“Are we there yet?” My legs were cramped in the backseat, straddling the hump in the floor. I should have stayed in the way back, I thought. At least I could have laid down.
After dropping David off at college, Dad and Mom decided to take us to New Mexico to visit our Great Aunt Gertrude. Whether or not she was really great, was yet to be seen, since I had never met her.
On our way to Albuquerque, we saw the mountains disappear behind us as we came upon the small knolls with short cacti and tumble-weeds flying by us. There were farms scattered here and there. Upon a closer look, you could see the men with lassos surrounding the horses; women tending to the sagging lines of laundry while the children ran freely, in and around them.
Seeing the sweat on our brows, Dad told us to open our windows. An hour or so later, we were pulling into Aunt Gertrude’s neighborhood, full of large green shrubs, cacti, and a colorful garden just outside her house.
After our welcome hug, she gave us a quick tour of her house pointing out photos of long lost relatives, antiques she had kept, and some freshly squeezed lemonade. I drank it fast hoping to get another cupful, but mom shook her head no.
Just when I thought this was going to be another boring visit, she led us out into the backyard, to show us the pool. Yay. I couldn’t wait to put on my swimsuit and jump in. We spent the night and went to Old Town Albuquerque the next day for lunch.
Although there were hotdogs and hamburgers on the menu, we were told to only order Mexican. So Anne, Tim and I scoured the menu and ordered chili. The waiter asked us if we wanted red or green. We thought they meant beans, so we said red. Well, as it was, they meant sauce. We went through six pitchers of water during that meal; and Anne was the only one who ate her whole bowl full. We found out later, that the green sauce was even hotter.
So we left with some tummy’s grumbling, but we also got to see the handiwork of the Mexicans and Indians. From jewelry to ponchos. The adventure was fun and definitely memorable. And yes, Aunt Gertrude was great.
Tell me a story about your childhood – maybe a new experience, a new food, or perhaps, something that didn’t go the way you planned. Use the space in the comments below.