Albuquerque, New Mexico
March 21 – April 4, 2018
We were so eager to get back to Albuquerque during “Year 2”. We were surprised in 2016 by how much we loved this city, and we were excited to live at Enchanted Trails RV again, visit the Explora, and hit the trails, old & new.
We took advantage of an event called Ballooning for All, that was aimed at people both with and without disabilities to have the opportunity to experience hot air balloons. Unfortunately, the wind did not cooperate so only a handful of people were able to float, tethered, up into the sky. But we still enjoyed seeing the beautiful balloons being inflated and deflated, watched people nearby competing in a hot air balloon race, and interacted with a lot of fantastic people from Albuquerque. It really made me miss my interaction with the special needs community back in Wenatchee.
The 4 of us signed up for a 5K – Coral’s first, and this one themed as a “Foam Glow”. It may have forever given her the wrong impression for what to expect in a foot race…just your traditional Easter Eve family activity.
On Easter morning we joined a group of friends at a local Quaker church for an hour of silent waiting to hear from the Lord. Then they welcomed us to their annual picnic lunch and Easter egg hunt at one of the member’s homes. They had special guests from Kenya that day who gave us the gift of music while we ate our egg salad sandwiches.
This was nothing like my traditional Easter Sunday, but it was fantastic. I met an older woman in this group named Sarah. She sat next to me during the picnic and I felt like we could have talked for days. Unfortunately, she had to rush away to get ready to catch a flight to South America.
“It’s OK; I’m pretty much ready to go,” she kept saying to people who were acting surprised at her attendance at the picnic that day.
After she walked away, her husband leaned over to Brad and said, “No she isn’t…she hasn’t even started packing yet.” Her husband wasn’t going to South America with her because he claimed that he “couldn’t keep up with her.”
“She sounds a lot like my Sarah,” Brad shared.
“Well maybe your Sarah is like mine,” the man shared with a smile. “She just tries to pack as much as she possibly can into life.”
I really wish I could have spent more time with this kindred spirit.
But the most fantastic thing about our time in ABQ this time around was that we met some wonderful new friends! Actually, Sunny & Coral made the connection by inviting a young friend to play along with their Easter egg hunt in the grass at our campground. When they begged later to knock on his door to ask to play again the next day, I said no at first. It had been a long day, and I really didn’t feel like interacting with any more strangers, and I wasn’t even convinced they knew for certain which trailer was his. But I let them convince me that we should extend an invitation, because we’ve had one too many occasions when interesting people departed before we got to spend time with them.
“Ok, but keep it quick. And we’re not going in,” I warned them as we walked through the 5th wheel that they promised belonged to their new friend.
Fast-forward an hour, and I was standing in the living room of my new best friends from Minnesota, trading cell phone numbers and making plans about when we were going to the Explora together the next day. By the time we met them, we were only in the campground for about 36 more hours, but we spent nearly all of them with this sweet family.
I am continually amazed by the fact that there are so many wonderful people around me all the time, receptive to forming a relationship, if I’m just willing to take the first step. And as I continue to practice, that first step is getting easier and easier…even when I don’t feel like it.
I’m so glad the girls talked me into saying hi this time, because these people are just totally fantastic.