I’m missing Albuquerque right now.
We have a saying that floats around the teenage population of Albuquerque: “The weather’s great. And that’s about it.” As teenagers, we thought that the town was boring and our families were boring and we just wanted to get out, so of course we could only see the awesome weather.
My dad likes bricklaying, specifically on the ground. Making brick floors outside. When he had a new place to brick, we’d go to where there was a new neighborhood being built and ask the construction men who were all going home a question: Can we raid that huge pile of junk in the front yard area of this house? Most of the time, they’d shrug, and so we, as exuberant kids all are (except Just’In, because he’s weird), would scale the massive pile of rebar and chunks of concrete and wood peices to search for whole pieces of brick that weren’t quite right.
The brick came from the finishing touches of those brand-new houses. For some reason, certain bricks weren’t the right color or they weren’t the right size. But they were the perfect size for my dad. He laid a little nook in the backyard behind the scrawny pine tree in the corner. He made a flower bed around another pine tree in the front, and behind that tree, he laid a red brick porch next to the front door under the eaves of the house.
He made it safe for bare feet. I could often stand on that porch and look through a hole in the dense juniper bushes that grew there. From there, I could see the sunset. If the hole wasn’t enough, we’d go stand in the middle of the street. We lived at the top of a little hill, close to the mountains. If you stood in the right place, you could see the sky above the entire valley. The sunsets there are amazing. Among other things.