Xmas 2006, Las Cruces

Heidi talked me into driving -- rather than flying -- to Las Cruces to see HLT + JMT for xmas. If we would have chosen to fly, we almost certainly would have saved ended up staying in Colorado for the week, since flights from Denver were cancelled for the better part of the holiday season due to some terrific snow storms. In fact, we were just about the only one of our neighbors who made it on their xmas plans unaffected by weather at all. So, we drove down in the ultra Enterprise-mobile. Heather has a new house, and we checked it out. Side trips included White Sands, and a trip across the Rio.

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Driving down I-25

Denver and Las Cruces are both in I-25, just separated by 600 miles.  For fun,
we stopped near here to switch fuses in the car. Piper takes a nap outside of Albuquerque.

Lumenaria in las Cruces

Heather's neighbors have a little lumenaria thing going on.  It's a whole
civic-funded Xmas-eve project to fill the bags with sand, then light candles.
(Unfortunately, no photos of the lit ones, but they were pretty cool, both in
Las Cruces and down the street in Mesilla.)


Piper is 4 and very much into Santa.  Here she opens something from her
stocking. Heidi has received a two-humped camel for christmas!  Piper is very happy for
her mom. Check out that bike in the background! My mom is very pleased with her new goat. Someone who Santa loves <b>very much</b> has received a lemon! Someone else has received deep-fried meal worms for a special treat! P. receives her first piece of Petzl gear.  (No Black Diamond yet.) Check out that stash... Heather is delighted she has received some persimmons for chrismas! Piper bikes around on her cycle.  Woo-hoo!  We take a break from the package
opening process. HLT eats worms. A California Condor spies on my sister. Whoa!  All of Heather's biking buddies drop by.  How cool -- it's just like
Corvallis!  (Except they have fancier bikes.) Check out that house!  Lumenaria, adobe, peppers, etc. HLT recieves a fair wage courtesy of the growers at the Fair Trade offices. JMT stays warm. Piper reflects upon her household's new Nambe ware. Piper enthusiastically rips at the duct-tape packing around a super surprise
gift for Heidi.  Note the Hbach-inspired poetics. AHT observes...

Xmas Afternoon

Xmas afternoon: JMT and HLT head up to do something adult-like... We go over to the Rio Grande and play on the playground's climbing wall (sans
harness, I see). At the same time (due to two time-sync'd cameras), JMT explores the ruins. My camera is commandeered by a number of Las Cruces-based youth, who take a
good number of photos of themselves with it.  Eventually, through a translator
(at right), I get it back. While HLT and JMT are having a nice hike, Piper is diving into the mud.  The
river behind her is the Rio Grande, or what's left of it by the time it gets to
southern NM.  While I had been told that people paid tens of thousands of
dollars to be swum across it, Piper could nearly wade its entire width. Back at home, JMT comments on the dinner-based procedings. Heidi prepares mandelbrot, this time not for her dad. Check out that spider-web! JMT assembles her reindeer. Reindeer's blanket is courtesy of the recent strong winds in Oregon, which
pulled much greenery from high. This is the only image seen of a mysterious cat. JMT gets to challenge her pop cultural knowledge during game 1 (of 2) of a
celebrity pantomine game. HLT acts out the gangster Truman Capote. JMT plays the first of numerous rounds of animal dominos. HLT starts smashing her rocks.

White Sands

White Sands!  Unlike Colorado's Great Sand Dunes N.P., White Sands N.M. is
filled with quite soft gypsum sand, which doesn't scratch and doesn't stick.
Here, Piper demonstrates how she can walk unassisted through the sand on her
hands. Piper has almost buried her mother here. Sand-man! P has wandered off, never to be seen again.  This was the last known picture of
her taken.

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Henry Throop

Last modified Fri Apr 17 14:01:49 2009