Tag Archives: New Mexico

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~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 6

9 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I really love New Mexico. I actually don’t remember anything about living in Dallas, Texas, but then, I was only four years old when we moved from there to Albuquerque. I think the “memories” I have of the house in Dallas are from pictures I’ve seen, and the stories others have told me about it.

 

 

I do have one memory of Dallas – we attended the First Baptist Church in Dallas. I have a very vague memory of black-and-white tiles on a floor, and the smell of Pinesol. Mother told me that the nursery at the church had a floor like that, and that they used Pinesol as a cleaner. But that’s it!

Now, New Mexico…that’s a whole different story. I’ve given you pictures of our house – we lived in that house the entire time I lived there. It wasn’t sold until after my father died – and mother lived there more than five years until she married again and they moved into an apartment.

I had a most unique experience with that house in later years. It was in 1993, when my mother died. Fred and I, as well as my brother, Bill and his wife, DiVoran, flew out for mother’s funeral. Our oldest daughter, Karen and her husband, Brian, decided to drive from South Carolina to Albuquerque for the funeral, as well. On this particular day – the day after the funeral – Fred and Bill had stayed at the apartment to arrange shipment of some of mother’s things that each of us wanted. Brian drove his car with Karen, DiVoran and myself in it. I wanted to show him where we had lived and grown up.

We drove to the house, and he stopped the car in front of the house. As we sat, looking at the house, with me describing what was where, the couple who owned the house, came out and looked at us. I rolled down my window, and assured them that it was okay – that I had grown up in that house. I nearly fell out of the car when they asked if we would like to come in and see it now. Remember now, it had been about 22 years since I had been in that house!

I was NOT about to pass up that invitation!! So we all piled into the house. I would point out things for Brian – I think Karen might have been a bit too young to remember much about it, as well – and tell what we had then. When we arrived in the kitchen, I mentioned that mother had painted the cabinets pink, and that we had green linoleum on the floor. The husband looked at me and said, “ I remember stripping pink paint from those cabinets!” DiVoran and I then explained that mother had pink plastic (like Melmac) dishes, and she wanted to “match.”

 

 

Pink cabinets, green linoleum – Granny holding Trixie, Mom, Boots the cat, all in the kitchen

When we got to the bathroom, I told them that we had green tile around the tub/shower. Again, he looked at me, and said, “I tiled white tiles over those green ones.” I guess it showed him that I had, indeed, grown up in that house. I told him how mom and dad had added the patio and cover that joined the house to the garage. They had a large bamboo shade that they could roll up or down, depending upon whether the sun was beating down on it, such as at supper time. We enjoyed many, many meals out on that patio.

I still think it was quite brave of that couple to invite four strangers into their house!

More memories to come…..

 

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

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 5

26 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

So many memories returning to my mind….where do I start?

Okay, let’s start with some of my first memories – and pictures of our time in New Mexico. Daddy had gone ahead of us (we were living in Dallas, Texas at the time), and purchased a house. Mother had never seen it until we arrived in Albuquerque. I thought it was a neat house, but then that’s all I had known. I never knew what Mother thought about it. But she made it her own, and it was comfortable.

Here I am, with my Mother, in front of our new house,

 

and the house itself.

 

 

From records, it was built in 1940, and we purchased it in 1945. It all looks a bit rugged at that point in time, but my parents worked it well, and it became a thing of beauty.

See that screened-in front porch? My brother and I spent many a summer afternoon out there with our friends. And then we set up cots to sleep on during the summer nights. It was great! I especially remember my best friend coming over and we would play Monopoly all day long, sleep at night out there, then start up the next day. That went on for days….and days…..and days! But it was summer, and we were kids.

Here’s a picture of Bill and me in front of one of the Pampas Grass bushes that grew there.

 

 

Daddy tamed that bush and it prospered beautifully. I especially want you to notice the flagstone sidewalk. I really loved that sidewalk. It was curvy, and really unique. Unfortunately, the city decided each house had to have a concrete sidewalk from the house to a running sidewalk that ran along the street. The city poured that sidewalk, but Daddy had to pay to have the flagstones removed and the straight walk from the house poured. It just wasn’t the same!

 

 

In the background of this picture is a house on the corner. Those of you old enough to remember the Lawrence Welk show on TV, might also remember that he had a dancer, Bobby. I don’t remember the name of his first partner, but his second dance partner, the cute little blond – Cissy – grew up in that house on the corner. Her family owned a dance studio, and all the children were later involved in it. Her brother, John, and I were close in age. So that’s my claim to fame!

Also in the background, behind us in this picture, you can see some fairly flat ground with some spindly trees. That was the start of Bataan Memorial Park, in honor of those from New Mexico who were involved in the Bataan Death March and the battle of Corregidor in World War 2.

Credit Google Search

Google Search

Credit Google Search

 

Unfortunately, back then, it was just a place to go and play. I didn’t understand the significance of it until many years later. The names of those involved are engraved on stones within the park.

 

 

It’s a lush, beautiful park now, and is the site of many gatherings, weddings, etc. It played a bit of a part in our family, as it was where my brother, Bill, took his model airplanes he had built, to fly. Frequently I would accompany him, watch him fly his planes, watch them crash, then he would take them home and fix them up. I think I helped him repair them, but I may have been more of a hindrance than help. At least I don’t remember him chasing me away!

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

Memories of New Mexico~Part 4

19 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Back to Albuquerque – way back in my day, the airport was not the big event it is today. The airport (appropriately called the Sunport, since it’s over 5300 feet in altitude) shared the runway with Kirtland Air Force Base. The airport building itself was quite different than it is today; quite primitive, but unique. Here is a picture of it, taken with my grandmother. It will give you an idea of the “Southwest” look it had.

 

 

No jetways then – one had to climb a set of stairs to get into the airplane.

There was a “wall” made out of New Mexico stone, that was really beautiful. And after I was old enough to drive, my girlfriends and I would drive to the airport, sit on that wall, and watch the airplanes take off and land. It made for very inexpensive but wonderful evening entertainment. I’m not even sure the wall is still there. And since 2001 and 9/11, I suspect security wouldn’t let anyone sit on that wall and watch the airplanes come and go anymore. Pity.

As a kid – and then a teenager – we used to enjoy driving from Albuquerque up to the mountains, sometimes to Sandia Crest (tops out at 10,678 feet in altitude). It was a bit harrowing at times – the road was quite twisty and curvy, and it wasn’t such a great road back in that day. Today it is a lovely road – still some twists and curves, but not as nerve-wracking as it was then. And even in July, the temperature up there can be as low as 28º in the daytime! Take a jacket!

 

 

After Fred and I married and moved away, a fish restaurant was built along the way up the mountain. My mother and family/friends would drive up there for a Sunday meal after church. When Fred and I visited, we were able to go with them to Bella Vista Fish Restaurant. Granted it was fried fish, but it was an all-you-can-eat place, and we most certainly ate our way through the meal! It was great!   Unfortunately, it is no more. The original owners died, the children took over, but made it into a sports bar – and the patrons just didn’t take to it that well. So it went under. We were sorry to see it go.

Just one more memory. I’ve mentioned before that my father had one lone peach tree in our back yard that he babied. He would wrap it in cheesecloth each year, so the birds couldn’t get to the fruit. It produced some of the biggest, sweetest peaches I’ve ever eaten! Mother would cut some up, freeze them for pies later, or make fresh-frozen jam out of them. Delicious!   But one other type of pies she would make were cherry pies – and they were the best! We would drive out to the North Valley to Bosque Farms to pick our own cherries. I remember doing that a number of times. We would pick what we wanted, and probably paid by the pound or basket. Mother had a cherry “picker” in that it would dig out the seed as one turned the handle. So we would de-seed the cherries, mother would freeze some them for pies later on, and then would make a pie. Daddy loved it. Especially with hand-packed, home made ice cream from Fitzgerald’s on Central Avenue! We stopped every Sunday for the ice cream to go with the pie mother had made. WOW!!

Oh my, what memories those are for me. This is such a fun trip down memory lane for me.

See you next time.

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 3

12 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I can remember going to Carlsbad Caverns as a family. It was fascinating! I especially remember standing with a large group of tourists in a huge cavern, and the lights were turned off. It was so dark and black that I, literally, could not see my hand in front of my face. I know, because I tried to see it – and couldn’t! And then the guide lit one match, and it was light enough to see everyone in the group. Astounding! My Aunt Jessie had always said that she would never go to the Caverns. Why? Because she was convinced that the day she went – it would cave in! Guess what? She died in 1990 – without ever having gone to the caverns – and the caverns are still standing! She had some funny superstitions.

Another fun memory is that of going to White Sands National Park. It is near Las Cruces, New Mexico, and also near the White Sands Missile Range. It was such fun for my brother and me to romp around in the white sands. The entire area looks like a desert, with the sands shifting and moving around – but the sand is sugar-white, not tan or brown as one usually sees a desert. The sand is made up of gypsum and calcium sulfate, and thus reflects the sun, rather than absorb the heat. And because it is at high elevation, with high evaporation, the sand is cool to the touch. Really a neat thing to see. These are some pictures taken of my grandmother and others back in the 1950’s. I think it’s hilarious to see them dressed up so much – to go walk in the sand dunes!

As an outing, my family would frequently drive around the state, to see what we could see. We would drive to Isleta Pueblo, just 15 miles south of Albuquerque. We crossed the Rio Grande River to get there. It was a fascinating place to see.

Credit Google Search

Lots of interesting information on the sign

 

Credit Google Search

 

Or we would drive to the Santo Domingo Pueblo (now Kewa Pueblo), on our way to Santa Fe. It’s about 25 miles southwest of Santa Fe, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. They had some wonderful turquoise jewelry there and other Native American artifacts. This trading post looks very much like I remember.

 

Credit Google Search and NCPTT

 

Another fascinating place to go and explore was Bandelier National Monument. It is near Los Alamos, New Mexico. I remember climbing up hand-made ladders into some of the dwellings dug out of the cliffs. It was grand fun for a kid like me.

 

 

Credit Google Search and Wikimedia Commons

 

Credit Google Search and YouTube

 

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

Memories of New Mexico~Part 2

26 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 I have some mementos of New Mexico, and I would like to share them with you. Some of the Native Americans that lived in the pueblos out and around Albuquerque, made some wonderful black pots. I’m sure that originally, they were actually used within the house for some household chore, but these little ones are just for sitting on a shelf, and to be enjoyed by all. At least I’ve always enjoyed them. However, they were quite expensive, and I was unable to purchase any.

My wonderful sister-in-law, DiVoran, had this little pot sitting on her shelf for as long as I can remember. We made a trade one time – she got some gold earrings, and I got her little black pot! It was an even-trade for both of us.

 

 

And Fred’s parents had this black pot, that I admired so much. So when they passed away, I was able to inherit the pot, and have enjoyed it ever since.

 

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They both sit on a shelf, along with this adorable brass road runner that I also inherited from Fred’s parents. They had him a long time, and I admired him for all that time. He appealed to me because the road runner is the New Mexico state bird.

 

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Some newer art forms from New Mexico also have appealed to me. The last time we were in Albuquerque (Fred’s brother still lives there), I purchased this little glass cactus. I thought it was really cute – and it is almost a prickly as a real cactus!

 

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For some reason, Kokopelli has become a favorite Native American icon of mine.

I just think he’s cute – and he’s playing a musical instrument. From Wikipedia, I gleaned the following:

Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head), who has been venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music.

This little statuette sits on one of my shelves for me to enjoy. I have forgotten what this type of metal-work is called.

 

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I also have another type of that art work – it is a turtle. I saw this the last time we were in Albuquerque, and it appealed to me. I think it’s cute.

 

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Those of you old enough, and interested in car racing – especially the Indianapolis 500 – might remember the Unser brothers. They were New Mexico boys, and back in the 1960’s-1980’s had an auto shop in Albuquerque, designed for maintaining race cars. Al Unser won that race four times, his brother, Bobby won it three times, and Al Unser, Jr. won it twice! You might say it was in the family’s blood! There is a Unser Racing Museum in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque that is open to any and all.

 

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Credit Google search and Rita Wechter

The Cruise of a Lifetime~ Part 4

21 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy WillsJUDY

I’ve not mentioned that, before each meal, Fred and I would “excuse” ourselves from the rest of the table, to say our blessing. This morning, at the breakfast table, as we were beginning to excuse ourselves, the other gentleman at the table leaned toward me, arm and hand outstretched across the empty chair between us, and said, “Looks like you are about to thank the Lord.” When I agreed, we all took hands and prayed. After prayer, I told him that he sounded like a preacher. He grinned and said, “well…….”

They turned out to be Richard and Judy, with their widowed friend, Lucy (Richard called her “Lucy B”). They are from Fort Worth, Texas, and he is the Worship Leader for the 8:00 a.m. service at the North Richland Hills Baptist Church. He also directs the Senior Adult Choir there. So while he is not a preacher, he is in the Christian ministry.

Richard and Judy flank Lucy

Richard and Judy flank Lucy

We found several points in common: His wife’s name is Judy – I am Judy. She is a pianist – I am a pianist (of sorts). I asked her one time: If you are eating a piece of cake, what is your favorite part, the cake or the icing? Her response? THE ICING! I gave an air fist pump and a whoop of joy – because that’s MY favorite part of a piece of cake, as well! WOW….are we twins?

We struck up an instant friendship.   Judy is the pianist for the service at their church (he affectionately calls her “Sister Judy” – i.e. “play us something in the key of G, Sister Judy”). He would address me occasionally as “Judy2.”

Just a note here to say that the first four years Fred and I were married were spent in Fort Worth, while Fred attended and graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We are quite familiar with Fort Worth.

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Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – the Rotunda

While Lucy was up getting her food, we talked about Fort Worth and seminary. He mentioned that Lucy was a Baylor University graduate, and I told him about my Dad being one of the three students at Baylor in the very first graduating class in the School of Music in 1924.

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When Lucy returned, he informed her that my Dad was a Baylor grad. She blinked and looked at me. Our conversation took off from there. She is a die-hard Baylorite!

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There is also another connection between Richard and us – he was the Minister of Music for the First Baptist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico – my original home church – in the 1970’s! We began comparing notes on people we both had known while there. Absolutely amazing!

Original building, First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Original building, First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Following breakfast, I wasn’t feeling very well, so I stayed in the stateroom, while Fred went on an excursion (walking tour) to the Marksburg Castle. He came back saying that it had been a VERY difficult walk/climb, and I would not have been able to manage all the steps and the climb. I was glad I had stayed home! But he took lots of pictures, and said it was a delightful castle to explore. I’m glad he was able to make the jaunt by himself.

 

~~~~~~~~~~Part 4 to be continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

An Amazing Adventure~Part 4

16 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

As a child growing up in New Mexico, it seems I had always known about “Shiprock” New Mexico. It wasn’t until many years later, that I knew what or where Shiprock was, or the Indian lore about it. It is a majestic piece of rock—possibly volcanic but probably sandstone—that is just out in the middle of nowhere. It just sprouts up by itself. It is absolutely magnificent, and for some reason, holds a special place in my heart.

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Brian had not thought that we would have time to cross into New Mexico, but then proclaimed that it was a “pilgrimage” for me, so we went to see it. I’ve had a framed calendar photo of it on our wall for many years, but Karen and Brian had never seen it in real life. They were AMAZED.

As we were leaving Shiprock, I made the statement that “it’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s scrubby—and I love it! This is home!” Of course, I hadn’t lived in New Mexico for more than 50 years, but it still felt like “home” to me. Funny how our minds work.

From Shiprock, New Mexico, we crossed into Arizona, heading to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park that is in both Arizona and Utah—Navajo Nation land. Absolutely AMAZING!!

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This picture is of the two formations called “Mittens” – and you can see why. They look like right and left handed mittens.

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And here is Brian, trying to hold up The Cube. Those are enormous rocks! It reminded me of a “saying” that my dad had, i.e. “I sure wouldn’t want that pebble in my shoe!” I asked Karen if I had told her about that “saying” of her grandfather’s, and she said “no.” So she got another touch from the grandfather she had never known. I keep wanting to pass along those things to our girls and their children – so they will know him, as well.

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The roads in Monument Valley are just dirt—and, as you can see by the car—it just covers everything!

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We stopped by the side of the road there and had a picnic lunch right at the car. The wind was blowing in such a way that the dust made by any cars passing by would blow the other way from us, so we weren’t eating dirt!

At many of the stops along the way, there were Native American women selling hand-made jewelry. I bought a neat beaded necklace with a silver Kokopelli at the center. He’s my favorite Indian character—the flute player.

After we had packed up from lunch, we headed to Grand Canyon National Park. I don’t remember how long it had been since Fred was there, but I think I was about 8-years-old the last time I visited the Canyon! It hasn’t lost its appeal at all for me! Absolutely breathtaking!!

There are so many pictures we took of the Grand Canyon, that I just can’t show them all. But here are a few of our favorite sights.

 

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These were taken at sunset. Absolutely gorgeous!!

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On the side of one of the buildings up top, this sign was posted. Marvelous!

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

 

THE SAILBOAT

19 May

MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

Growing up in New Mexico, there wasn’t a lot of water around – no swimming pools (except at the public ones), no ponds or lakesides, no oceans, etc. So, consequently, I was not really familiar with boats of any kind. That really didn’t bother me too much I had a lot of other interests.

If you have ever lived in government quarters – as we did on any military base where we were stationed – then you know that, when you leave that posting, you are required to have those same quarters absolutely immaculate! Better than when you moved into them! And there would be an inspection of those quarters by an official inspector. If they found anything wrong – you were required to “fix” it before you were allowed to leave the base.

We had lived in quarters on Tyndall AFB, Florida for five years. That’s almost too long, actually. Our usual moves were about every three years. I told Fred that we needed to leave soon, because I was beginning to put down roots – in a government duplex!!

He was finally given orders to relocate. So then the work of packing up and moving out began. After the movers had taken our belongings away, we started cleaning the unit. We had always thought we could do that ourselves, rather than hire someone to come in and do it for us. So I set Fred and the girls to cleaning, and I thought I would tackle the kitchen. I had planned on the weekend to do the entire kitchen. Unfortunately, the stove was so old that, in taking it apart and cleaning it – it took the entire weekend just for the stove!

By the time we had finished, we were exhausted.
Now….you may think there is no connection to cleaning and boats…but wait….

page1image16592 There was a gentleman who worked in the Weather Station with Fred, who LOVED boats! And especially sailboats. Not being able to purchase one for himself, he had contracted with another gentleman from Alabama to care for his sailboat.

It was a 33-foot Hunter that would sleep six people. It had a full galley and full shower. It had a small auxiliary engine to get us in and out of port. It was set up for ocean voyages and was one-person configured. Whenever the owner wanted to “play” with it, he would call and come down and retrieve it. That usually only happened once or twice a year. The rest of the time, our friend could take it out whenever he wanted.

And that’s what happened with us. He had offered to take us out for a sail, on the last day we were in town. And so we did. I was a bit confused when we motored out of port, thinking “what does this have to do with sailboating?”

But then he cut the engine and unfurled the sail. It was the most wonderful thing – so very quiet, and peaceful, and RESTFUL…just exactly what we needed after all that cleaning.

He even let our 8-year-old handle the wheel for a while. She loved it!

We’ve never purchased a boat of our own – never felt the need to. But it was an experience that we savored and have remembered all these years.

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