Wedding update

Grant is asleep, Joey is watching TV in his room, and I am wrapped up in a falsa blanket, blogging from a metal lawn chair under a clear New Mexico sky, watching the steam curl from my cocoa mug and drift off into the cold night air, and thinking that this quiet evening is probably the best chance I’ll have to post a full account of the wedding.

The ceremony itself was simple but pretty. Brother Jerry and a couple of deacons from church set up a little metal archway at the park, and Sandy decorated it with solar-powered Christmas lights, faux-fall-leaf garlands, and a couple of small chile ristras. Lil Miss presented me with a bouquet of sunflowers and daisies that she and Joey had arranged, and we set up a portable sound system and played a couple of Dad’s songs during the ceremony, which made me cry.

The most memorable part of the whole wedding — at least for me — was the gift Grant presented to me immediately after the ceremony.

Hank Freed came over one night last week, while Lil Miss was working, and offered to donate a junk car to the FFA for a fundraiser. He talked Bill Swinney out of some spray paint and a sledgehammer, towed the car to the festival site, and let the FFA kids charge people $5 to spraypaint an enemy’s name on the car and then hit it as hard as they could with the sledgehammer.

As soon as the ceremony was over, Grant took me over to the car, painted Jim Hendry’s name all over it, handed Lil Miss a crisp $100 bill, and told me to have fun avenging Ryno.

I’m no Willie Stargell, but I think I did a pretty respectable job with that sledgehammer. :)

Remarkably, I still had enough energy left to change a tire on the Volvo after Grant ran over part of a broken bottle on the way up to Santa Fe — the only glitch in an otherwise lovely weekend.

We stayed at the beautiful El Rey Inn. I’d had some good intentions about leaving work at work, but El Rey’s owners have given the property so many cute little flourishes that I couldn’t resist photographing some of the details and writing down a few ideas to bring back to Coldwater. We spent part of Sunday afternoon hiking La Bajada Hill and then spent Sunday night in Santa Fe before heading home on Monday.

We came home to find a check in the mailbox from that consignment lot in Flagstaff where Grant put the Firebird up for sale. After five months, it finally sold. We’re thinking about using the money to get the neon sign out front relit.

— Sierra


I was expecting something a little more dramatic right about now, but the primary emotion flooding my mind at this moment — three hours after Brother Jerry pronounced us man and wife, and fifteen minutes after I broke out a four-way lug wrench and wowed Grant with my best impression of a NASCAR pit crew after he ran over a broken beer bottle in the middle of the interstate somewhere between Dilia and Starvation Peak — is relief.

Flat tire notwithstanding, the day went very smoothly, and if the rest of the evening goes according to plan, I’m less than an hour and a half away from a long, hot shower, a cold bottle of champagne, and a much-anticipated evening at the beautiful El Rey Inn in Santa Fe.

In case you are wondering, I will be out of pocket for the next few days….

— Sierra

Catching my breath

Last-minute chili entries have been processed. Lil Miss reports that the FFA activities are all lined up and seem to be coming along smoothly. Cake ingredients are neatly arranged in the church kitchen for tomorrow’s baking marathon. Sandy is curled up in my bubble chair in the lobby, drawing a sketch of her idea for the cake, which involves airbrushing food coloring directly onto the icing to create a tie-dyed effect. (Have I mentioned how much I love this woman?) Grant is loading all of our excess stuff — unwanted books, old VHS tapes, outdated clothing, duplicate kitchen gadgets, ugly furniture, mismatched dishes, etc., etc., etc. — into the truck to take to a thrift store Albuquerque tomorrow. Joey and Lil Miss are putting the finishing touches on my bouquet.

What am I doing? Sitting in front of the Tumbleweed, sipping cappuccino and listening to the coyotes talk things over on the vacant land behind Hank Freed’s place. I’m too tired to do anything else.

This time two days from now, I’ll be married. That’s sort of weird to think about. “Wife” sounds very grown-up and responsible, doesn’t it? Then again, I suppose “business owner” sounds very grown-up and responsible, too. How quickly things change….

— Sierra

Closing in

We’re six days out from the chili cook-off/fall festival/wedding. I’ve got a dozen entries for the chili cook-off, and I think the Chamber added a couple the other day. Brother Jerry has tables; we’ll just have to take the truck over and pick them up Friday afternoon. We’ve lined up a Jupiter Jump for the kids, and Lil Miss and the FFA have organized the rest of the Kids’ Zone, which will include face painting, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a bale of hay with a fake steer head attached to it for the kids to practice lassoing. She’s also found some guy who owns a cider press, so there will be cider, and people can see how it’s made. We also got a half-dozen craft booths before the registration deadline, which was yesterday, and a car club from Santa Rosa is organizing a car show.

About the only thing left to do is make the cake, which I am doing Friday morning in the church kitchen, with some help from Sandy (who used to sell cleverly decorated cupcakes out of the back of her van at Dead shows) and Bill Swinney’s wife (who used to teach home ec at Coldwater High). If this cake does not include herbal ingredients, lifelike icing roses, and a Steal Your Face logo, I am going to be shocked….

— Sierra


Sorry for the silence. My phone has been ringing off the hook since word of my recent engagement got out. In the few moments between calls, I’ve been busy running a motel and trying to sort out the logistics of planning a wedding and — more importantly — honeymoon for a motel owner and a busy school administrator.

Is it wrong that I’m totally not into the whole froufrou white-lace-and-overpriced-cake thing? The prospect of planning a road trip delights me to no end. The prospect of organizing a theatrical production that has the potential to turn into a political event? Not so much.

I do not want to get all stressed out over this and turn into one of those Brides from Hell who can’t enjoy their wedding because they’re too busy panicking over whether the napkins match the bridesmaids’ shoes.

— Sierra


Remember the old Burma-Shave ad campaign, which involved little poems written on carefully spaced signs placed along roadsides during heyday of Route 66?

Yeah, I don’t remember them, either. Too young. But I’ve seen plenty of replicas along the road in recent years. They’re really popular with Route 66 travelers.

Set of Burma-Shave-type signs that mysteriously appeared along westbound 66 in front of the Tumbleweed yesterday afternoon as I was coming back from a grocery run in Tucumcari:


Set of signs attached to the backs of those signs at some point between the time I went to bed last night and the time I slipped out for a jog this morning:


Set of hastily made cardboard signs currently taped over the westbound signs for Grant to see when he picks me up for church this morning:


Kittens on the keys

Sorry about the incoherent post above. I brought my laptop into the lobby with the intention of blogging this evening, but then Joey accidentally set the microwave on fire while attempting to make popcorn (my fault — I forgot to tell him that the “popcorn” button doesn’t work for the individual-serving-size bags we bought last week at the store), and while I was busy dashing into the kitchen to unplug the microwave and shut off the smoke alarm and peel Joey off the ceiling, the cats apparently wandered into the lobby and decided to try their paws at blogging.

I suppose I could delete their post, but it probably sums up my evening better than anything I could say, so I think I’ll leave it.

Hope your Saturday was less hectic than mine….

— Sierra