Lucinda, "Grandma" Betts (a friend and relation) and my friend LCB at THE kitchen table, July 2008In late April-early May this year, I had a rare opportunity (thanks to a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona) to get myself back to the Southwest after a hiatus of nearly three years, and took advantage of the opportunity to bring KLK along to see a magical region he's had no previous chance to get to know. After the conference we journeyed north from the Phoenix area, making many stops at special places through the middle of Arizona and eastward across Interstate 40 - the progeny of historic US Route 66 - to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Albuquerque is just 45 miles east of Laguna. In spite of our myriad lovely experiences to that point, what I looked forward to most was seeing my friends on the pueblo. KLK had never met them, but heard about them often over our years together. After a refreshing sleep at my favorite B&B in Albuquerque, we jumped in the rental car and backtracked to Laguna, specifically, to the little town of Paguate, my friends' heritage home. We pulled into the yard, automatically locked the car as we urban-dwellers are compelled to do (ridiculous behavior in Paguate, to be sure) and walked through the front door, which leads to the biggest room and my beloved favorite heart of the home, The Kitchen. Lucinda popped right up for a big embrace. Her quick, quiet personal aside to me was, "Oh! I'm so glad you didn't knock!" Of course, family, after all,wouldn't knock.
The "black thumb"natural landmark, Pueblo of Laguna