Wow, what a great weekend! It was sometimes hectic and crowded, but that almost seemed to be part of the fun. I had more guests that I can accommodate in this house at this time because I'm sort on actual beds, but we played musical beds (NO! Not that kind, you freaks!!) and it all worked out.
On Thursday our friend from Tulsa (Joe) and his wife (Debby) arrived. (Debby's the redhead, Joe's the serious one. I don't know the third person.)
I gave them my bed since they were the only couple to be here. I slept on the hide-a-bed, and Gail had her place on the Aerobed in the guest room. BTW, she is really liking the Aerobed, and is looking into betting one as a mattress for her own bed when she gets to move into her place. Then on Friday our friend from Santa Fe (Enid) came in. (Enid on the left, Gail is atilt!!)
I borrowed a roll-a-way single bed from a local friend, set it up in the office and slept there, giving her the queen-size hide-a-bed. Saturday evening, Gail went to spend one night with her brother and SIL, so we left the couch folded up and Enid slept in the guest room on the Aerobed.
We made it to the concert on Friday night, joined by Allan and Gail's boss and her husband(last 2 not present when this was taken).
We had a great time! These people, a mixture of the original group from 1961,
and some new ones to replace those who have passed away,
are the greatest fun!
They do some wonderful music, inspiring, heart warming, sad, funny and sometimes just get pure silly, as you can see here. This is the two women in the show and one guy, all in costume.
Frankly ... I can't recall what they sang, because we were laughing SO hard!!
They also sang a newly written song that will be released soon. This was its debut. It is called "Ruidoso," honoring the town they have found to be so friendly and open to them. It is really beautiful. Then they also did a song that Randy, the leader of the NCM, wrote a long time ago. He wrote many songs for Burl Ives (are any of you old enough to remember him?), a warm-viced folk singer and balladeer from the 1950's and later. It was recorded by BI, but never released. The song? It is titled "Armistice Day in Farmington, NM." He sang it just for us, and acknowledged the graduates of FHS! When I get a copy, I'll share the words with you. It was written after he was told the story by an old cowboy who was recalling the end of World War I.
On Saturday morning, we had breakfast with some of the New Christie Mistrals and their families. They have a tradition that is a lot of fun. They carry sets of dice which are passed around the table, and each person rolls "poker" hands. Each round of the table, the top hand is eliminated, safe from having to roll again. As a person is relieved with each round, the tension gets higher and higher, because, you see, when one person remains, that person with the losing had between the final two, he or she .... buys the meal for everyone!!! We all played, gamely, but with nervous giggles and big "whews"! Joe lost, but Randy Sparks picked up the check, so we all threw in for a generous tip for the waitress who was patient and smiling while serving 15 silly, rowdy people!
Then while Joe and Debby went shopping, I took Gail and Enid to the Gallery. Enid is an artist of national, if not international, renown. It was fun to take her to see this place which is clearly a center for local artists of all levels of expertise. (Enid hasn't worked since her husband's death. It was devastating for her as he was her partner in the creations. He did the lighting and she was the sculptor. She is now taking up another art form as she still cannot face the former without him. If you'd like to see her work, go here.)
Joe and Debby decided to return on Saturday night for their second show, but Gail, Enid and I had dinner at the Casino before Gail left for Alamogordo. Enid and I returned to the house, had some hot tea and visited. It has been a very long time since we have had time to do that, just sit and talk. It was wonderful. Enid and I were friends from grade school on, sometimes closer than others, as happens. Then after high school, we both lived in Albuquerque with our respective husbands, and our sons were just six months apart, becoming best friends until they were about seven or eight. Enid was divorced and remarried, and her new life took her all over the US, as well as internationally, as they lived in Kuwait for some time. We stayed in touch, but in the days pre-email, and with small children(we both had another child, and after I divorced and remarried, step-children) and busy schedules, it was less close. At our high school reunions, I always enjoyed seeing her, but those are busy times, and having time to sit and casually visit is unlikely.
Enid and I have both had great losses in the recent past. My parents both died, three weeks apart, in 2000, my husband in 2005. Enid lost her husband, her mother and her eldest son (the one that was friends with my Scott) in less than three years. Being able to talk with someone who has had similar losses is highly reassuring to one's own sanity. Trust me, you begin to think you're over-grieving, or not "moving on" as people seem to think you should. Having someone to share and compare with is a god-send. I've also done that with Gail who lost both parents rather close together (a couple years), and it has helped. In fact, the three of us had some of this conversation while at dinner, shedding tears over our coffee and dessert. But Enid and I were both widowed, and I had no one with whom to compare that. We were both comforted by this, I think.
On Sunday morning Joe and Debby headed home. Enid and I had another quiet time to talk, then she took me to brunch to thank me for hostessing the weekend. As she drove away, headed back to Santa Fe, I thought again about how fortunate I am to have the enduring friendships of these childhood friends.
Life is really beautiful!!!
PS - Yesterday was really chilly, never getting over about 52 degrees and with a fairly stout wind. Last night when I took the dogs out for the last time at 9:30, I felt some moisture on my face. I looked up, and sure enough, it was snowing!! It was tiny little flakes, not sticking, but enough that the steps were damp. It was only 27 degrees, so certainly a possible phenomena. This morning, there was a tiny, thin covering of sparkly ice crystals on the steps! Hey, y'all ... it's winter!!!