Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Week in the Desert

Three weeks away from home.  One week in the mountains, one in the desert, and one in a sea of Unitarian Universalists.

The Husband was with us for the first week of this journey, then returned home to support this family in our 4 child, 1 seminary lifestyle.  Can we get a quick round of applause for those partners who willingly accept the job of breadwinning?

This will probably the last opportunity we have for such a trek.  Next summer, good Lord willin', I will be doing my CPE.  Summer after that, the boy will be 16, and ready for a summer job.  Our three weeks was four for him, as we put him on a plane the week previous, to spend a week alone with his grandparents.  A gift to all of them.  

After our trip to the mountains, we returned to my parents' home in the desert.  The Husband and I got up early Sunday morning so he could get a good New Mexican breakfast in his tummy before hopping a plane home.

A few tears later (hey, we've never been apart for two whole weeks before), I returned home.  Pops was in the kitchen, as he would be every morning of our week there, cutting up fresh fruit and flipping hotcakes for his grandchillen.  He undershot on the hotcakes.  He is used to cooking for two 80 year olds (79 1/2, Mama Lizard Eater would hasten to correct), whom I contend only eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays if left to their own devices.

He decided that next time, he needs to quadruple whatever he thinks he needs.

Each day of the week we were there began the same way -- Pops in the kitchen, and four children tumbling out of bed:  "What do we get for breakfast today?"  Dinner was Bubbe in the kitchen, fresh vegetables and tasty nutritious meals.  My children began eyeing me with suspicion.  I don't think they'll continue to believe that the president has called for all home kitchens to be closed this summer.

We had a fun, fairly relaxing week.  Enjoying the cool dry air, reading, relaxing, talking politics, religion, family, life.  The kids and I visited a wildlife refuge and did some touristy stuff in Old Town Albuquerque.  And I got the supreme pleasure of lunch with one of my heroes, the Rev. iMinister, whom I've now known for ... wow, 4 years.   She's been a friend, long-distance mentor, and endless source of inspiration.  I unabashedly podcast-stalk her.  (By the way, if you want to hear/read an excellent, nuanced, educated, sermon on this whole immigration thing, go here.)   And it all began with blogging, when she reached out to a terrified cancer mama.  Don't tell me what we do online isn't important.  I will testify with passion for the opposition.

The week had its surprises, too.  My parents have one cactus that only blooms one day, once a year.  But what a blooming.

And one surprise, that for me, was not so pleasant.  I opened the front door and nearly stepped on this:

Being a mature seminarian and mother of four, I exemplified Non-Anxious Presence.  If, by non-anxious presence, you mean slamming the front door, screaming, and jumping up and down as if I'd been attacked.

(Try that the next time you're in a contentious congregational meeting.)

The children, Pops, and I went around the other direction to view Snakey in such a way that he didn't have the opportunity to enter the house.  Yes, he looks like a rattlesnake, Pops explained, but you can tell that he's a helpful Bullsnake by the shape of his head and the point of his tail.

Yes, next time I will hold open the front door and calmly examine those two ends to ascertain snake-type.

Part of the reason Snakey was at the front door is because it's so dry this year, snakes are constantly trying to get inside.  And part of the reason is because my mother leaves a bowl of water near the front door.

Okay, Mom.  A tree frog I can kind of understand.  But leaving water for the snakes?  Really.  It's time to get a dog.

Mama Lizard Eater, or "Bubbe."  You may note a family resemblance.


Masasa said...

I was born in NM. What memories this post brings :-). Yea! Sounds like a very good time.

ms. kitty said...

Delicious, LE, thanks!