This grouping is less homogeneous and more general but still the Donkey theme reigns on.
And this time there is a story to go with it.
I bet you have wondered from time to time, why is this woman so obsessed with donkeys. Well here's the answer.
When I was 4, Mr. and Mrs. Valdez became very important people in my life. They were a sweet couple who were well into their seventies way back then. Mr. and Mrs. Valdez moved into their house a few months after we moved into our house on San Patricio near the country club in the south valley of Albuquerque. Mr. Valdez had won some money in a contest and they had moved out of the barrio and into a neighborhood that was less than a mile from their old house. They had children and grandchildren and were expecting their first great grandchild. All of their family lived in Mexico. So I became like an adopted grandchild next door. Mr. Valdez would call me over to feed the squirrels that lived in his outdoor oven and also to "help" him with the yard work. Mrs. Valdez always had cookies and juice waiting for us when we got finished and would regale me with wonderful stories of her childhood back in Vera Cruz. She had 11 sisters. She and her siblings would have to help their parents prepare the food that they sold in the mercado every day. They transported the food with the help of a pair of black donkeys that were named Joaguin and Miguel (Keno and Mike). She told some of the most delightful stories of these long ears. She loved them and so then, did I.
Mr. and Mrs. Valdez were a perfect pair of ready made grandparents right next door and I loved them so much. My life is so much richer for the blessing of having known them.
Because of their win fall they were able to travel a lot and did so often and frequently. Europe, Asia, South America and even Australia were all on their agenda. And each and every time they came home from one of their adventures, as soon as they were able, they would have me come over and would regale me with their trip and present me with a memento from their travels. I bet you can guess what the gifts usually were. Yep, donkeys of all sizes and configurations. A virtual herd.
Where they went, what they saw and favorite points of interests were all topics of conversation. I sat for hours on the foot stool in the living room listening to what they had seen and done. I was enthralled by them and their life. By the time I was in second grade, I had a very rich background gleaned from the traveling vecinos next door and shared my "acquired" knowledge often and frequently with the conviction of one who had actually traveled with them.
That is how I started my life long collection of and obsession for all things donkey.
Every time I see a card or photo of a donkey, I can't help but fondly remember two lovely people who took time to be my surrogate grand parents and bestowed very thoughtful and welcomed momentos of their travels and a life long love of donkeys. I will never forget how special I felt when they shared themselves with me. It was the best gift anyone can receive.
|I received this card from Mr. and Mrs. Valdez when I was 5. What a cutie pie she is.|
Happy Holidays, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda