This week went by way too fast, yesterday morning it was already time to take Dad to the airport to head back home to Rochester; someone has to put gas in the car. As we drove through Albuquerque, we were all impressed with the artistic detail of their bridges, highway sound barriers, and the amount of great public artworks; Albuquerque is a classy city. Dad, hope you make it back out soon, but at least I can stop acting like I’m being careful with the trailer for a while. The car is a whole different matter.
Thankfully, a few years ago during benefits open enrollment at work I opted for long term disability. In a time like this, the last thing you need on your full plate is financial stress. My strong advice, if long term disability is an option, take it!! However the drawback, MetLife requires that I apply for social security disability benefits to offset part of their cost. With Shannon’s support, we faced this bureaucratic nightmare head-on this morning. For about four hours we filled out the applications with information that I thought I had already provided numerous times on my tax forms? With breakfast and lunch in bed, this was starting to look like another zero day…
…however, later in the afternoon I managed to rally. Geared up in my Warsaw Poll Vaulting Club t-shirt, we headed down to the Old Town of Albuquerque. Growing up, high school track was an important part of my life. On weekends, track invitationals were often a sort of family reunion as we “competed” with our cousins. Cousin Mike took his love of the sport to the next level when he became a phys-ed teacher and track coach. Poll Vaulting has become his specialty, and he has coached kids all over the Rochester area to amazing success. Most exciting for us to watch has been his own daughter Karmen, one of the top eighth graders in the country, who recently vaulted 11’6″. I am sure you will be seeing her name over the next few years. Congratulations to you both, and we can’t wait to see more!! However, I recommend more subdued t-shirts in the future, I look like a pumpkin.
With Dad back home, the balance of power shifted; Mom and Shannon declared mutiny on the Volvo and dragged me out shopping for arts and crafts. The old town had tons of shops with great native Mexican & American art. Most notable were the Oaxacan painted carvings; the intricacy of the painting is phenomenal. However, they come at at great price as well; the best are a couple thousand. I pushed Shannon toward the much less expensive place-mat sized hand woven rugs. We both had great visions of pimping our ride: rug floor mats, bull horns, and a cow hyde throw for the back seat. The Volvo has become home.
We had dinner right in Old Town and a restaurant called The Church Street Cafe. Out of a commitment to my stomach, I stayed away from their more notorious Mexican food and ordered a ham sandwich. When it arrived, I felt full just at the sight. I ate a couple of fries, and packed it up in a to go box, kicked back on their comfortable bench seat covered in pillows, and enjoyed the great atmosphere. Meanwhile, Mom & Shannon soaked up some margaritas…Debbie, they left us craving a good beerita.