Did I mention I don’t like flying? It was just getting a little bit of light as the airplane hurdled down the runway. I chomped gum and prayed I wouldn’t die. Once in the air I wish I had taken Dramamine! I was pretty queasy for a little while. Eventually my gut settled and I looked out the window and tried to guess where we were. I didn’t really see anything I recognized. After we had clouds beneath us, John put in a movie in our portable DVD player to distract me. But he forgot to charge it and the movie died half way The Pirate Movie. Before I knew it we were coming down into Las Vegas. I really didn’t like the bumping around as we came down into Las Vegas. We had to switch planes there and had just over an hour to look around and get to the next gate. I was completely surprised that we landed in a casino. I should of known. Still it cracked me up.
Eventually we left Nevada. We saw the Grand Canyon from the air. We saw Hoover Dam. We saw a little of the Rocky Mountains. Then we started to see a terrain that was tan… no green to be seen anywhere. The rivers stopped being blue and started looking brown… more like milk chocolate. Trees disappeared. It was very apparent that this part of the country barely sees any water. Actually, I thought the terrain looked more like the skin of one of those wrinkly dogs. LOL. We landed in El Paso Texas. I thought it was hot.
Even though we had flown over or near Area 51, I did not see any aliens. Noe would be disappointed. However, I did see this cool plane at the El Paso airport. The guy in front of us told us that it was a special NASA plane that brought big NASA engines in so that they could be tested out at White Sands. I thought is looked like a whale. The guy said it opens in front – like a big mouth – so that large things could be loaded or unloaded. Maybe it is a sign of extra terrestrial life. LOL.
McKay and Myles were waiting for us. We picked up our luggage and headed over “the mountain” toward Las Cruces, New Mexico. I guess it’s easier to get to where we were going by driving past a HUGE army base and going over a mountain (steep hill). I found it rather fascinating that the army base is more or less it’s own city with El Paso wrapped around it. For the safety of everyone, all army people and their families live on base and it functions like a city. They have to show special passes to get on base. Anyway, we headed up the freeway. Desert for as far as the eye can see. No grass. No trees. But they have cactus… with pokies!
McKay and Myles showed us around a little and took us to eat at their favorite Mexican restaurant. Tasty! The hotel that John had booked was clear across town from McKay and Myles. M&M don’t have many places to sot, so after they had brought us to the hotel, we all sat around and chatted. It was fun. I’m going to miss that… live chats with McKay. sigh. The next morning we got up early and headed to M&M little apartment for breakfast.
They worked together and made us bacon, eggs, orange juice and M&M’s. It was great. We got the 2 second tour of their apartment. John took this pictures. Our silly friend Shar asked if McKay was holding cockroaches. LOL. Nope. It’s bacon. However, McKay does have many of those little crawling friends. Myles just ignores them and moves on with his day. McKay screams and murders them with her shoe. She still needs to buy a broom, so little bug carcases are all over her tile floor. LOL. Their house is all cinder blocks painted white. They don’t have carpets. Every room is tile. They have two small bedrooms. They use one for an office. They have a tiny bathroom. They have a love seat and a “love sack” in the living room. I think that they will go shopping for more furnishing this week. They were just waiting to see what they got before they got a bunch of stuff on their own.
After breakfast we headed to the church to set up the reception. John helped Myles’ brother set up the ceiling with lights. McKay and I “went to town.” We needed fishing line, wire, and stuff to get the lights on the ceiling. McKay is still getting the lay of the land even though she has lived there since September. I had to drive because Myles had their car with her licence in it. She led me all over the valley. It took nearly 2 hours to run our errands. I’m pretty sure John thought we ditched him. LOL.
Eventually we were done with set up and we drove around town on a few last minute errands. Myles and McKay stopped for custard. I didn’t try it. But they said it was yummy… even if it gave McKay really bad gas. LOL. We also hit Walmart for a couple things… a new picture frame for a guest book (the other one was full), some lamps for decor that we intended to go to Myles and McKay since there are no lights in their little home, and a router for their computers. They were having a tough time doing work and school with the Internet hook up they had. Merry Christmas! At least we save on shipping cost. They complained that we were spending money on them. Too bad. I want them to spend their money on coming to visit. I don’t see me doing that trip very often.
After awhile we ended up at Myles’ family home. His sister did McKay’s hair. I ironed the dress. It took a long time. John was nice enough to stand there and to hold it up. That dress is heavy! My favorite moment of getting ready was this moment. McKay was putting on lotion and these little boys had to have some pretty smelling lotions too. At first the little boys confused me. I couldn’t figure out who they belonged to and how they were related to everyone,. It turns out they are not related at all. They are the nephews of Myles’ sister’s friend. But they spend a ton of time at the house and are definitely at home.
We headed to the reception. There weren’t many people that came. The large man on the far left is Myles’ dad. I have to say, he is not a very happy man. Myles is a miracle. His testimony is strong. He is happy. He treats others with kindness and respect. He reminds me of my dad… a man that rose from the destructive habits of family tradition to become a better person. I was struck by the unhappy state of many family member I met. I felt bad for those that felt that they could only find happiness in choices opposite of the gospel plan or by holding grudges. Forgiveness is the only true path to happiness.
The next day we drove back to El Paso to fly home. We drove past the Rio Grande… or rather, the Rio NOT-so Grande. There is no water in this river. Not so impressive. What did make an impression on me was looking across the river from the freeway into Mexico. Myles said it’s the most dangerous part of Mexico. There used to be a huge river to separate the cities. Now there is only a razor fence and border guards. My heart was sad for what I saw. It was definitely a third world country… houses on top of houses… dirt roads… garbage. The poverty is so contrasting to the homes on the USA side of the fence. No wonder people hop the fence! Myles said that the drug gangs rule everything. It isn’t safe. There is a temple there, but it’s dangerous to go there if you are American. He also said that a gun was fire in Mexico and entered a building in down town El Paso. sounds to me like both cities are dangerous. Anyway, the world has some big changes to make before I believe we are truly a God fearing and righteous world.
We said our goodbyes at the airport. This good bye was harder than before. I know that most people disagree with me, but I love the green LIVING country I live in. I was leaving my little girl in a land where nothing lives. The symbolism was sad to me. I sure hope she moves closer! Anyway, we got on the plane and headed for a long lay over in Albuquerque. This is what White Sands looks like from the air. It is a pretty amazing site. The flight was quick. I was amazed at all the dry river beds we could see from the air. It looks like there hasn’t been water in this area for every! We made a few purchases for the kids back home. There were a ton of thunderstorms and weather things on the from Albuquerque to Portland. The flight was bumpy. I didn’t like that. My legs felt so heavy and ached. The captain wanted people to sit most of the time because of the bumps. Coming into Portland was rough. One down draft made the whole plane gasp. We finally landed. LAND! I was so grateful for green plants and even the rain. I do live in one beautiful part of the country. I can tolerate a little rain in order to live where things live.
Kimber and Ray helped out at home while we were gone. They entertained Lilli. They watched Case, Lagi and Lilli while people were at school. They carted people to and from school. They made Christmas ornaments and banana bread. Mostly, they gave us peace of mind that everyone had their needs met while we were gone. Thanks guys! Friday, Chad’s choir sang at the local Christmas Tree lighting. Chad saved the day. A girl near him fell off the risers. She had locked her knees and blacked out. No one moved. But Chad hopped off to help her. Good boy. He also went to play with his friends. Meanwhile, Hannah went to play practice. They had a big house cleaning party too. Thanks guys!.
I didn’t feel too well Sunday evening after landing. I had a hard time adjusting and I’ve been dizzy for days. John and Hannah went to the community Christmas sing-a-long.
Then we started our new week.