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.