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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Visit in Belen and On to the Mountains

February 23, 2014 Espanola, NM Rodeway Inn Suite 202 @ 10:13 PM MST

After our wonderful morning at the Bosque and lunch in Socorro we continued north to Belen and the home of our friends, Gloria and Bud. What to say about a day and a half with friends?  We talked and caught up since last we were together—family, health, hobbies, books, movies and TV, what’s going on back in New England. Just a myriad of topics and lots of time to almost exhaust them. Gloria and I share an interest in scrapbooking, which is how we met, so naturally we sat in her workroom, exploring new techniques, tools and websites. She is so incredibly talented, I always learn new things from her. I so enjoy looking at the albums that she has done for her grand-daughters and I know she enjoys sharing them with me and explaining how she’s done different things in them.

I cannot talk about our visit without praising our meals—Gloria is one of the world’s best cooks and we gain at least ten pounds each time we visit : wonderful ham dinner with scalloped potatoes and fresh steamed green beans; meatloaf dinner, steamed red potatoes, her incredible salad and fresh baked bread. She gave me the recipe for this easy loaf and I cannot wait to try baking it myself. She’s changed our way of preparing salad and Italian sausage for sauce and now she’s introduced me to a simple recipe for the most incredible crusty bread.

I had forgotten a book I wanted to share with her—The Lost Sisterhood—and will send it out when I get home. In the meantime, she has passed on The American Heiress to me—not sure it’s the right name but it is about a girl, much like Cora on Downton Abbey. An American heiress who marries an impoverished British aristocrat. A common practice post WWI—Churchill’s mother was such a woman. Money for a title—a win-win situation—how modern!

We, all four, thoroughly enjoyed Netflix’s House of Cards last year and since neither one of us had yet started the new season, we watched several episodes each evening—with Bud’s popcorn. Such fun—like going to the movies but all comfortably ensconced in their living room with a big TV and the opportunity to comment and talk whenever we wanted.

This morning after a big breakfast of leftover ham and red potatoes, toasted crusty bread, orange juice and coffee, we packed the car and hugged each other good-bye until next time. That may be again this year, depending on our perambulations or same time next year. It is always hard to move on but the getting together is always just such a joy.

Off we went  through Albuquerque and up the Turquoise Trail and some of the art galleries in Madrid, which is south of Santa Fe. Bought a few things, including a wonderful copper snake and continued through Santa Fe to Espanola. Had dinner at Chili’s. Met a guy from Long Island—Hampton- who now lives in Colorado and works for DOE. We talked about the cost of the houses we grew up in which our father’s had built for 14,000 and 10,000 dollars back in 1957-1959, which are now, without very much change selling for 200,000-300.000 dollars. His cousin was a NYC fireman who died in the second tower—such an awful event—but even more so to those of us who still think of NYC as home, as the place we grew up and became the people we are.

Then we raced back to catch the Downton Abbey finale only to find they were first repeating last week’s episode. Good ending, just hate having to wait another year for the next season.

Tomorrow, we are going to Taos and Los Alamos. We’ve never been to this part of the State. There has often been a great deal of snow here in the Northern mountains. This year there is nothing on the ground at all and the road we’ve taken is running through the Rio Grande valley and so there are no drop offs or switch backs so far. We still have another 43 miles or so to go—hopefully, the terrain will remain unfrightening. Time will tell. Going to see what’s on TV now and then off to sleep. Until tomorrow—sleep tight. KandB

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