Grant’s mom, Sandy, is quite possibly the coolest woman alive. She got up this morning and insisted on helping with the laundry as soon as she saw me loading the Speed Queen. The fact that I knew how to use a wringer washer scored me almost as many brownie points as the green chile crepes I made for breakfast.

She wanted to see where Grant worked, so he took her to the high school while I worked with Joey on his lessons. We are reading Henry Huggins, which we both absolutely love. Beverly Cleary has always been one of my favorites. When we finish, we are going to read Otis Spofford, which I think Joey will also enjoy.

After Joey’s lesson, we all piled into the XC70 and headed out to Sangre Mesa to hike on the trail. It was a little hot, but the wind was blowing, and we brought plenty of Gatorade, so it wasn’t too bad. Sandy was utterly charmed by all the little lizards darting in between the rocks on the mesa, and she stopped to have a silent conversation with a gopher snake that was sunning itself on the trail. (Grant shot me an apologetic look, as if this were the flakiest thing he’d ever seen, but I loved it. I envy people who can commune with wildlife like that.)

When we finished our hike, we cooled down with giant cups of shaved ice from Scout’s Yellow Snow and then came back to the Tumbleweed for a late lunch. We spent the balance of the afternoon hanging out in the lobby (Sandy loved the bubble chair, of course), listening to Sandy tell funny stories about things Grant did when he was little.

Grant fired up the grill this evening, and we had a wonderful time eating dinner with a pair of Route 66 tourists from Marseilles and a biker from San Francisco who told us stories about his harrowing ride to Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast Highway.

I don’t know why I was so nervous about meeting Sandy. She totally gets the Tumbleweed.

— Sierra


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