Sunday, April 3, 2011

2011-06 Albuquerque New Mexico, A Family Visit

Albuquerque NM

Sometimes you’re the pigeon
Sometimes you’re the statue

Family visit.  Not so much a travel report as a report on family life out here in NM.

Heidi and Jay
My sister:  Ann
Her Daughter:  Heidi
Heidi’s husband: Jay
Sarah 14,
Elisa 12,
Minnie 8,
Noah 6,
Natalie 3,
Jillian 2,
Calvin 1

Great Uncle Doug arrived on the northern outskirts of Alb. NM for a visit with family.  Visits are made between busy schedules and busy lives.  I’ve set up camp as I mentioned in the previous report at the Hollywood Casino north of town.  The campsites are the typical casino campsites.  Large gravel sites with concrete islands designating each campsite.  Electric hookups, though I have to fill my holding tanks with water as there is no water or sewer at each site.  I’m able to get about a dozen over air TV stations in the now normal high definition quality stations.

From my campsite I watch the traffic as it travels along I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  A steady stream heading north and south rising higher as the road travels over one of the many barren hills dotted with the occasional juniper tree.

Ann with one year old Calvin
My first evenings visit enabled me to enjoy and observe Heidi and Jay’s brood of 7 children from ages 1 to 14 years in age.  There were no formal introductions to the children.  Not sure one could wrangle all 7 of them together at once anyway.  I believe three of them are currently getting home schooling.  A true passion for Heidi who has also been diagnosed with a form of cancer that has invaded her body and which will require chemo treatments for the rest of her life.  Her youthful gypsy look is complimented as she now wears a stylish scarf on her head.  A strong faith continues to hold her in good steed.  Jay’s parents were here for a visit and we adults went out to dinner on their last night here.  My sister Ann, Heidi’s mom, has been here for months helping out the family as much as she can.

You may remember from my last years visit to Michigan when I visited my sister Dorothy in lower Michigan and then went to the U.P. of Mich to visit with Ann in our home towns of Houghton/Hancock.  Ann has continued to be our families caregiver as she for years took care of Mom and Dad in their latter years.  Working in a elder care apartment complex, taking care of her friend and partner, Jim.  Jim of course is still in Northern Mich. And while Ann continues to help out here in Alb. NM her thoughts are also with her sweet (or ornery as the case may be) Jim.

I’m here in a minor supporting role, that we all take at times in our lives, some more than others.  Heidi is such a strong character and it is truly an inspiration to see her go through her day.  Though there have been times of tension and raised voices as the pressure of Heidi’s illness invades everyday life.   And yes a few more breaks for much needed rest to rebuild her strength, but still a full time mother and educator, living a very full life indeed.

I’m taking time to do a few chores that we full time Rv’ers need to do occasionally.  Bringing the camper in for another warranty repair.  The city water connection had a malfunctioning “back-flo” regulator that wasn’t working.  Meaning when using the onboard water pump, all the water came gushing out of the city water connection.

Today I did regular maintenance checks on the camper and truck.  1.  Check oil in truck.  2. Tighten lug nuts on trailer tires. All were secure and tight. 3.  Grease stabilizing jacks, they squeak.  4.  Attach clear sewer connector.  And no, I can’t count each one as my chore for the day.  Remember I try to do just one chore each day.  These pretty much added up to my one chore a day routine.

Ann and I spent some time out having lunch and a bit of shopping.  Though I hardly need a thing living in an Rv.  Nice to interact with my sister and reconnect about simple likes and learning who we are in our adult lives.

On my last day with Heidi, Ann and the family, I brought a set of framed and matted prints I'd made up for my first Photography show.  I let Heidi and Ann select one as it was their birthdays this past week.  Heidi selected the Port Townsend Ladies in front of a storefront window.  Ann selected the photo of Madonna.  Everyone really enjoyed looking over my framed photos.
view looking out from campsite at Casino
A last note before signing off.  I had my annual physical in Tucson about a month and a half ago.  All was well, except for a pain in my lower groin area which was diagnosed as probably a hernia.  A month later I received a call from the Dr’s that they wanted me in for a cancer screening.  It was all an error, as the Dr. had put Hodgkin’s disease on the “history” as well as the “diagnosis sheet”.  I had had Hodgkin’s 35 years ago. So when they reviewed my records a whole month later, calling me to make an appointment at a cancer institute,  it put me into quite a tailspin until we could get it all sorted out.

Today I did do a follow-up with another Dr. while here in AZ, with a more thorough screening including more blood tests and a sonogram.  I was able to actually see the small hernia and my innerds.  Quite interesting.

The pain had been going on for almost two months.  Interestingly, a few days before making the appointment to see a second Dr., I was laying in bed one night, with the persistent pain keeping me awake, when I suddenly felt the urge to declare the following:  “Body, Heal Thyself”.  Within three days, it appears all the pain is gone.  The power of suggestion? The power of God? Coincidence?  Did I have the power to heal myself?  My spiritualist training tells me I was able to connect to the Universal healing energy.

I'll be in Santa Fe NM next then we'll see which direction I head....

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