my brother, sis-in-law and two little ones were able to visit us at the end of July. for all my worrying about what events to plan, we had plenty to do and plenty of time to do nothing much at all. we went for walks, played in the acequia, ate new mexican food, made pancakes, & had late-night chats.
we also took a swim in the Rio Grande. the water was chilly, and the sun hid behind the clouds often. mostly we just waded in up to our knees, or sat on huge, warm rocks. but little A., didn't mind any of it. she just jumped in and paddled around that river.
took a walk through the Rio Hondo, which is just a short walk away from the house. lovely to watch & listen to their voices with all the green and the burbling water.
walked up our trail a short bit. just up the mountain to the first huge cluster of boulders. the kids had to navigate a little rock climbing. and there we saw ancient petroglyphs painted on the rock, and the view of our valley. we could point out our house, as well as the mountains far away.
we stopped in to visit the Bent Street museum, which is just near the Plaza. I hadn't visited yet. And knowing my brother & I's mutual fascination with the history of the West, had hoped this would be my chance. It is tiny, dusty, crowded with historic memories and most things aren't labelled. those that are, in handwritten or typed script, on yellowed paper.
up past Seco, we stopped for a short walk through the trees, to a cave. and surprising me, even the kids wanted to climb up to it.
on our last afternoon, a trip up to the Ski Valley. to see the tallest trees and smell the pine-y air. stopped for a german pint, and the kids, for ice cream. and enjoyed the late afternoon sun, as the storm clouds began to pile up over the peaks.
overall, now all of my family has seen our home. the air & the mountains around us. and it feels better knowing they have a sense of this new place. and I got to have their voices, laughing, in our house. so it feels more like home. it was good to be able to share this with them. and in the moments of sadness, when missing them was more powerful than actually having them in front of me, I just had to remind myself that this is the chapter in life for now. and our time-together moments will be enough to carry me through.
they told us they think it is beautiful here, and they loved it. and sounds like they want to visit again. and now, for me, they don't feel quite as far away as they did before they came.