Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Judd-Rucker Reunion

For five days my friend, Gloria Rucker, and I have been celebrating our friendship of 25 years. Gloria flew into Albuquerque on the evening of Wednesday, May 28. She had generously made arrangements for both of us to stay in a 2-bedroom suite at a local hotel. She wanted me to be as free of cooking, house cleaning, and hosting responsibilities as she was!

Once she arrived she began pulling gifts from her bag, not unlike Santa at Christmas time! Out came a beautiful basket of Seattle treats (most of them chocolate in nature); some Belgian chocolate, direct from Belgium, where her husband had just been on a business trip; a lavender and flax seed filled body warmer, that can be heated in the microwave and wrapped around shoulders, neck, or other aching or tired body parts; and an assortment of little treasures for Sweetpea!

Also in Gloria's bag - the one she carried with her on the airplane - was an Elmo book, a color book and crayons, and some other child-friendly items. "I always carry things like this," she told me, "just in case I run into some little child who needs cheering up or needs something to keep him (or her) entertained." She also came with pictures of Bible class bulletin boards she has designed, since we both teach two-and-three-year-olds. She came into my Sunday morning class with me, helped the children get settled in, and shared with us some new songs and activities.

Our time together flew by, as we took in some Albuquerque, Turquoise Trail and Santa Fe sights; snapped photo after photo, to memorialize our experiences; ate complimentary breakfasts, at the hotel, and other meals at an assortment of restaurants; recalled memories of our years together in Oregon; and shared dozens of snippets from the past 10 years of our lives, when we've been separated by many, many miles. She brought photos and slide-shows of her children and grandchildren to share with me, as we relaxed in our hotel suite in the evenings. And her mind was always concocting the next fun (and funny) thing we should attempt.

Gloria left yesterday evening, and, although saying "good-bye" was difficult for both of us, she was already talking about "next time," which, she insisted (and I agreed) must come much sooner than the ten years it took for this one to materialize.

I can't close this post without mentioning our husbands, who were both so supportive of this girls' get-away, even though they were left, fending for themselves, for five days; and Gloria's children, who, I'm sure, were inconvenienced by our adventure, since Gloria normally cares for her grandchildren during the work week. Thank you Dan, Ken, Lindsay, James, Nick and Stacie.

Here are a few pictures from our five days together:

The patio/garden in back of the Church Street Cafe (Old Town), where we ate lunch on Thursday.

The silver door handle on the old church, in Old Town.

A window and tree in the courtyard of the old church.

Strings of beads in an Old Town bead shop.

Gloria fell in love with this little gem of a property -- thought it would make a great coffee shop, in Seattle. Can you read the name on the top of the gate?!

Madrid, New Mexico.

Cerillos, New Mexico. Although the sign is a bit difficult to read, one of the things it was featuring for sale was "Old Rocks." Gloria and I decided not to go in and buy any old rocks; we prefer new rocks.

One of the little alleys in Santa Fe.

One of the Acoma Pueblo children who were performing at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC).

This artist was demonstrating metal-working at the IPCC.

Gloria tried on a couple little pieces of jewelry made by the artist above.

Gloria came perilously close to falling out of a hot air balloon, at the Balloon Museum ;-)

Burgers and malts at the 66 Diner on Saturday night.

This big potato was inside the children's section of the botanic gardens. We titled this one "Spudrucker."

We finished up our tour of the botanic gardens with the Japanese Garden. It was very pretty.


Anonymous said...

What a special and fun time you two had! Great that
you could get together........genie

Linda said...

It really was a wonderful time, Genie. When are YOU coming?!!

Anonymous said...

Judd-Rucker Reunion: Setting the Record Straight (Gloria's Version)

I know it's not right to take up Linda's comment section on HER blog. But, soooo what! She left some big holes in what read like such a nice list of credits..... BUT a long list of which, about HER, were missing! Imagine that!! An unintentional oversight, no doubt (yeah, right!). It is left to me to give honor where honor is due.

Let me tell you that Linda has an idea of fun and funny too! She met me at the airport and she got in the first shot (photo) as soon I came through the security section. She hid behind a post and she popped up and took a picture of me before I could throw my HUGE carry-on bag at her to stop her! That sneak!

The Elmo book and the color crayons I take everywhere are really only to entertain myself.

From the time Linda picked me up until the time she parked and took me into the airport to see me off, she was navigator, chauffeur, top ABQ-Santa Fe tour guide, restuarant and fine dining advisor (yummy AND beautifully unique places), and listener, listener, listener, and special friend, as I talked her ear off. Non-stop! I kept her at the Ballooning Museum for 3...yes, three, hours. We even unknowingly stayed there 25 minutes after their closing time and the security guard had to resort to kicking us out (we wondered why the place was sooo empty?). Oops. Heck if they can't take a joke.

This vacation/reunion happened during a time of health challenges and difficulties for Linda's mom in another part of the state. Linda had already made a couple of driving trips down to help her sweet mother and after I left would be making another one. She also took off and used more of her vacation time when I was there. I so want to give a big thanks to her employer and to her mom's friends who are helping out too.

As for the K A Ranch....the little shack of a place in Linda's blog picture that we will soon be having moved to Seattle and restored (or not) for a coffee shop...it had a hitching post for horses...and I think that mode of transportation could really take off here because even with all the fast high powered cars we have, we never go nearly as fast on our freeways and roads as a horse can go. Linda and Dan will be moving here to retire and co-manage it with us. Linda and I do not have "potty mouths" so we will rename the little ranch/coffee shop to be Juddrucker's Coffee Corral. Ya'll come and bring your umbrellas. It rained 2.66 inches here yesterday (yuck). Linda can even have and/or frame the first $ made.

She showed me around the beautiful city of Santa Fe. It is unbelievable to think that, Julia Roberts, who makes her home in Santa Fe, stood us up for our lunch date with her. We consoled ourselves with the most wonderful Key lime pie. Too bad that Julia lost out on an opportunity to be with us...her loss.

I was blessed to attend worship with Dan and Linda and meet their welcoming friends and see how much they are loved. I learned great new ideas from Linda in her 2 & 3 year old class she teaches. I was sorry not to have been able to meet her good friend, Sherry. She has been ill but it was nice to meet Sherry's husband, Keith, because I have heard such nice things about both of them and I know they are very special friends to Dan and Linda.

Linda put up with my ignorance about cameras and photography. I had snatched Ken's camera to bring with me and Linda gave me some hints, tips, and lessons. Alas, I have a long way to go in that entire department of taking and downloading pics and all. Boy, is she patient!

One more thing. Linda brought and shared with me the three books she has made for their granddaughter, Sweetpea. She has taken the fanastic photos, written the words, and had these three books professionally printed and bound, etc. They are beyond special and are made for and dedicated to "Sweetpea". What a special treasure for her!

We were blessed share a couple of meals with Dan that were fun and interesting. Thanks, Dan!! And thanks so much for letting me have Linda those five days!!!

I could go on. It would not be the fist time that I have hogged/clogged her blog!

All I can say now is, thank you, Linda! Thank you for the special times and talks that I will treasure. You are a most special person and friend.

Gloria reporting from back in soggy Seattle.

In Cahoots

Mommy said...

It's so nice to finally put a face with the name! Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time.

It looks like Gloria has plenty enough to say, so maybe she could start her own blog?!?!?

Linda said...

I agree with you, B! I'd love to see a Rucker Blog! It'd be a hit, for sure.