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The Door~Part 2

25 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

If you recall, back on December 13, 2015, I wrote a post about “The Door.” I began that post with:

Many years ago, I came upon something my Father had saved. It was an ‘etching’ of an ancient doorway, with lantern overhead to light the way. There was a description attached to it, explaining where and what the door was all about. Somehow, I have misplaced that etching – every once in a while I come across it, but can’t seem to find it when I’m looking for it.

As I recall, that door was somewhere in the ruins of an English castle or cathedral….”

Well, I am pleased to say – that I have found that “etching” and here it is.

 

 

As you will see, it really isn’t anything like the one we saw in Rothenburg, Germany – and no lantern overhead.

 

 

And rather than being in England, it is German – and from the Heidelberg castle. I wish I had known that when we lived those three years in Heidelberg! We walked through that lovely castle so many times, but never found this door – nor did we know it was there.

 

The title on the back of this etching is : The Doorway of Memories, and the subtitle is “From an Original Etching by Paul Geissler [1881-1965].” That’s a surprise, because we have several etchings by Paul Geissler – usually of Rothenburg.

 

 

While lengthy, I would like to present you with the description given with his “door” etching, as I find it quite interesting:

“One may well look down the vista of centuries in viewing this beautiful old ivy colored doorway. For it is part of the famed castle of Heidelberg which was first built more than six hundred years ago [now over eight hundred years ago].

Mounting guard over the picturesque German town of that name, the grim battlements are located on the high promontory of Jettenbuhl. The castle is now mostly in ruins, and presents an interesting study in architectural trends down through the ages. Originally erected through the effort of Rupert III, the building was constantly expanded as each new monarch took over the reins of government. Otto Henry, ‘The Magnanimous,’ built an important wing in 1556, while yet another was added under Frederick IV in 1601-1607.

It was from Old Heidelberg that the leading German princes of their day sallied forth on journeys of peace and conquest. Possibly on the very steps pictured by the etcher did the fair ladies of the court stand to wave a last farewell to their loved ones as the knights rode down the rocky trail. Those steps so worn with years of use, have now remained idle and dust-covered. Only the shades of those who departed centuries past still hover around the deserted castle and make this in truth ‘The Doorway of Memories.’

The etcher has accurately caught the spirit of antiquity that haunts the place. The proud coat of arms appears above the door, and the lions, ever a symbol of royalty, guard each side of the arch. Rich with lore, rich with romantic associations, here is indeed a subject which stimulates the etcher’s pen with inspiration.”

 

So that’s the story of “the door” that has fascinated me for so many years. Not at all what I remember about it, but wonderful, all the same. I hope you enjoy it, as well.

 

 

Father’s Day 2017

18 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

JUDY

 

 

 Another Father’s Day dawns this morning. As someone recently said, it’s such a pity that in today’s world of TV and comedy, fathers are portrayed as clueless and laughable. How are our boys and young men going to grow up to be the strong men of God that we want them to be, when that is their example? I am so glad that my father, my brother, and my husband grew up in times when men were, indeed, strong men of God, and spiritual leaders in their household.

And how are our girls and young women going to grow up, thinking that all the boys/men in their lives are luckless creatures – only to be tolerated? In watching the TV programs that are out there now – unfortunately including some of the current Disney programs – adults in general, and men in particular – are portrayed as stupid and ignorant, while their teenagers – and younger – are the “smart” ones. It just ain’t so, folks!

And since that was a rather depressing way to begin this post, let me get back to the men in my life who were strong believers in God and Jesus Christ, and were able to be strong, safe, places for me.

Let me tell you about my own father.

 

 

I’ve written other posts about my father (June 16, 2013; June 15, 2014; September 28, 2014; February 5, 2017) and the influence he had in my life. He was gone quite a bit – traveling around the state – but I always knew he loved me, and I looked up to him.

 

 

He was, indeed, the spiritual leader in our household.   He always took us to church with him, and our family life revolved around church and our belief in God.

 

 

Fred’s father – a second father to me after Fred and I married – was dedicated to God and His work in this world.

 

 

He was a pastor for a while, but then most of his life was doing God’s work as a military chaplain. And yet, with all that work, he was devoted to his family. He, too, was the spiritual leader in his family.

 

 

Fred and I both look back on our lives, and are so grateful that each of our fathers-in-law treated us like their son or daughter. I never felt out of place in Fred’s family, and Fred has said so many times that my father enjoyed him as if he were another son of his. We were so blest to have that in our lives.

 

And because of that, Fred grew up in a household that showered him with love – family love and God’s love. He grew to be a self-assured man that I am proud to call my husband. He taught our girls what a true man – a gentleman – is like, and what they should expect from their spouses.

 

And my brother, Bill, grew up in a household that taught him how to be a true man of God, as well. He gave his children God’s word, and the strength to be what God wants them to be.

 

Both of our girls have married men who are strong personalities, and are dedicated to the Lord. We pray for each member of their families, as they begin to have families of their own.

 

8

 

7

 

There is a scripture that helps with this:

Start children off on the way they should go,

and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 15

11 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

More random memories of New Mexico.

 

I have found some old newspaper clippings that my mother sent to us many years ago, about Albuquerque. And they reminded me of some of my growing-up years there.

I remember going downtown – especially from our church, which was very near downtown. It was located on the corner of Broadway and Central, directly across Broadway from the old Albuquerque High School. That High School was later relocated to another part of town, and the building sat vacant for many years. It was later totally gutted and turned into condominiums. It’s apparently quite “the place” to live in near downtown Albuquerque.

 

The old Albuquerque High School credit Google Search

 

However, back to going downtown from my church….

 

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque credit Google Search

 

It was a quick walk from the church. But to do so, you had to walk under the railroad tracks – and it was very deep ravine to walk through. It was also known by the locals as “the underpass.” I remember that, whenever there was a flash flood, or severe downpour (yes, we DO get those in semi-desert New Mexico), that ravine would flood, and cars were unable to pass through it.

One of the newspaper clippings mother sent is here. The car in the foreground is about to go into the underpass – you can see the “slant” to the road.

 

 

That’s the famous Route 66 you are looking down. Better known as Central Avenue in town. I love the old cars and buses. I remember the YMCA building there on the right. And remember my post about the old movie theaters in town? (Please see my post for May 7, 2017)   I mentioned the Sunshine Theater – and there it is on the left in this picture. I have scanned the picture, and “enhanced” it, so it is more easily recognizable.

I remember always liking the old railroad station there – just on the other side of the ravine and the railroad tracks. It was actually not just a station, but also a hotel. It was the Alvarado station, and here is an old “picture” of it.

 

Credit Google Search

 

Credit Google Search

 

And now a picture of the new station.

 

Rail and bus station Credit Google Search

 

The old one burned down in the 1970’s, and the new one was built to resemble the old one. It is in keeping with the pueblo style of architecture.

This other newspaper clipping is of the original Monte Vista Fire Station. I remember when it actually was a fire station. A new fire station has been built elsewhere, and the old one has been turned into a restaurant. It, too, is in keeping with the pueblo style architecture.

 

 

Fred and I have had a meal or two at this restaurant, and it’s quite good. While the fire station is located near what is called Nob Hill, it is not very far from the house where I grew up. And my elementary school was called Monte Vista Elementary School. So it was all quite close. And if you will see my post of May 7, 2017, you will see I mentioned the Lobo movie theater. This fire station restaurant is quite close to the Lobo theater.

 

Oh my, these are such fun memories for me!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 14

4 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Back to more random memories of New Mexico.

I’ve never really been that interested in snow skiing. I’ve always enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics and all the events involving snow – skiing, snowboarding, etc. I admire those who enjoy it….but it’s just not for me.

Part of the reason is that it was always a more expensive sport than I had the money to participate in. And I’m not really very much of a dare-devil, so all that downhill skiing – straight down a mountain!! – left my stomach in knots just thinking about it!

But New Mexico was put on the map with all the advertisements about snow skiing in Taos.

 

Credit Google Search and Powderhounds

 

That was just the “place to be” if you wanted to ski. But in spite of that, I had heard many people say that, the best kept secret was that the skiing in the mountains outside Albuquerque were some of the very best!!

Fred and I recently went on a two-week driving trip, and in one of the spots where we stayed, I picked up a magazine called Ski New Mexico True. In looking through this magazine, I see that those who create the magazine have listed nearly every skiing resort in the state. The pictures are gorgeous! And they make it very inviting – to those who enjoy that sport. They mention Taos Ski Valley. Also Angel Fire Resort, Red River,

 

Credit Google Search and Red River

 

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, Sipapu Ski Resort, Ski Apache, Ruidoso,

 

Credit Google Search

 

Ski Santa Fe,

 

Credit Google Search and Kyle Webb

 

and finally….Sandia Peak in Albuquerque.

 

Credit Google Search

 

 

They list a lot of both summer and winter events to tweak ones interest. I found it to be a most interesting magazine.

Unfortunately, one of the main reasons I never got into snow skiing was not a happy one. When I was in my young teens, I was in the process of preparing my mouth/teeth to have braces to straighten out my teeth. In order to do so, I needed to have four of my permanent teeth removed. In case you’ve ever “counted” your teeth, you have four “sets” of bicuspid teeth – two on each side, top and bottom. They are the smaller teeth right behind your canine teeth, but before you get to the molars. Well, one of each “set” had to come out, to make room for all the teeth to line up properly.

There was a new dentist in town – probably fresh out of dental school. He was what I would call a “dreamboat” back in that day, and, of course, I was madly in love with him! And that happened even if he was hurting me by pulling out those teeth!

Teeth were all pulled…and I was healing well enough to start having the braces applied to my teeth. Mother told me that this wonderful dentist had gone skiing one weekend, but had fallen and broken his leg. Ouch! That hurt! As it turned out, the day before he was to be released from the hospital, he developed a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his heart – and he died!!

As you might imagine – my first thought was….I’M NEVER GOING SKIING!! And I never did.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Memories

28 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Tomorrow is Memorial Day 2017.

Credit Google Search and Time Magazine

I know I’ve mentioned before that I am fiercely patriotic about my country. I’ve had the great privilege of being born and growing up in the United States of America.   I’ve also had the privilege of living in another country. It was such a lesson to see how other countries view the U.S.

My brother, Bill, enlisted in the Navy right out of high school. I remember a time when he was shipped overseas, and I became afraid for him. But he came home, safe and sound.

And then I met the man who would become my husband – and the love of my life. Fred’s father was a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. And even though I became more interested in the military at that point – because of Fred’s Dad – it wasn’t until Fred joined the U.S. Air Force himself that my interest became intense. I had not ever really envisioned what military life was all about.

I’ve seen advertisements for t-shirts that state that the military person was one who, at some point in their lives, signed a blank check to the U.S. Government, up to and including their lives.

And that brings us to Memorial Day. I’ve not had a family member die in battle. My heart cries for those who have had that happen. But I do have a family history of military service.

My Dad – I didn’t know for quite a few years, that my Dad served with the U.S. Army in World War 1. He was in the medical corps, and served in France.

 

 

My brother served in the U.S. Navy – active duty for four years, then more in the reserves. He was stationed on board ships in the Mediterranean and in Japan.

 

Navy

Bill Lites

 

My husband served for over 22 years in the U.S. Air Force as a meteorologist. He served in six states and twice in West Germany.

 

 

My father-in-law served in the U.S. Army – later in the U.S. Air Force – for over 28 years as a Chaplain. He served all over the world. In 1943 he was wounded in the invasion of Sicily, by shrapnel from a German mortar. He carried the quarter-size piece of shrapnel in his body, too near his heart to be removed, for over 66 years.

 

 

My brother-in-law – Fred’s brother – served in the U.S. Air Force as a Chaplain for 20 years.

 

 

All-in-all, that adds up to nearly 80 years of service to this country by my family members. And it was all done voluntarily.

All of these men are veterans. And that marks the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives defending this country. They are the ones who, when they signed that blank check to the U.S. Government, actually gave up their lives for freedom.

And that’s the crux of this:   it is our military that has given us our freedom – not the politicians in Washington D.C. As a matter of fact, I think that service in our nation’s military should be a prerequisite for holding government office.

I would like to honor the memory of all those who have died for the cause of freedom. Outside of the cause for Christ….there is no other greater.

 

 

 

Credit Google Search and clipart panda

 

May God 🇺🇸 bless America!

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 13

21 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

More random memories of New Mexico:

 

In previous musings, I’ve written about Sandia Crest, on the East side of Albuquerque.

 

Sandia mountains, East of Albuquerque

 

Albuquerque is in the “valley” between two sets of mountains. (Please revisit my post of February 15 2015 about The Crest) The Sandia’s, to the East, are the tallest, while the ones to the West, are more volcanic. There are essentially two ways to get to Sandia Crest: drive, or take the Tram. My post of February 15, 2015 tells more about the tramway.

Occasionally, on a family outing, we would drive from our house up to the Crest. As mentioned before, the Crest tops out at 10,678 feet above sea level. And since it is that high, it is COLD up there – even in the middle of summer!!

 

 

At the top, one will find the usual gift shop (tourist trap as we like to call them), but they have some delightful New Mexico items to purchase. Also at the top are several microwave towers, as well as observation stations. If one cares to look – especially during the daylight hours – the entirety of Albuquerque can be seen from any of those observation points – probably 100 miles! It truly is a magnificent view!

Driving up to the Crest was an adventure in itself. At the time I lived in Albuquerque, there was just a two-lane road going up, with a lot of twists and turns – we called them “bobby pin” turns, or hair pin turns. But I suppose that was the best way to build the road to make the grade up that tall mountain do-able. It’s been many years since we made the jaunt up, so I’m not sure how the road is, at this point.

After Fred and I married and moved away from New Mexico, my parents kept talking about this neat all-you-can-eat-fish/chicken restaurant on the way up to the Crest. It was called Bella Vista (beautiful view), and it did have a magnificent view. It was such a popular eatery, that they just kept expanding and expanding, until they could seat approximately 500 people! Busy place! And the food was terrific! Of course, it was all fried fish or chicken, but that was okay back in that day. Unfortunately, the original owners of the restaurant either died or retired, and their children took over. The children turned it into a sports bar – which didn’t go over very well with the usual clientele, and the business folded. We were sorry to see it go.

 

Credit Google Search

 

As for driving up/down the mountain, I remember the time after my Mother died. Fred and I had flown to Albuquerque for the funeral, along with my brother, Bill and his wife, DiVoran. Our oldest daughter, Karen, and her husband, Brian, had made a driving trip from South Carolina, as well. We wanted to introduce Karen and Brian to Bella Vista, so we all made one “last” supper visit to Bella Vista, before heading back to our respective homes. By the time we had finished eating, it was beginning to get dark outside. Fred was driving the four of us, with Karen and Brian following us in their car, down the mountain. Fred, not being too familiar with the rental car, was trying to find the head light switch, while driving. At one point, he either hit or turned a button, and all the car lights went out. We all said “NO!” and he turned the switch back on quickly. Karen later told us that they both yelled “NO!” at the same time! There was just too much darkness to be driving down that mountain without head lights!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Memories of New Mexico~Part 12

14 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

One of my fondest memories is of the old KiMo Theater (we pronounced it kee’-mo) in downtown Albuquerque. According to Google Search, it was built in 1927, and opened on September 19 of that year.

 

Credit Google Search and Daniel Schwen photographer

 

U.S. Route 66 was Central Avenue through Albuquerque, east to west, the main street through town. The KiMo Theater, located on Central Avenue, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties (credit Wikipedia).

 

Credit Google Search and On The Road with Jim and Mary

 

The KiMo Theater began to fall into disrepair after a stage fire in the early 1960’s, and the “exodus” of much of the downtown. The Theater was scheduled for demolition, but the city of Albuquerque bought the KiMo building in 1977, and restored it to its original glory. It is considered to be Pueblo Deco architecture style, which combines the Indian cultures of the Southwest with the flavor of Art Deco.

 

 

“The colorful Kimo building in downtown Albuquerque, done inside and out in Indian motif, is of interest to all new-comers.” Theatre Posts Credit Google search

According to Wikipedia, The word KiMo translated means “Mountain Lion” in the Tewa language. This word is also loosely translated to mean “king of its kind”….Due to the use of the name outside it’s native Tiwa culture, it is now a ‘dead’ word and is no longer used by native speakers.

I remember being fascinated by all the Indian symbols around the theater. The decorations were absolutely unique, and different from any other movie theater in town. I spent many movie hours in that theater.

 

Credit Google Search and Mark Bayes Photography

Credit Google Search and Alamy

Credit Google Search and Mygola

Credit Google Search and Trip Advisor

Credit Google Search and The wanderer.net

Credit Google Search and Getty Images

Credit Google Search

Credit Google Search and Trips Into History

Credit Google Search and Alamy

 

Although I don’t remember any mention of the theater being haunted, apparently KiMo has that reputation. Again, according to Wikipedia:

 For decades the KiMo has housed the spirit of a restless child. In August of 1951 a 6-year-old boy, Robert “Bobby” Darnall was attending a screening of an Abbott and Costello movie at the KiMo with his parents.

 Bobby was sitting in the balcony with friends when something on the screen frightened him. He ran down the stairwell just as a water heater or boiler in the basement under the lobby’s food concession counter exploded.

 More than a dozen people were injured in this accident. Bobby was rushed to a hospital but died en route.

 After his death his ghost returned to the KiMo theater. Bobby’s spirit quickly gained a reputation for impish behavior.

The KiMo Theater was beautifully restored in September, 2000 and is now a prime venue for concerts, civic events, and the performing arts. The theater’s resurgence represents the city’s recent upturn with new development and stores popping up throughout downtown. (Credit Cinema Treasures)

There has been a resurgence of “downtown” in many cities in recent years, and I’m glad to see it. Albuquerque wasn’t too large when I was young, and cruising “downtown” was one of our favorite things to do. It was especially fun at night – we would drive to the sand mesa to the west of town, turn around and drive slowly back to town, admiring the city lights all the time.

I was also in the Rainbow Girls organization, and our meetings were held in the Masonic Lodge, also located on Central Avenue, not far from the KiMo Theater.

 

 

I learned many years later that the Lodge had also been destroyed by fire. There was a lot of my history in downtown Albuquerque.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 11

7 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 More Random memories of New Mexico…

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico from the time I was nearly four years old, until Fred and I married, and we moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

There were several movie theaters in town – surprising for a town the size of Albuquerque at that time. I remember the nearest one to me was the Lobo Theater – it was also close to the University of New Mexico (UNM), and their mascot is the lobo, so it was probably named for that. After closing in 2000, it was purchased by a church.

 

Credit to Google search – The Lobo Theater in 1938 photo courtesy of Dom Otero

Here’s a story I gleaned from Google Search:

Ms. Blanche Hatton, as the family story goes, was the manager of the Lobo. For about four decades.

Miss Hatton was closing the Lobo late one night (she was alone in the theater) when, with the “petty cash box” in hand, she was met with an armed intruder in the Lobo lobby.

“Give me the cash!” the robber demanded.

“You want the cash?” Miss Hatton asked. “Here,” she said, “take it!”

Miss Hatton hurled the cash box at the intruder. The weight of the contents of the box was sufficient to knock the pathetic, hapless robber unconscious. When the cops arrived, the bad guy was arrested, and Miss Hatton deposited the receipts early the next morning. By the way, she was close to eighty years old when she took out the punk who was 60 years her junior.

 

There was also the Hiland Theater. It was more “uptown” and closer to my high school, which was Highland High School. Seems like I remember going to movies there quite a bit in my high school years.

 

Credit Google Search

 

And there was the Sunshine Theater, which was right downtown. Downtown’s main street was Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66. Yep, right through the middle of Albuquerque was U.S. Route 66. We really enjoyed when the song came out – I Got My Kicks on Route 66. It felt like we were part of history, or something.

 

Credit Google Search and Joe Vogel

 

The Sunshine was opened on May 1, 1924, and was Albuquerque’s first big movie palace. By the looks of those cars, this photo was taken about that time.

Another theater where I spent a lot of time, was the State movie theater. I’m not even sure this theater is still in existence. One comment I found said there was some water damage to the floor of the building and it was closed temporarily, some time ago. But it was a nice building when I was young, and a great place to spend an afternoon at the movies.

 

Credit Google Search and Don Lewis

 

Next time I’ll talk about one more movie theater – and one of my favorites in Albuquerque, so…..stay tuned!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 10

30 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 More random memories….

 

I remember going to what is called “Old Town” in downtown Albuquerque. It will always hold a special place in my heart. It has become quite a tourist attraction.

 

Credit Google Search

The official website states:

Centered around the plaza, Albuquerque’s Old Town encompasses about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings.

 

Just to be technical, this is what the back of this postcard I’ve scanned says:

Founded in 1706 by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes, he honored his patron saint, Francisco Xavier and the Duke of Alburquerque, Viceroy of New Spain, by called the villa San Francisco de Albqurquerque. The first “r” was later dropped, and the town became Albuquerque. The official website states: Square at the point where Spanish Governor Cuervo y Valdes officially founded Albuquerque in 1706.

 

 

There is a “plaza” in the center of Old Town with a gazebo – that is occasionally used as a bandstand. According to the official website: Plazas were a common feature of Spanish colonial towns.

 

 

The back of this scanned postcard informs us:

This view of Old Town Plaza shows the bandstand and the famous San Felipe de Neri Church, founded in 1706. The original adobe church was destroyed by fire. This church was built in 1793 and still serves the spiritual needs of Albuquerque.

 

 

 This scanned postcard tells:

Built in the early 1700’s, shortly after the villa of Albuquerque was founded, San Felipe still serves the spiritual needs of Old Albuquerque.

While the gazebo is at the center of a small “park,” the park is ringed with shops and eateries (and the church) that were former houses made into shops.

 

Karen and Janet in a shop in Old Town

 

There were two Mexican restaurants there, side by side, that were my favorites. It seemed like there was always a running competition between them. And at point in time, one would have the best food, and then later, the other one would have the best food. And we would never be able to tell which one was running high at the time we wanted to dine there.

Each of them had wonderful Indian/Mexican artwork on it’s walls. I seem to remember that both of them had living trees growing in several of the rooms. And I remember that, in the corner of the main entrance to La Placita (the Palace – actually it was the Governor’s Palace for a while), there was a small fireplace. They usually burned pine wood there, and the fragrance was wonderful! Perhaps they added something to make the smell so good, but that is a fragrance that I looked forward to inhaling.

The other restaurant was La Hacienda. I remember the Native Americans sitting under the canopy of the restaurants, along the street, with their beads and silver jewelry on display for sale to any and all who walked by. Perhaps this is not unique to the Indian/Mexican culture in Albuquerque (I think this tradition is also in Santa Fe). This scanned postcard tells us: Indians display their good for sale outside the famous La Placita Dining Room in Old Albuquerque.

 

 

 

 

They had some really beautiful things there, too. Here is a photo that I took, just before we headed to Germany for our second tour. It was June 1979, and our girls were quite young. In any case, this shows how the items for sale were arranged.

 

Janet looking at some Indian wares

 

Another event that took place in Old Town happened on my 18th birthday. It was on a Sunday that year, and we had gone to church, as usual. Following the service, there was a world-renown violinist that was to give a concert in our church that evening, and he was practicing in the sanctuary. Mom and Dad wanted to stay and listen for a while, since they would not be able to hear the concert. We stayed for 15 minutes or so, and then headed out. They asked me to drive from the church to Old Town, and we had planned to eat at La Placita. I let them out to get a table while I parked the car. When I entered the restaurant, the host led me through several rooms until we found our way into one of the larger rooms. As I turned the corner – about 12 of my best girlfriends began singing “Happy Birthday” to me! I was in shock! What a surprise my parents had planned for me! But a happy surprise, for sure.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 8

16 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

More random memories….

 

Our house in Albuquerque wasn’t really all that big. I’ve just looked it up on Google, and am informed that it was built in 1940 (we moved into it in 1945) and has 1,056 square feet of living space. I didn’t realize it was that large. But it had three bedrooms and one bath, separated living room from the dining room, and a kitchen.

 

 

It is near an elementary school and a middle school (a Junior High School in my day), and not too far from the University of New Mexico (UNM), from which my husband, Fred graduated. Unfortunately, I flunked out of UNM….but that’s another story (too much Fred, not enough study).It was always a nice neighborhood to live in, and grow up in. There were a lot of children within that entire area, and we all went to the same schools.

I’ve mentioned before that my parents really worked that house and yard, until it was a thing of beauty. Perhaps not the largest house, but my parents made it a home, and we were quite comfortable there.

I remember that the sprinkler valves were right by the front door, off to the side. We had a long metal pole that we used to turn on or turn off the sprinklers. We didn’t have to use our hands, and we didn’t get wet while doing so. I also remember my father purchasing sheep manure to spread on the front lawn every Spring. I’m sure the neighbors hated that time of year – because our yard smelled so bad! But boy! did we have the best-looking yard around!

Sorry about the double-exposure! But this shows the lush front yard we had, and the forsythia bush under the window

I know it’s not my house anymore, but I’m almost distressed to see, by the pictures on Google Zillow, that the current owners have completely done away with the front lawn grass, and put in rocks (xeriscape). I know that saves on water consumption, but…. There are a few flower pots in the yard, but no lush grass. The tree my father planted in the front yard is still there, and is a beautiful shade tree. The pampas grass is completely gone as well.

There were large evergreen trees on each side of the front of the house, and they are gone. Mother had a lovely forsythia bush under her bedroom window – but it’s gone, too. And remember when I described the screened-in front porch where we would spend so much time in the summers? It is now glassed-in. I’m sure it makes for more useable space, but I really liked that screened-in area.

I do see that the city has done away with that house-to-street concrete sidewalk requirement, and now the new owners have a lovely stone walk. I liked the original one we had – it was made from slate stone and curvy, however.

 

Note the curvy sidewalk

 

While the front yard wasn’t terribly large, the back yard made up for it. It was quite large. From this picture, you will see that, when we first arrived, there was the stereotypical white picket fence in the back yard.

 

Bill, Daddy and me by the back door…notice the picket fence

 

At some point, my parents put in a concrete-block fence. They also made a little “cut out” in the fence for the garbage cans. The alley way was behind the house, between our house and the house behind us. I kind of liked that.

 

My brother, Bill, with his young daughter in our back yard she loved to “swim” in Grandmother’s galvanized tub clothes line to the left; garbage can cutout to the right peach tree behind Bill that Daddy pampered.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

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