The Usual?

Each week for more years than I can count, my sister Florence Marie, and before that her husband Glenn, has written a letter for all the family on both sides. LeRoy gives her a hard time because, in her day by day recounting of the week, she says that the activities of certain days were “the usual”. I’ve been thinking about that this week, because very little in our lives these days is “usual”. Oh, we still have to do laundry and clean the toilet, but beyond that we just have to be flexible.

I’m writing from Truth or Consequences today. We moved up here on Thursday because Raymond was transferred to the nursing home here. While social services at Memorial Hospital had been trying to find a place there in town for Raymond to stay during treatment, no such place was found. Most places would not accept him if he was going to be in treatment, period. Others would not transport him the short distance back and forth because they would not be reimbursed. I’m not sure what the difference is but Sierra Home Care in T or C was willing to take him AND transport him more than an hour each way, 5 days a week for 7 weeks! To say it is not ideal is an understatement. Raymond is nearing 81 and that ambulance time will wear him out even without the toll the treatment will take.

Enough about that unusual turn. Lest you think that all we do is hospital/nursing home related, we took some time yesterday just for ourselves and made a road trip in the car to Pie Town. Sometime early in our retirement, we took the road through that quaint little town and just by happenstance, stopped at the restaurant on the east end of town, Pie-O-Neer.


At that time, you could buy lunch there along with several varieties of pie. Kathy Knapp is the owner of what is now strictly a pie shop and we enjoyed catching up with her again. If you don’t consider pie to be lunch, you can go down the street for a burger and come back for your pie fix. Over the years, Kathy and the restaurant have become famous thanks to an award-winning documentary by Jane Rosemont called The Pie Lady of Pie Town and people come from all over the country to sample the pies. While we were there, a couple from Idaho came in with their grandson. For us yesterday, pie was lunch and between the two of us, we had 5 (!) pieces! There were a couple of new ones in addition to our favorites from the past, New Mexico pie (apples, green chilies and pine nuts) and a blueberry pie with cutout pastry stars for a top crust. We call it Starry starry night, but it may be Midnight sky.  Whatever you call it, it is luscious! There are too many to show here, but you get the idea.

We also sampled new ones, an oatmeal pecan pie that was amazing, an apple-cranberry that was worth tasting and my absolute new favorite, a chocolate chess pie with red chilies, sort of like a fudgy brownie in a crust. Since LeRoy doesn’t eat chocolate, that one was all mine!

Last fall, Kathy released the recipe for the NM pie and I made it when our son and daughter-in-law came to Yuma, but I didn’t have Kathy’s crust recipe. Well, I do now! Kathy sent me to the kitchen and the crust maker herself wrote it out for me. When you combine lard and butter, how can it not be wonderful?

We stopped to check out all the historical markers along Highway 60, or as Kathy calls it, the Pieway. This is interesting country and women played an important part!


One interesting sign miles from any town pointed us to the Baldwin Cabin Public Library. Sure enough, up the little dirt road was this building. It wasn’t open when we were there but I’m sure it is well loved and appreciated by the people who live in the area.


Another large, I mean REALLY large, part of the landscape along the way is the Very Large Array. I’ve written about it before, but this time we saw so many more of the dishes spread in multiple directions. There are 27 of them in a Y shape. In case they just look like satellite dishes to you, each of them weighs 230 tons and measures, I believe, 82 feet in diameter! That’s two of Liberty parked end to end with two feet to spare! They sit on a railroad track and can be grouped close together or spread out over several miles.

We had a very enjoyable time, even in hot weather.

The latest word from our tiny great-granddaughter Rae is that at just past 5 weeks, she has doubled her birth weight and grown 2 inches. She weighs 2 lbs. 10.5 oz. and is 14″ long. I could tell quite a difference in the picture taken Monday (picture 1) and the one we got Friday (picture 2). Her arms are really filling out and she ditched the ventilator tube in place of a CPAP, at least for the time being. Jordan says with the CPAP, she can hear her cries and she lets them know when she isn’t happy! Holding Mom’s hand is calming, though.

We’ll be back in Las Cruces for an appointment with Raymond’s oncologist this coming week and maybe we’ll get into a “usual” routine again one of these days.

About 2010liberty

Retirement agrees with us! After traveling in our 40' Silver Eagle bus conversion, whose name was Liberty, since 2010, it was time for a change. Now we spend the winter in Yuma, AZ and travel during the spring, summer and fall setting the Pace!
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