Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Mexico, Day 3

This morning we breakfasted with a family from Waco who was on the way to Colorado. It's always amusing to me when you run into people from your (general) neck of the woods in a place so far from home. Tasty blueberry pancakes (with a touch of cinnamon, I think) were a wonderful start to the day. Then, while C. checked his email and various other websites, I spent further time digging into Dracula on my nook. I've already read one book this trip - The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, at the impetus of my Stephen King-loving husband - which was quick but enjoyable. I've been trying to finish Dracula for a while, but keep getting sidetracked on other books. However, it's getting pretty exciting as they are preparing to go after the Count himself, so I think I'll finish it soon.

C. and I debated for a while what we should do today. The weather has been even more rainy than expected. But, after considerable discussion, we packed a lunch and drove down the mountain several miles to reach the Pecos National Monument. It was well worth the trip. The Pecos National Monument is a former residence for the Pecos Indians and has the ruins of their pueblo. Later, at the arrival of the Spaniards, a mission was built. It was fascinating to walk the 1.25 mile route that takes you through the old ruins and lands of the Native American people and read the history of that area. We could easily see some of the reasons they had settled there. The Pecos river and another water source are near by. But the views alone would be worth living there; although that was perhaps one of the last things on the people's minds as compared to survival and hunting for food, we appreciated the beauty of the surrounding area and the landscape that encompassed valleys, hills, and mountains. The mountain tops today were covered in fog, and a varying gentle to heavy mist fell for about half of our time on the trail. The wet weather did not dampen our spirit though, and we both found the ruins interesting and the landscape breathtaking.

Tonight we enjoyed a tasty meal of steak and grilled garlic parmesan potatoes (God bless whoever invented foil - so incredibly handy for making delicious tender veggies on the grill!!!), and since the rain had let up, we were able to eat outside in the cool 60 degree weather. We hope that the clouds will go away and perhaps we will be able to view the stars one night, maybe building a fire out in the chimnea on one of the patios.

Tomorrow, we hope to going hiking along the Cave Creek trail near the Panchuela campgrounds. It is an easy, fairly level trail according to our B&B hostess, so it will be a good test for my ankle and knee to see if I might be able to handle a harder trail. Largely, this depends on the weather, though, so we will see what happens.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Mexico, Days 1 & 2

C. and I left town bright and early about 7:00 A.M. yesterday. The trip was smooth sailing (or driving, as the case may be), and in ten and a half hours, we found ourselves winding up a mountain around sharp corners, scooting as far to the side as possible to allow other vehicles on the outside of the road to make it past. Finally, we saw the sign for our destination: Wilderness Gateway B&B in Cowles, New Mexico....glorious, middle-of-nowhere New Mexico.

The B&B is nestled in nothing but pine trees as far as one can see. Outside the doors, you can hear the rushing of the Pecos River. After showers and a simple dinner, we spent the evening relaxing indoors; the rain arrived right as we had.

Today, however, we have thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the cool mountain air when the weather allowed. The forecast called for afternoon showers, so being unsure of the weather patterns here, we opted to hold off on hiking for the day. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast, and then spent time today playing games (I am today's reigning champion thus far - 3 games of Battleship, 1 game of tournament golf, and 1 game of dominos - every one I won! I DON'T win games very often....) and planning the rest of our time here. Dinner was tasty. We will be grilling every night here. Tonight's menu: grilled, marinaded apricot mustard chicken, grilled asparagus, and grilled mushrooms. Oh, and Nutty Bars and Oreos for dessert. Don't judge.

The cool air is lovely, and I have never seen so many hummingbirds in one place in all my life! And this evening I was able to finally hear the "hum" of the birds' wings close up.

Overall, the best part about this trip though is being able to spend time with just my husband. It's so rare that we have time completely to ourselves, and especially away from everyone we know (we love you all though, really!), and this is an opportunity I am treasuring.

The landscape and this special time with my husband brings to mind that I should praise God for the beautiful gifts with which He has blessed me. His creation is so utterly amazing. I can't even begin to count the trees that surround this home...and yet He knows every one. The wings of the hummingbird move faster than my eye can see....and He created them with that unique ability. He has blessed us with jobs and money (and a wise husband who manages that money well), and given us this opportunity to get away. For all of that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breaking It Down

It's late right now, and I should be going to sleep, but I am not. It could be because I have been thinking about blogging for a while now. It could be because I have a lot of time on my hands right now (I'll explain in a moment), and when that happens I inevitably stay up too late. It could be because, quite frankly, I really need to get this laptop out of the bedroom so I'm not tempted to use it so late at night.

I'm laying here, not in my normal bed, with a purple decorated cast on my right ankle. Yes, that's right. I broke my ankle. Not just in one location, mind you. When I do things, I do them right. I managed to break three bones in my ankle. Three. Two of which required surgery to repair. I now am the proud owner of an ankle full of hardware. One long plate, 6 pins, and three screws now internally decorate my right ankle for no one to see. I broke it on Wednesday, Feb. 24th. I had come home from work not feeling well. Then, my toilet overflowed. I had laid down a couple of towels to clean up the water, but the floor was still damp in some areas and wet in others. So, seeing the paper towels in our master closet, and not wanting to have to dirty too many regular towels to soak up the water, I decided, in a flash of brilliance, to jump over the damp area of my floor (who really wants to put their feet on a floor with toilet water on it?), and land amazingly in my master closet, collect the paper towels, and continue my clean-up.

Now, one might think that I slipped in the toilet water itself, and that is how I ended up with the broken ankle. NO. That would be far too logical. Instead, when I made my brilliant leap, my foot (without a sock or anything slick on it), slipped on dry carpet. And turned in the most horrible fashion - I will spare you, my dear reader, from a detailed description. Suffice it to say, the tears flowed, statements of "Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God" and "HELP!" came from my mouth, and I realized very quickly that my foot was broken. It's a strange realization, now that I think on it. I remember lots of thoughts flitting through my mind. "It's not actually broken, it's probably just sprained" was one; I'm not sure about the others. But it did dawn on me that my cries for help would definitely go unheard. I was home alone. I had to get out of there, to my phone, in another room.

Have you figured it out yet? You see, if I leapt over the damp floor to avoid getting my feet wet with toilet water, I was now trapped with a broken ankle in my closet and my phone was far, far away. So, yes, I had to drag myself - picture an awkward army crawl since one leg was useless - to the other room to call for help. Across the damp toilet water floor I had been trying so hard to avoid.

Obviously, I got help, and had surgery on Feb. 2nd. I'm off work and can't drive for the forseeable future (I go back to the doctor on the 25th for another evaluation), so I'm beginning to go slightly stir crazy. There is only so much TV one person can watch. But since the break happened, I have been asking myself why this happened. Obviously, in some sense, it was a random accident, but at the same time, I believe God puts things in our lives for us to learn from them. So, the question is: what is God teaching me through this experience? I have been pondering this question a lot, and thought I might share some of my ideas here and invite the response of anyone who might be reading this.

For my first lesson, I would simply like to state that I completely take my husband for granted a large portion of the time. The poor man right now is having to work all day teaching and then come home and basically wait on me hand and foot. While I am slowly regaining some independence, there are still many things that I simply cannot do - very basic things. I cannot carry large items by myself. I cannot move around quickly. I get tired easily. I cannot cook. I can't, I can't, I can't - the list is extensive. I am zero weight-bearing on my broken ankle. Right now, I am using a walker to get around - which is, by the way, far superior to crutches. Crutches were scary. At least with the walker, there is stability. However, it is slow going. Basically you plant the walker, push up with your hands and hop forward on your good leg. This is simple enough for the first few hops. But try doing that from one end of your house to the other. Lifting your own weight repeatedly is wearing on one physically. My hands hurt, my arms are sore, my foot and my hip on the left side (that are receiving all the impact from hopping) will scream at me sometimes. I am hoping that my arms will be beautifully toned by the end of this, though. :)

Anyway, I am tired and can only do things in spurts. Which is where C. comes in. He takes care of the dog, he makes sure I am comfortable, he refills my water and reminds me to take my pills, he does and does and does for me right now. At the end of the day, the exhaustion on his face is frequently visible. And while he tells me not to worry about it, and I know he genuinely means it, it is hard to see. But it makes me grateful. Grateful that God chose to bless me with a man who is more selfless than I realized. My hope and prayer for this lesson is that God will always recall this time to my mind, when my husband truly loved me as Christ loved the church - but moreso, that God would help me to realize that C. does that all the time. In the way that he provides faithfully for our family, that he takes out the trash, that he does the dishes when I have cooked, that he manages our finances so wisely, that he faithfully reads the Word and prays - in so many ways, C. serves me all the time - and yet, on a regular basis, I find myself focusing on his flaws, and not on his consistent faithfulness to me.

So, Lord, please, when I find myself ready to complain about my husband, to think bitter thoughts about him, to say a harsh word - help me to stop, and truly think about what I am thinking, or about to say, or about to do. Help me to remember that I am as equally flawed as he is, and that before I go about trying to remove any toothpicks from his eye, I might want to take that log out of mine. And please, help me to be grateful for his service to and love for me. And help me to love him more today than I did yesterday.

It's ridiculously late now, and I'm off to sleep. Goodnight, dear friends!