This week’s interview is a writer from Kansas (the state where I now reside). I miss some things about New Mexico–the local cuisine, the great social support programs, and more! But Kansas has the internet access I need for work, so…here I am! But I chose to revisit New Mexico via this interview…at least by way of the first question.
Willow Croft: We’ve both been to a few of the same historical sites in New Mexico (according to one of your blog entries). Which historical site, in general, made you feel like you’ve been there before (or which most resonated with you)?
Katherine Pritchett: I felt the stories at Fort Union the most. It was probably occupied the shortest amount of time, but I felt a presence there the most, like their stories were untold or the mission unfinished. At Frijoles Canyon, I felt peace around the cliff dwellings long abandoned as though, and at Los Alamos Laboratory, I felt the weight of the history and of the future, while just a few miles away lived the old ones.
Willow Croft: I see from your blog, that you spend time watching our bird friends. If you could be any bird for a day, which would you pick?
Katherine Pritchett: I think I’d pick a cardinal. They seem to stay with me wherever I go. My sister-in-law believed they were visitors from heaven. If so, my whole family–mom, dad, Aunt Betty, my brother and sister-in-law–may be watching over me. Lord knows, I need it! But it may also be my fiance Charles Durham, my kindred soul who passed after we had only been seeing each other five months. But we lived a lifetime together in those five months, because once he was diagnosed with leukemia, we only dealt with the important things.
Willow Croft: I’m fairly new to Kansas, so I’m curious, what’s your favourite “local cuisine” dish you like to, eat, make, or have made for you? Alternatively, what local vegetables or fruits find your way onto your plate?
Katherine Pritchett: Well, I love to eat more than cook, so there are lots. My daughter and one daughter-in-law always frequent Taco Delite when they visit. It’s been a staple of Pratt for years and is consistently good and filling. I’m not that much of a cook, so I like to eat what others prepare. My youngest son is a firefighter, so he has learned to cook dishes that feed a family. My daughter in Tennessee married a great guy who cooks rich southern dishes like dump cake, and we are regulars at a Thai restaurant there. My oldest son served in the Army and married a Canadian woman he met in Vietnam. They cook a lot of fusion cuisine. Now the whole family cooks and shares recipes and cooking tips. When we are all together, which is at least once a year, more if we can swing it, each family cooks a meal. Curiously, all my best friends are also good cooks…
Willow Croft: What’s the oddest thing your pet (or pets) have done?
Katherine Pritchett: What haven’t they done? The horse I had from the time she was about 10 minutes old took up jumping fences when she was 28 years old, starting with her first encounter with an electric fence. She decided that little wire couldn’t hold her, but a few seconds after walking into it, she felt a zap. She spun around and stared at it a couple of minutes, then took two more strides back and cleared it. She later jumped a woven wire fence the same height. But when she cleared the fences, she put herself in her stall. Her mother just looked at her as if to say, “Fool!” and resumed eating grass.
A cat I had set the couch on fire trying to catch a moth. The moth was fluttering around a lamp, she attacked it and knocked the lamp over. The lampshade fell off and the bulb sat against the foam cushion until it began to smolder. Another cat follows us on our walks. I believe she thinks she is security, our own secret service detail. Sometimes I think I see her putting a paw to her ear to hear the ear bud.
They all have unique personalities. I guess I communicate with animals well because they were pretty much my only playmates when I was little. I remember sitting under the honeysuckle vines with the mama barn cats. They would nap while I cuddled their kittens. When I walked home from school, all the loose dogs in town would follow me. Now I know all the neighborhood cats and dogs by name and history. Don’t always remember the names of their humans.
Willow Croft: Your books on Amazon are crime/mystery/suspense in genre(s). Have you ever encountered a real-life mystery or true crime that fascinated you and which you wish you could solve? (Well, aside from the “missing” sandwich case you mentioned on your blog that involved a dastardly canine culprit!)
Katherine Pritchett: What the River Knows was inspired by a murder that occurred in Hutchinson, Kansas, over 40 years ago. A suspect has never been arrested. Dennis Rader, Ted Bundy and other serial killers deny killing her. Yet every time I cross the Arkansas River bridge south of Hutchinson, I remember her. I couldn’t bring her justice in real life, but tried to do so in the book. The detective in that book is in the process of getting involved in another mystery now, one that may land him in hot water. Or worse.
And there is the constant mystery of where I left my glasses. Or phone. Or coffee cup.
Maybe you can help Katherine Pritchett find her missing items at one of her social media sites! Here’s the links–pay her a visit if you’d like! She’s also on Amazon, but this weird inset window pops up when I try to put in the link, so you’ll just have to do a search over there for her.