Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Mexico

God be praised for a wonderous and relaxing vacation. The trailer my aunt and uncle own--we call it simply "The Place"--is in Angel Fire, NM, and was a welcome relief from the 100+ degree temperatures that were/are baking the majority of the rest of the country. Audra, Hope, my mother (we call her "Gammie") and myself spent the week before last up there and got a great deal of relaxation done.
We quickly realized that we'd left Hope's ducky bathtub in Ft. Worth, so the sink had to serve as bathtub while we were there.
Hope took it all in stride, cool as she always is...
This is me out front attempting to start a fire for BBQ burgers and franks. Said fire was, we found out later that night, illegal due to dry conditions that prompted an area-wide ban. Neverthe- less, the fire did its thing. Meat good.
Hope is learning Baby Signs (see the link for an explana- tion), and here you can see her with her version of the sign for "cat" -- brushing her cheek (supposed to be whiskers) and giving a higher-than-normal-pitched cry for a "meow." She got that cemented in through lots of practice using the neighborhood cat as an example. She's gained the ability to express, either verbally or through a sign, around 20 words in the past month, much to the relief of her parents, who now no longer have to be frustrated by the "she's STILL crying/what the #%!^ does she WANT?!" phase that plagues parents. Good stuff.
Walking in the path in front of the house, picking up pebbles ... good times. She did, unfortunate- ly, trip and fall on a larger rock (smacked her little forehead, but it's nothing a band-aid and kiss couldn't cure).
Audra and I were able to convince Gammie to watch Hope (because getting grand- parents to watch their grandkids is so hard, don't you know) while we took a scenic chair lift ride up a mountain in Red River. Here's me at the top...
And a picture from our chair on the way down, overlooking Red River. Very nice having this to look at each morning...
Got down from the chair lift, and this is what we saw; apparently Hope had had enough ... and snagged a bear in the process and promptly tuckered it out, as well...
Taos, another city in the "Enchanted Circle" area of NM, is one of the older cities in NM, colonized early on by land grants from Spain, as the monument attests to. Side note: IF ANYONE WHO SMOKES CIGARS IS GOING TO GO TO THE ENCHANTED CIRCLE AREA, PURCHASE CIGARS BEFORE LEAVING HOME! Cigar places are pretty much nonexistent, much to my surprise; I had hoped to purchase a nice cigar, sit out on the front patio of the trailer, and pass a relaxing hour reading, smoking, and looking at the mountains while listening to the wind blow through the trees. Finally found a place here in Taos where I bought a very nice Bolivar Maduro, much to the ladies' relief (they no longer had to endure my hunt for cigars, which entailed following this lead or that from every shop owner in the Circle re: where I could buy one). Enjoyed aforemetioned, early-evening smoke with book and mountain view. Truly thankful for the peaceful hour.
Went on a hike through an Angel Fire park. Gorgeous smells--we were suprised at how good clover could smell!--and humbling sites. Trails were well-marked for us; we imagined what it would have been like to pioneer places like this, sans trails.
On our last day in Angel Fire, we nailed down a rumor of a hot-air balloon event that happens every so often in the Circle. Unfortunately for us (or fortunately, if you want to look at it that way, as this could NEVER happen anywhere else in the country right now due to heat), the early morning fog prohibited the event from actually happening; this balloon was the only one that even got all the way inflated. Still, it was impressive, and it's a sight to see a couple of dozen of 'em floating over the little village of Angel Fire.
We broke up the drive both to Angel Fire and back to Ft. Worth by stopping in Canyon TX and staying with my Granny. I just wish she and Hope could pretend to like each other, even a little bit...

3 comments:

Raoul The Destroyer said...

Holy crap you went to Red River? We've got a place in Taos. I learned how to ski in Red River. Many happy memories there.

:)

Ian said...

Sounds, and looks, wonderful -- thanks for sharing.

Ebor said...

Our youngest was diagnosed with mild Down Syndrome at 16 months. It's greatest affect was low muscle tone which makes speaking harder. Teaching Sign Language is a standard technique now. The first ones learned are usually "more" and "all done". He learned "cat" from an early age, too. 8-)

While he is getting better at speaking, we also use a kind of "dialect"of ASL that is aimed at children, Signed English. It has lots of concrete ideas like "play" "bread" "car" "drink" "milk" "ice cream" and many more.