We had a two-fold vacation experience this year: We spent the first part of our vacation in Taos, New Mexico and the second part in Red River. Though only 45 minutes apart, they are two very different places. Red River is filled with campers, hikers, and fishermen; Taos is more of an artistic community with painters, sculptors, and musicians. One of my daughter's hopes this year was that she would get to play her guitar in some public "street" forum and possibly receive donations for her efforts. Money aside, she really just wanted the experience of being a "street musician." Her opportunity came while in Taos though in a way we had not expected...
Years ago the Beatles wrote a song titled, "In My Life." In the opening verse they sing: "There are places I remember; all my life though some have changed. Some forever, not for better; some have gone but some remain. All these places had their moments; with lovers and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living; in my life I've loved them all." This is, I believe, one of the Beatles most beautiful and meaningful songs. It reminds me that there are places and people in my life which I remember and treasure as well.
It has been 17 years since we have been to Red River, New Mexico. We used to go and camp their regularly when our children were small. But as the children became adults, our camping days came to an end and we began vacationing in Winter Park, Colorado. This year, however, along with daughter Beth, we took a week of our vacation and stayed in Taos and Red River. High on our list for the week was a return visit to our favorite camping ground which is about 10 miles outside of Red River and is called Columbine. It is semi-primitive camping, but the setting is beautiful and the hiking trail is just the right skill level for us. We couldn't wait to start up the trail. Little did we know the memories that would surface or the emotions we would experience as we approached the first bridge...
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.