William Beaumont

The Fates have finally eased up!

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It’s been two weeks with an ER visit, broken window woes, and a winter storm from Mother Nature.  But now we are finally getting back on track and back on the road.

New Year’s day was to be our ‘send off’ day, but Austin had a bad cold that got so severe that we ended up spending the day at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center Emergency Room.  He still has a cough, but I finally let him break out of our tiny camper for some errands today with me after a week of being couped up.

In November we had a broken dinette window.  That was a fun one!  I went to open the window the day before Thanksgiving and just as I slid it about three inches out it shattered.  The glass company came about a week later, and now, after two previous misfits, they finally installed a properly fitted working window today.  (Yes, that’s right, over a month later!)

The first El Paso snow in 2013
The first El Paso snow in 2013

In the meantime, between the ER visit and the window being installed, Mother Nature picked the perfect timing to send us our first winter snow here in El Paso.  Of course, so rare is the snow and ice here that the roads are never cleared and the drivers are without enough practice.  The main juncture here, affectionately called the “Spaghetti Bowl” has steep and twisting angles not meant for days without sunshine.

But today we find ourselves ready to roll.  We’ve gotten things organized and stored and squirreled away, ready for travel.  Austin keeps talking about tomorrow like it’s Christmas all over again and even the dog is looking at me like he truly understands our imminent departure.

One last dinner at Chico’s Tacos, one last glimpse of our beautiful snow covered mountains, and one last drive west out of our city for 2013.  Our journey has begun!

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My desert home

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It’s been wonderful being back in El Paso for the last year and more.  I’ve been so used to traveling and moving that our little six-week trip in September and October back East just wasn’t enough to cure my bug, but at the same time, I’m home.

I graduated from Socorro High School here in El Paso back in the 80’s and then went straight el-paso-tx desertinto the Marine Corps as a 17-year-old.  My friends and I were so hurried to get out on our own.  Of my two best friends, one graduated mid-term and married the day after our last class.  I graduated mid-term also and left for boot camp in January.   While my friends were enjoying the prom I was on bivouac in Parris Island and by the time they were graduating, I was at my first duty station in North Carolina.  At age 21, when many young adults are moving out of their parents’ homes, I was completing a four-year tour of duty.

Although I have a lot of pride associated with my service (even my youngest daughter became a Marine) I recently have had reminders of the unique experiences that I lost in all my ambition.  I followed the military for 25 years and it was only my position with the American Red Cross that brought me back home to Texas, serving as the Station Manager  at William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

Within a year of leaving El Paso so long ago I lost touch with my first love.  The last I heard from my best friends was about ten years ago.  We’re now in our 40s, married, divorced, children.  Although we’ve all gone in different directions, we will never lose our common denominator.  And maybe I’m a sentimental fool now, but I’d love to see them all, hear their voices, cry with them, laugh with them, and heal their wounds.

In January I leave El Paso, but in December I’ll be back, back to my favorite place, my desert home.