Let me tell you, I had a merry Christmas and a Happy new year. Still, the place in my heart where my family belongs longed to be with them. The opportunity to be together again came more quickly than I even planned in the form of a joyous event: the sealing of our Brother and Sister Nick and Betsy!! The sealing was indeed quite urgent because Betsy was 35 weeks pregnant. It took a while for all the arraignments and at last the date was set and we scrabbled to make preparations so that we could make sure to be there.
I worked a double at work and Karl made some quick arraignments as well and we were off after work on Wednesday. We stayed at this creepy dive called the Virgin River in Mesquite NV on our way down. We swam in the pool and soaked in the jacuzzi and at the casino restaurant, which was terrible if you were wondering.
We got up early the next morning, ate the one free breakfast that came with the room and were off. The drive was faster than I remembered and it was nice to be together just Karl and me. We stopped at this little jerky stand we always pass.
We bought Elk Jerky and some local orange blossom honey from this nice lady for just 6 bucks. The jerky was really gamey but the honey was delicious!
Before we knew it we were surrounded by the dunes in Glamis. Neither of us had been out there in years so we decided to stop at a look out and have a glance around.
We usually drive through here just before Christmas and right before new years. It is always packed with people. To see it so deserted, yet with so many signs it had just recently been over run with a little eerie.
It was a beautiful day though. It was hard to recall that we had been living in the ice just days before.
The Imperial Valley, our home.
It was harder than Karl let on to leave work. It seemed like every time I turned my back he was checking his phone for e-mails, answering questions for customers at work, and contacting coworkers.
The views were breathtaking, but the sand was mesmerizing. It had been so long since I had been in sand.
Look at these awesome tire marks.
Just down the hill there they were, the cattle of the Imperial Valley.
Down just another mile, sheep.
Across the fields there was always a huge pillar of smoke. I had forgotten that they burned fields so much.
As we drove to El Centro on the 111, I realized that my Dad office was right there. His office was our first stop at home. It was so amazing to see him. DAD, you are looking so incredibly skinny! I know I told you already, and I will probably mention it again but man, you are so skinny. We talked for a while then said a see you later so he could get back to work.
Another stop I haven’t made in years is at my grandparents graves. We passed the graveyard on our way into town so we made a stop there too.
I think I was just in high school the last time I was here.
Again, it was a beautiful day, in the evening, in JANUARY.
Karl started poking around and look what he found.
We were on our way to see my mom and memories from my childhood flooded my memeory and heart:
Foster Freeses where we often went for FHE.
The old 31 flavors where we would get ice cream cakes for birthday parties at the round table. My mom would always talk about how she used to work there when she was young.
You may have noticed that it is now 21 flavors…well spotted. The 31 flavors closed years ago.
We made it! My beautiful mother met us at her class room!
We went home with my mom and made dinner with her. My dad came home and we had a great dinner with them. We had planned on surprising Karl’s parents with our arrival. When we got to there house mom was out side. Instead of greeting us she quietly said, “I need you guys.” When we inquired further about what was distressing her we discovered Karl’s father Jim had been in a motorcycle accident earlier that morning.
We rushed back to the hospital with mom. She had been through quite a lot that day. Before she even found out about the accident her car had broken down. Luckily her parents were in town for Nick and Betsy’s sealing, among other things. She had a terrible time trying to find dad, then get his bike home and so on and so forth. She was beat.
We arrived at the hospital and dad was relaxing just reading a book. Surprised to see us, maybe. He told us the whole story when we arrived. He had been riding his bike down Imperial Ave when a truck took an unexpected right turn in front of him. In an effort to not run into the truck, he went into a slide. He unfortunately let go of the break too early and high sided: Crushing his ankle and breaking his femur.
Karl and his dad:
Mom and Grandpa Barney.
Dad ended up have two surgeries. One on his femur with rods, screws, pins and plates. The other on his ankle which included similar hardware. Karl and Grandpa Barney gave him a blessing and he is on the mend.
On our way out of the hospital that next morning we accidentally ended up in the same elevator.
Dad had a busy day of scans and so on so we left him at the hospital to have a look around.
We headed out to Brawley, Karl’s home town to see what we could see. We passed Holly Sugar, and the sea level mark. It was odd to see it in such disrepair.
Next was a stop at BUHS.
While we were taking this picture Karl remarked that he never picked up his Diploma. It has always been kind of a joke with us that he never graduated because his GPA was so poor. So we went in to see what we could find.
This nice women told us that, yes they did have a diploma for him, and presented it to him:
On our was over to breakfast at Johnny’s burritos, a local hot spot and home of amazing mexican food, we found this fully operational phone booth, complete with a current phone book! Seriously, I haven’t seen one of these in YEARS!
There was a sign out side of the restaurant, welcoming us:
I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy a shirt.
We topped off our trip to Brawley by having the BEST fries in the world: The Johnny’s Cheese and Avocado fries. Eat those with some sweet carne asada tacos, and I was in heaven.
God bless America.