Our stay in El Paso, TX included an unexpected (very!) range of experiences. While we knew we’d be seeing our daughter Natalie and her little stowaway, there was a lot more in store that we didn’t foresee – which is, of course, why we’re out here.
As usual, our experiences ranged from the banal to the sublime. On the ordinary end of the spectrum, we had to replace the air filter on Sandy. Dust has been raging in West Texas, and she had breathed in too much. We also had the center carrier bearing of the drive shaft replaced. These are the smaller matters that keep our rolling home rolling. On the sublime side (sounding strangely like a new economic philosophy), we had a surprise family reunion! We had been expecting Natalie to fly in from Chicago, but we had no idea that she had arranged and flown in her sister Adrienne. This was the first we’d been together in three and a half years. We couldn’t have been more surprised or happier. We also met up with friends from Connecticut who are heading west for a wedding. Add in some small town vibes from San Elizario, and we had a lovely time in El Paso. This reinforces what on the surface feels like an Instagram platitude, but is in fact our reality: Home is where you park it.
Our time in El Paso was the first that we had spent in a city on an interstate since we left Tampa, FL at the end of January. It was frankly nerve wracking to be back in the bustle and sprawl of big town, but it did have its conveniences.
We did have a side trip to the small town of San Elizario, south of El Paso. It was a remarkable stay, for we got not only a sense of the past, but a sign of the continued growth of a remote spot. A docent at the local history museum (whom we are ashamed to not be able to name and draw) told us of her struggles with elders to shift the tone of the museum away from glorifying colonization and ignoring indigenous culture. Her tour was very engaging, as she described the past as well as her own growth and experiences.
We said See you soon to Natalie and Adrienne and ready to leave El Paso. Our plan takes us north and west to the grand and storied places of the American West . . . including Sandy’s first home. While we will certainly see iconic places, we will remember daily that it is the unexpected that always captures us.