2/18-4/12/2022 – Family Visits and Albuquerque

Well, we have been on a very long hiatus from the blog as we flew back east to visit our kids and extended families in West Virginia and North Carolina. It was a roller coaster of a trip home – highs and lows, twists and turns. So, let’s get into it, shall we?

Our trip started off on a high note. We arrived in Charleston to find out the gender of our first grandchild! The party was absolutely beautiful – and while we just want a happy healthy pregnancy and baby, we are excited to be having a grandson in August!

From there, we traveled north to Morgantown where our son attends college. Our daughter, son-in-law and baby-to-be lives there too, as well as my parents. During our drive, we simultaneously got pulled over (tail light was out) and got a call from our property manager that one of our apartment buildings were on fire. Luckily, no one was hurt, we have good insurance and awesome people in place to help us rebuild. Still not the kind of thing you could expect or want to hear.

The first week Ed had to go on a business trip, so I just bounced around making food and taking things to folks as I visited them. When Ed returned, we spent a few days at the airbnb next to our son. He works long days and we thought we would able to see him more if we were around to fit in his schedule However, I promptly got a nasty stomach bug and couldn’t visit him anyway. Ed got in a bit of time with him between taking care of me.

In the days just prior to our NC visit, we suddenly lost Ed’s sweet mother and that sent us on a different journey. We will miss her forever and I will always keep her as an example of who I want to be at heart. She never complained, she never said an ill word about anyone, she was out making new friends and having new experiences at the age of 84. She was pure love – she loved everyone and everyone loved her. Everything she did, she did it in the right way with giving it her 100 percent. She was humble and kind and always had a smile and a kind word for everyone who crossed her path.

As we cleaned out her home and settled her affairs, her drawers and cabinets were bursting with family memorabilia. If you ever made her something, gave her something, accomplished something, she had kept something from the event. If you were ever on a trip with her or visiting her she had a picture of you participating in it. I do feel fortunate to have seen all that family history, it allowed me to know Doris and the rest of the family on a deeper level.

Somehow there were a lot of other magical moments mixed in – our daughter started feeling the baby moving while we were there and we experienced a little of that wonder, we spent a lot of special time with Ed’s sisters and their families, and we just loved each other through it all. That in itself is what she would have wanted because that is what she taught.

After six weeks, we are back in our home. And, on a lighter note I just want to say that sleeping in your own bed after that long just hits different! I don’t think I have ever been away from my home that long, and that’s a weird thing to say considering our circumstances.

We did need to change the trajectory of our spring and summer travels. We are cutting some of our desert travel because there isn’t time to get it in before it gets hot. We like to chase 70-80 degree weather so we will be going north into Colorado rather than visiting Death Valley, Joshua Tree, etc. Ed has been away again on business and I have reworked the plan, made reservations, and now it looks like this:

We are looking forward to exploring Arizona, Southern Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana this spring/summer. A few bucket list items will be checked off – a rodeo in Cheyenne, the steam train from Durango to Silverton, a concert at Red Rocks, and of course many National Parks. The baby is due in August so we will probably stop, store the RV, and fly out of Billings to meet the newest member of our family! Waiting for us to get back will be a big bucket item for both of us – Glacier National Park! Hopefully next summer we can do our original plan – Southern California to Vancouver, Canada. Fingers crossed that diesel prices will come down on the West Coast by then!

We did have time for one little adventure while we were back in Albuquerque. Did you know that in this area is the biggest collection of Petroglyphs in the US? The Petroglyph National Monument area has hundreds of them spread between 3 canyons and a site of a volcanic eruption. We hiked in the Piedras Marcados Canyon – in 2 miles there are over 400 to see – that is if you can spot them all!

I also drove to Sante Fe while Ed was away. My plan was to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum. I should have known that I needed to purchase my ticket ahead of time. I ended up walking around the plaza downtown. Lots of great musicians, art galleries, little shops and markets to peruse. Sante Fe is it’s own vibe, rich in culture and architecture.

In summary, all the things I have said over the course of this blog about needing to be flexible were tested over the last couple of months. While I am excited for our upcoming plans to come to fruition, I have been greatly reminded that life happens while we are busy making other plans. We are not in control here, but I do believe even the worst times bring us closer to our highest purpose if we just pay attention and listen. Thanks for reading.

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