Saturday, July 23, 2005

How to Say Thank You

I am back from high altitude to high attitude. It was hard to get used to South Florida drivers-You know who you are! The cut offs and cut ins on I-95 were a most unwelcome back after two months in Rocky and other mountain civilizations. Maybe folks are the same all over the world but they sure seem different in the driver's seat. Is it my imagination?

As my body begins to readjust to low altitude, meaning no more red meat, more salads to beat the humidity but, on the other hand, the return of good skin-not too fond of fish scales from the West's dryness and a face that looks like a roadmap of Texas-I am taking this time to thank my western relations who are truly special. you don't know them but I do and they are genuine folks that you wish you knew! So, here goes:

Thank you, Shizhee Billie for always being there and for giving me your own bedroom that faces the East each morning. I am grateful that I was able to rise before sunrise this year and go up to the mountain with you for Dineh prayer. I am thankful for the stories you told me on my way up to pray to Johonaei and I will keep them sacred. May you walk for 132 years in beauty.

Thank you, Bruno for the apartment with all the rooms for the same price as the regular hotel room and thank you for the beautiful green shirt with "Bruno's Country Club" on it. Mostly, though, I will think about the super sized plate of ravioli in front of me and the special Italian dinner that included a huge portion of chicken, roast beef, rigatoni, spinach and green beans. I was saddened to learned that Frances is no longer with you but encouraged that you continue to make Bruno's a home away from home to those you hold dear. You are the key keeper to the Black Rock Desert and may you be for many years to come.

Thank you, Kate, for your kindness to Shizhee Billie and for always having a smile despite your adversities. I pray that your eyes get better and that next year we can rock in Bingham together. I enjoyed your Gallup flea market display that gets bigger and bigger each year.

Thank you, Jeannie, for your warm hospitality. I always enjoy sharing breakfast and catching up on the events in our lives. Your interesting and eclectic bookstore has been updated with a new inviting back patio and as always is chock full of both new and old books and all kinds of American Indian paraphernalia. I really enjoyed seeing the renovations to your home and meeting Carlo. You are a wonderful example of the self-sufficiency of western women. And thank you for the blown glass made right in Salida!

Thank you, Blue Star, for finally getting us to your part of the world. The Wind River reservation is spectacular and it was interesting to see how you and Toni are planning to make a home on your land. We enjoyed sharing the root with you and of course the dinner and great conversation. I was enthralled with the beauty of the red canyons surrounding Lander and also the great opal finds around the Green River. These visions stay in your heart and call for a quick return.

Thank you, Charlie, for always being truthful with me. It was sad that we could not meet but I understood why you could not be there this time. You would have enjoyed the goings on in the square with the Santa Fe merchants hawking their wares to counterattack the big chain stores coming in. My best freebie was a rattlesnake egg in a brown bag that made a noise when you opened it that would scare the hell out of anyone.

Thank you all for bringing me up..And now, for the coming down....