Saturday, October 26, 2013

Visiting Friends and Family in New Mexico

We began our trip on the morning of Friday, October 18, by driving to Lubbock, TX, where we spent the night at a hotel. We got there in time to rest for a few minutes before going to dinner at Cheddar's. The next morning, as we were re-packing the car, we were surprised at how COLD it was. It was in the mid-thirties with a pretty steady wind blowing. That was a good 20 degrees colder than Temple's minimum temperature the morning before. I hate to admit it, but I think my Alaskan blood has thinned out, and I don't tolerate the cold like I used to.

On Saturday we drove from Lubbock to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tim came to our hotel room, and from there we went to dinner at Olive Garden. Tim got to pick the restaurant, since we were celebrating his new job, as a Systems Analyst II for the Utilities Division of the Physical Plant Department at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Tim has been looking for work for quite a while, since he was a part of a huge lay-off at Hewlett Packard. We are thrilled that this good position at UNM is his. Based on his first couple weeks, he says that he is loving the work and enjoying his new colleagues.

Sunday was the highlight of our Albuquerque visit. We started the day at Starbuck's before going to Bible study and worship at our old congregation, Northeast Church of Christ. We were happy to see how well our old church family is doing. When we left they had just hired a new preacher, and he and his family were settling in. The congregation seems to have grown to love him, and, if the Bible lesson and two sermons we heard are any indication, they are being fed well from the Word of God.

After morning worship we went to lunch with our friends, Mike, Paula and Haley Sanderson and Pat and Urshal Moore. We tried eating at a new restaurant, but it was too crowded, so we ended up at Fuddrucker's.

For dinner we met up with Tim again, at Genghis Grill. Believe it or not, we had even one more restaurant get-together later that evening. We joined more church friends - The Setliffs, the Smiths, the Woodalls and the Herreras - at Jason's Deli. Having already eaten, Dan and I just had something to drink while they all had dinner.

On Monday morning I got a text message from Tim. He had a bad sore throat, but had gone to work, anyway. He was feeling pretty rough, and didn't know if he'd be able to meet us for dinner that evening. As it turned out, he got worse, and was running a 102+ degree temperature by bed time. Sadly, we didn't get to see him again before we left town the next morning. He ended up missing work on Tuesday and Wednesday, working from home on Thursday, and returning to the office on Friday. He feels sure he got this "bug" from me, since I was in the final stages of a cold (?) when we saw him on Saturday and Sunday. I honestly don't think so, since I was feeling much better after having had it for over a week (I don't think I was still contagious), and since he came down with it awfully quickly after seeing me. But I still feel a twinge of guilt that it might have been from me, and feel terrible that he had to miss work during his first month on the new job.

Dan and I went our separate ways at noon on Monday. He joined several of his old office friends, at a Chinese restaurant, for lunch. He was surprised at how many people took time out of their day to come, and was really pleased to see all of them again. I went to my old office, at the UNM Foundation, to see my good friends, Betsy and Karl. The office is down several people right now, so it was just the two of them who went to lunch with me. We went to The Range, and spent a nice, long time catching up on everything. At the end of the meal, Betsy pulled something out of her purse, and said that it was time for a special award. She had Karl's 5-year pin, from the Foundation, and made her formal presentation. She said she'd had the pin for a while, but since the office was down to only two people, she decided to wait until I was there to be the "audience." It was fun, since I had been a part of the hiring team for Karl, back in 2008. (You can see a photo of Betsy here - the third one down on this old post. Karl is the friend who was an extra in the Lone Ranger movie. I blogged about it here - third paragraph under the What We Have Been Doing heading)

We met up with our friend, Sheila Nicholson, on Monday evening. She was alone, since Wendell was out of town on business. Then, on Tuesday morning, joined our former neighbors, David and Lorraine, for breakfast at Weck's. They are delightful people, and it was a great way to end our Albuquerque visit. We were on the road, heading to my mom's home in Carlsbad, by 11:00 a.m.

We arrived in time for dinner, and spent the next two days with Mom. She is doing very well. The three of us drove up to Artesia on Wednesday, where we ate lunch with our good friend, Pam, at La Fonda - Mom's favorite Mexican restaurant. On Thursday I taught Mom a new card game I learned, while at the coast with the "girls" a couple weeks ago. It is called "Golf" because, like the real game of golf, the winner is the one with the lowest score. Mom whipped me in both of the rounds we played! I'm claiming it was beginner's luck, and I'm sticking to that story! :-)

We said our good-byes on Thursday night, and, as quietly as we could, slipped out the door and into our car the next morning, at 5:00, leaving Mom tucked into her nice warm bed. An early start meant that we were back home by 2:30 that afternoon, which gave us some time to decompress before bed time.

I'm happy to be home today, taking care of a few chores that need to be done and enjoying a little down time. But Dan was up at 4:30 a.m, again, so he could drive down to the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, to meet Chris for the U.S. Vintage Racing National Championship. That crazy man!

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