Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saturday Six - Episode 75

1. When is the last time you took a vacation and went basically nowhere? Was it as relaxing as previous vacations where you have actually planned a trip? On my way back from Arizona I spontaneously decided to stop at a few places on the drive home that I'd wanted to see even though they weren't exactly on the way. So without planning it more than a few hours ahead of time, I went to Chiricahua National Monument (in Southeastern Arizona); to White Sands National Monument (in Southwestern New Mexico); to Cloudcroft, NM; to Guadalupe National Park (in West Texas); and finally, to Monahan's Sand Dunes (just off I-20, coming back to Dallas).

It was late afternoon when I realized I was getting near Monahan's, and although I hadn't planned to stop, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch the sunset from the beauty of the dunes. I stopped at a McDonald's for drive-through and drove on out to the dunes.

It was after hours on Sunday so the park was officially closed, but I'd been there before, and knew that I could drive in anyway. I found a place to park facing the endless western sky, and I enjoyed my cheeseburger and coffee as the sun sank lower and lower on the horizon. When I'd finished eating, I grabbed my camera and began walking out onto the dunes. It was a little eerie, as there was no one else there, but to my delight I noticed lots of wildlife: there were cottontails and whole flocks of roadrunners hurrying about in plain sight. Still, I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I crested the first big dune: there, a couple hundred feet away from me, was a lone coyote. He stopped, looked at me, and clearly lifted his head and sniffed, as if to say: what are you, and what are you doing here?

I hadn't even taken my camera out of its case, and I felt a moment of real regret at not having my 35mm with my telephoto lens; nevertheless, I was able to get one photo of this wonderful creature before he turned his head and loped away, out of sight, across the dunes. It was a magical end to my spontaneous road trip.

2. Take this
quiz: Which historical lunatic are you? Apparently, I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America! (um, sure I am...)

Jaymi: What is your favorite book from childhood and why? The Box Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It's the story of 4 young orphaned siblings who run away and survive on their own, without adults, by living in an bandoned boxcar. I loved it because I identified with the self-reliance of the kids. I wanted to join them.

4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #65 from Hannah: What book character do you most identify with and why? Hermione in Harry Potter. I identify with her because she's smart and hard-working and thinks outside the box (and all of those applyto me too); also, we seem to share a propensity for falling for guys who frustrate us in a variety of ways.

Holly: What do you think is an appropriate gift to a party? A bottle of good wine and some fresh flowers or a plant are always appropriate, in my book. What do you consider a quality Christmas gift from an acquaintance to a party or get together, a friend, and a GREAT friend? I love Christmas, and I've collected Christmas tree ornaments for over 30 years, so for me, a quality gift would be the same whether it's from an acquaintance, a friend, or a great friend: another ornament for my tree, chosen with me in mind, will win my heart every time.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #67 from Judi: If you had to make a choice for the rest of your life between food and sex, which would you choose, provided the following conditions: If you chose sex, you would never feel hungry, but just wouldn't be able to enjoy a nice meal or the tastes of good food or drink; if you chose food, you would no longer have the physical intimacy and pleasure, but you still wouldn't feel deprived of it. In other words, whichever one you choose to give up will be a series of pleasures you'll never be able to experience firsthand again. Yep, I suggested this question to Patrick (thanks for using it, Patrick, and I think you phrased it better than I did). However, I have to give credit to my firstborn, Alex, and her fiance, Chris, who posed this question to me on a roadtrip that the three of us took this spring. My answer hasn't changed; here's what I told the kids: although I love to cook and enjoy good food and wine, if I had to pick one or the other to enjoy for the rest of my life, I'd choose sex over food every time.


Mrs. L said...

That picture of the coyote is outstanding. Have Kinko's blow it up BIG and frame it. Then give it to ME. Thanks. Mrs. L PS -- We both got stuck with that goofy Emperor guy. I didn't even both to mention him in my journal. What's the point?

emmapeelDallas said...

Thanks! I was kicking myself for not having a telephoto, and amazed that I got anything at all. Yep, I didn't see the point about the lunatic either, and I liked your answer better than the actual one.


Betty said...

Loved your answer to question #1 and the picture. That is a beautiful part of the country, isn't it?

Thanks for contributing question #6 for Patrick; I've been reading people's answers and sex I think is winning so far over food.


V said...

Great Answers! And #1; what a great small adventure!


Sierrajazz said...

I always enjoy reading about where you have been and traveled and experienced. You are so adventurous and have such a zezt for life. I think you should write a novel about the places you have been and what you experienced or learned from it. Your journal entries about them are so enjoyable.

I can certainly see the resemblence in you and Hermione!!!

I am terrible at buying gifts and don't drink so know NOTHING about wine.. but I like the Christmas ornament suggestion.

I have always wished I never felt hungry and didn't have to deal with food shopping, cooking , eating, dishes... it would leave so much more time for SEX!!!
I enjoyed this entry Judi.. your answers are always so interesting.

Lisa said...

What a great adventure (Question #1). I would love to just be able to wing it like that on a vacation. It's been a long time since I was able to do that...probably at least 25 years...

Lisa :-]

memes121 said...

When my best friend and I get out and we have a little time to spare, she loves going down roads in our county that we've never been down before or haven't in a long time. Sometimes we see nothing special but we get to see houses and beautiful gardens and a surprise or too on occasion. A mini vacation that lasts only minutes but takes away the norm and ads some adventure.

Lily said...

(How did I miss this entry? lol)

I love your answers. And we're both the only Emperor of the United States! Woo hoo! lol Weird lol