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Excerpts of New Mexico Travel Diary
State 18 - NEW MEXICO 23 NOV 98 - 27 NOV 98


Thanksgiving Day. It's sunny and warm, about 77 degrees. We're having our Thanksgiving feast in the trailer today, just the two of us. Of course, no turkey. The rigid "Fit for Life" diet forces us to chose between having turkey with green veggies or having starches -- corn, squash, potatoes, and stuffing -- without the turkey. We decide to flip the bird and go for the trimmings. Stuffing and potatoes are more important to us, so we are getting stuffed on starches and hardly miss old Tom Turkey at all. After dinner I call home to wish all a happy Thanksgiving. Melissa answers. Sweet Melissa. My darling niece who, when only 11 months old, shared her bedroom with her homeless aunt. I used to watch her sleeping in her crib and wonder what that cute little pumpkin-faced little girl would be like when she grew up. Now a senior in college, she's everything I hoped for. "Where are you?" She demands. The chatter and laughter of 17 people comes bubbling up behind her greeting. (Sigh) The sound of family. The sound of love. The phone, with me at the other end, gets jostled and passed around from niece, to sister, to mother to another niece (the men, as usual avoid talking to me). All say they miss us. I hang up the phone and my heart tightens. Take a sad survey of my RV surroundings, hopelessly lacking in festivities. I glance out the window at my trailer-park neighbors. The Park is full. Every slot is taken. Who are these people? I wonder. Why are they in this lonely place on Thanksgiving? (They can ask the same of us, Ken reminds me.) Yes. What are we doing here, too? I see one of my RV neighbors entertaining guests today. Screen door opens and a grandmother, grandfather and two teenagers, all dressed up for the holiday, file into the middle-aged couple's small RV. An RV much smaller than ours. The kind of vehicle, a Type C they call it, that has the cab of the truck inside the kitchen. How in the world will six people fit? Man, I would never invite six people into a trailer for a meal. Never. Oh-oh. And therein lies my problem. That's it. Hah! I'm too neat. Too careful, too tidy, too controlled for love. Love means allowing chaos in your home, in your life. Love knows it's sloppy and spills all over, so it never comes to my door. I've got to work on that.

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