Saturday, November 19, 2011

Welcome to El Paso

After a long day across the desert of central Texas we found refuge in the arms and home of friends made even more dear by this visit. I always enjoyed their company when they lived around the corner, but spending a couple of days relaxing and visiting at their new home and in their community further cemented the bond. Our four kids all play so nicely together, whether quietly in a corner or throwing their heads back and laughing at the top of their lungs as they dash about the house and property. And with them distracting each other, the adults actually had time to visit, catch up, carry on conversation only as (almost) uninterrupted adults can.

After our long day from Austin to El Paso (not to mention the other 10,000 miles of this trip), neither of the girls nor I was ready to venture out much during our first day in El Paso. The kids were perfectly happy to stay home and play: dress up, tag, Kickory (hide and seek in the dark), and crack pecans in the backyard as the nuts fell from the trees the kids were climbing.

Just before sunset, our hostess and I took a walk down to the Rio Grande, a shocking experience if you're expecting WATER. It seems that the river has long been dammed and is entirely managed for irrigation control. So, by this time of the year, you're unlikely to see water in the sandy riverbed. We did gaze at the New Mexico neighborhood on the other shore and wondered about a pair of private vehicles we saw meandering down the riverbed. The first desert sunset of our trip offered a beautiful return to the west as we walked back home where the girls and I enjoyed this family's nightly tradition of singing and game play between bathtime and bedtime.

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