Thursday, May 8, 2014

The lady in red (lipstick)

There was Crescencia and Madeline ... Tomasita, Margaret and Lupita. 
And Evelyn -- my mother.

I remember spending Saturday afternoons with Mother at San Ildefonso or Santa Clara pueblo where she'd go to 'trade' with the Indians.   
(To be honest, I was wildly UNenthusiastic, preferring to hide in the backseat with a comic book.)

A shy woman by nature, I've no idea how or what prompted her hobby.  A self-proclaimed 'nervous' driver, still she'd navigate the twisty, narrow road off  'the Hill' in all sorts of weather to barter the contents of our Buick's trunk for their craft.
Long before Indian pottery became fashionable, our apartment started to fill with pottery, soft leather goods and hand-crafted drums.
A few real friendships developed.   
Over the years, mother was gifted with a gorgeous squash-blossom necklace and matching belt .... but the greatest gift was her unlikely friendship with Lupita.   
Apart from a shared birth year, their differences were many.  But, I suspect each recognized the other's tendency to look for best in people. 
Lupita and family, 1955
When or why mother stopped going, I couldn't say.   I suppose it was just one of those things.  
Then, in May 2000 an impromptu suggestion turned into something neat!
As an 83rd birthday surprise, I'd been planning a trip back to New Mexico for months.  We never could have imagined the Cerro Grande fire, would (obviously) impact our plans to visit friends in Los Alamos.   
Then, "Why don't we take a drive to San Ildefonso? Perhaps Lupita is still there."   

Instead of the almost-inconspicuous dirt road leading off the highway, here was a modern paved affair, not far from a garish casino - leading to an equally modern gift shop.   My heart sank.
Putting on my best game face, I explained our mission to an associate... who looked startled, but agreed to consult another.   Finally, an older gentleman gestured my direction: "Yes, Lupita is still here; she has agreed to see you."    

14 years later I still get a bit teary-eyed remembering the ladies sweet reunion.   Her children were summoned ..... everyone's words tumbled, one over another.    

Prior to saying 'good-bye', Lupita's son confided, "I never forgot her, you know.   I couldn't remember her name, but I'd ask my mother, 'When is the lady in red lipstick coming back to see us?'."  

Later, mother shared that seeing Lupita was the 'best' part of our trip.  I'm pretty sure they never had occasion to speak again, but fond memories never really die.  
My one and only overture to mother's passion:
My 8-y/o self traded a little girl a pack of Juicy-Fruit gum for this duck.
Tho' I've much of mother's collection, this little guy never fails to make me smile!

Wishing you all a sweet weekend!

Hugs from Phoenix,




Saturday, May 3, 2014

Word play

I wonder sometimes...  why is it we tend to overlook others' goofs lots faster than we do our own?   
Tho' sometimes prone to beat myself up over harmless missteps ...  I'm so enjoying being 'this age' and learning to laugh them off.

Isn't this classic?  I just want to jump into that cartoon with those gals!
Speaking of 'classic' ...
Something happened the other day which took me right back to '67:   
Following a youth fellowship meeting, I spotted this parked right outside the Baskin-Robbins.  My eyes grew wide: "Why, look at that __________."   ... pronouncing the model exactly as it was spelled.   Yessiree, I did. :(

Years later I went toe-to-toe with my boss, insisting "irregardless"  is too a word.
Come to think of it, that was about the same time I learned my reluctance to eat chicken had absolutely nothing to do with chicken-fried steak.

One of my favorite stories surrounds my parents' excursion on a Russian freighter.    The captain and crew really extended themselves, hoping their 30-some American passengers were enjoying themselves.   Of course, that included an impromptu "Welcome Reception."  The captain stood tall and raised his glass of champagne to the small assembly.   In broken English he proudly exclaimed, "Up your bottoms!"

Don't you suppose every family or close-knit clan has their own favorite MIS-definitions or phrases that live on and on?   I know of 2-3 that only a few remaining family members would 'get'  -- but they're sweeter for the telling.  

This isn't one of them ... but I hope my definition of a 'rear-view' mirror might catch on someday.  LOL!

Have you a favorite 'uh-oh' moment that makes you smile all over again?  

Hugs from toasty Phoenix!