OK, about my trip to Odessa ... it went well. I got amazing mileage on the truck until I was in the areas where the speed limit was over 65. Then it went down, down, down. From 24.5 in the places with speed limits of 45 to 65, then once I hit 70, I watched the computer in the headliner go down, down down until my overall mileage was 19.6 MPG. Still not bad for what I'm driving, but it surely convinced me that slower is better.
We were busy for the time that I was in Odessa. My sister's family had done a good job of getting the house emptied over the months, but what was left was the "what the hell do we do with this?" category. My sister had moved to a very good place in her mind for getting this over with, but after living in the house for 42 years, it was just hard to get through everything. She was able to say she didn't want/need/have room for things, but then we had to decide what the object's new destination would be. It actually went better than any of us anticipated, but it was still a job, both emotionally and realistically. It is simply a tough job. To part with those things that impart memories for us is gut-wrenching at times, and feels freeing at others. The problem is that you don't know for sure which will hit you at any given time. I asked my brother-in-law if he was OK with this. His reply was, "No, but it has to be done." That speaks volumes, doesn't it? This part of the country was his home for all but about 10 years of his life, and leaving it must have been so difficult for him. I recently left 30 years behind; my dear sweet BIL, now 85 years old was leaving 75 years of his life behind as that house was emptied out.
As if I needed it, I returned with a bed full of things. Yeah, I know ... I haven't even finished unpacking my own things, and now I brought more home. But I think it makes sense. the main items were 3 sturdy trunks, you know, the steamer-trunk type. I'm going to paint them in bright, fiesta colors and put them on the deck as storage for my tools. The tools will be handy, and the trunks will serve as seating for people, too. There was also a small cedar chest that I brought back for the same purpose. It is one of those from the 50's or early 60's (my sis can't even remember where or why they got it) that is a "blond" finish, the kind with a slight int of green to it. Yeah, it is really ugly, but some fiesta colors will fix that. and then 50 years from now, someone will look at it and say, "Boy those colors from the early 2000s are just ghastly; I think I'll paint it blond with green undertones."
While in Odessa, Ali ran away three times! The first time, someone didn't close the gate completely, and he took a stroll. I was scared to death, because with the senility, I wasn't sure he could come back if he wanted. Strange town, confused, who knew where he might wind up. My greatest fear was that he had gone a short two blocks to a very busy street. I was running up this street with tears in my eyes when my nephew drove up ad told me that Ali was found in the other direction, near a park. Well actually the first thing he said was (remember I'm walking down the sidewalk), "How much?" The humor was lost on me at the moment, because I was so frantic about my baby. Later, it was very funny! The other times Ali escaped, it was for just a couple minutes each, because people forgot to shut the front door, and Ali knew that the screen didn't latch. He would simply push his way out the door and begin an adventure! Geez. what stress I didn't need!!
I also brought back some cutting from her Spanish broom trees. As far as we could determine, you have to start it from seeds or pods, but I decided that if I cut a couple branches, stuck them in water, and they died, it wasn't a big deal. I looked at them this morning, and it looks like there might, MIGHT be some root buds forming. I hope so. She also had some cacti that were really pretty, and my nephew said that the blossoms were especially beautiful on one. I broke off a couple pieces from each clump, and they are planted in my front yard now. Let's hope!
As I drove down, I couldn't help but notice the wonderful greenness of the desert. The rains of this spring were just amazing in their contribution to the lush growth. I was especially impressed with the yucca plants. They were taller than usual and had very full bloom clusters. I didn't stop then, because many of the clusters weren't fully developed, but on the way back I got some amazing photos. Be sure to look at the fences and fence posts in the background of several pictures as a measure of the height of these stalks. Amazing! And there are some sots to show just how think the plants are. Don't forget to note how green the background is. And remember ... this is the desert. Yep, really THE DESERT, not the mountains where I live. it was breathtaking!
Back home I spent Tuesday unloading the truck. It was a bit of a task for me alone, but I got it done (I haven't told you all I brought back!!) (And I'm not gonna confess all!!). Then Wednesday, I worked all morning unpacking things on the deck. Yesterday, I did the same, and by noon I had managed to clear another huge section of the deck. I followed this with an hour or so of reorganization, which helped me to feel better about it. I was so happy to have it in better order, and came in to shower.
My son Scott and his family arrived in the afternoon for a short visit. We had a good afternoon together, then went to the gallery so they could see it, and we were joined by Allan for dinner. After dinner, we adjourned to Allan's house and visited for a couple hours. Back home, little Kylee fell asleep on the couch while Scott, Connie and I visited. She wanted to stay with us, and who was going to say no? This morning, we continued to catch up over coffee and breakfast, then they left near noon for a tour of Carlsbad Caverns before heading home. A short visit, to be sure, but it is OK. They had come to Albuquerque to spend time with Scott's dad before he begins treatment for cancer (prognosis good). I didn't really expect them to come here, so it was a bonus for me. Who am I to question?!
It has been a busy week, a fun week, an emotional week, a good week.
OK one ore sunset picture. Yeah, Just one more. And a bridge in Brooklyn!! Notice (if you enlarge it) the mountain tips peeking between the trees on the left side of the photo? those are the Capitans, seen from about 50 miles away. I was almost home!
Have a good weekend, everyone.