before heading back to Fort Lauderdale. The Carlsbad Caverns were a wonder I had never seen, so we rented a car and headed southwest in the late afternoon to see what we could of New Mexico in the time we had.

Waking the next morning to the sounds of oil field workers gearing up for a week on job sites in and around Carslbad, my mind was already loosening and opening itself to the beauty I might find. The city was experiencing an oil boom and every able-bodied person west of The Mississippi River was in Carslbad to make their fortune. The air was crisp and cool; the sky, clear blue. There was work to be done but not by me. It was fabulous.

Coffee is always top of mind in the mornings and waking up in Carlsbad, I needed a cup. On the drive in the evening before, we saw what looked like a coffee shop “in the wild.” You know those off-the-beaten path kinds of places that aren’t chains? They’re filled with buttery aromas of fresh baked pastries and muffins, roasting beans and brewed coffee. Local art hangs on the wall and colorful folks sit at the tables. That would be our first stop before we headed for the Caverns. And that coffeeshop stop, set the tonefor the next 24 hours…

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