Yesterday we left our son and his family in Dallas, TX to drive Santa Fe, NM. We had never been in New Mexico and wanted to add it to the list of states we’ve visited as well as see the beautiful sights people we talked to said we would find there. On our bucket list is visiting all fifty states. We have six remaining. We have no serious subject this week, so we will share with you a few of the events of the day that we enjoyed reflecting on at the end.
The trip got off to a bumpy start when we had a problem with the rental car (a second one because the first one had already been replaced) and were delayed 2 hours getting started. It’s over 600 mi and, by the time we got on the road Bob was pretty stressed. Rita has always been good at offering a soothing hand, this time just rubbing his shoulder as he drove helped him to settle down and not grumble about other drivers.
Texas and New Mexico have 75 mph speed limits and the traffic was light after we got out of the Dallas area, so driving was easy as we traded times behind the wheel.
We heard the song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, which is a favorite from our dating days and enjoyed singing along. Rita reached out to touch Bob’s knee as we sang.
In January we got caught in a speed trap with a $300 fine, so we worked together all day helping the driver keep track of the speed limit. While there might have been a time when this would have been irritating, it was a fun time telling each other what the speed limit was as each of us drove.
We stopped for lunch at a roadside rest area and Rita was very nervous about the “Watch out for rattlesnakes” signs. She stayed well back from the opening of the trash can when she threw anything into it. Bob found this very amusing.
We commented on the presence of a DQ and a Subway in every town we passed through. And when we were looking to take an ice cream break we couldn’t find one.
We called two of our grandchildren from the car and talked to them about their vacation last week and their anticipation of school, which starts next week. We cherish our times talking with all our grandchildren and this added to the passing of time along the Texas landscape.
Bob played a Celtic Woman album for Rita when she was driving, because they are among her favorite groups.
We took a break in Amarillo and shared a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream. While we lamented about the calories, it was nice to sit in the sun and eat it together. Rita wondered whether their might be rattlesnakes there as well.
Along the road we saw oil wells, wind turbines and ranches and when we crossed into New Mexico we commented on how quickly the landscape changed. We made a promise to each other many years ago to kiss in every state. As we entered New Mexico we each kissed our finger tips and put them on the lips of the other. Once we were in New Mexico the word mesa suddenly had meaning. We even compared it to the desert landscape of Israel in the region of Samaria.
We passed a cattle feeding operation with hundreds of animals confined to pens. They produced a foul smell in the air and Rita knew there was a reason why she had given up eating meat and made Bob wonder whether he wants to eat beef, especially if it is raised in those conditions.
As a former history and geography teacher Rita was happy when we crossed the border into NM because she had a road map to follow our progress. She is always happy when she has a map, and we didn’t have one for TX. While new electronics work, the larger paper map makes it easier to look ahead and point out information as we drive. It also allows her to check off points on the map and count down the distance to our arrival. Bob is happy to get that information from the GPS.
When we arrived at our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the rooms are named after famous composers – ours is Giuseppe Verdi, who composed Aidi and other operas with music that Bob, especially, likes to listen to.
As always, a highlight of the whole day was all the little conversations we had on many topics and just being together.
Finally, to quote Jack about his journey to Texas, especially the limo ride, “It was fun AND an experience.”
Please add your comments below.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.