How many of you have lived in the American Southwest? (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico? If you have lived in the SW, then you know all about the mud sticking to the bottom of your feet after a drenching rain! And how many of you remember when I had a landscaping company in Juneau back in 1981 through 1993? It was called Kahtahah Landscape Company; it was mainly just me the designer/boss/landscaper who hired a different crew of workers every year. Kahtahah in our Tlingit language translates as: “She who plants” or “planting time” (depending on how you use it in a sentence). Although I landscaped here and there in Juneau, I was the gardener/landscaper for Sealaska Coporation 1981-1993. With the exception of the birch trees, I planted all the trees and shrubs down at the Plaza — they have gotten so big now — though some of them have been removed because of technological stuff replacing them (i.e. ATM machine, the energy tower, etc.).
Anyway, back to the American Southwest. Last weekend I drove down to my friend’s home 20 miles south of Gallup, NM, to a her homeland called Vanderwagon. Yes, she’s Navajo. She is preparing her house for whenever she moves back after 40+ years; she is going to move back whether it be full time or part-time. I wanted to see her homeland, meet her family members and bring her some household goods to help start her off. And because I love to garden and landscape, my favorite part was setting the paving stones! When I arrived, it had just rained so we were tracking in all the mud! And the remedy was sitting right outside her door, so I got to work!
Jeanette was given about 80 stones from a sister-in-law who didn’t need them. They sat outside her front door for a year…until I came along! I just finished laying the pavers yesterday! Now I want to lay paving stones set like this for my outdoor fire pit; I’ve been wanting to do this for the past 20 years, but I have to wait until I have the extra cash to pay for the pavers! Doggone, how long must I wait!?
So while on our way to order gravel, the truck started to act up badly. We took it into the nearby car repair shop. While waiting for the truck to be repaired, we went to the “Navajo Shopping Center” in business for 50 years — wow, what a place! It is like a general store that provides most everything that Navajo people are used to buying for every day life, special occasions and the arts. They have gently-used Pendleton blankets for half off the normal price of the new robes. I bought one. As some of you know, I have designed and sewn button robes using these Pendleton blankets as the body of the robe. I am excited about the design I will do for this robe!