December 08, 2005

Stockings & A Dream

I spent most of last evening in bed or on the couch, trying to get rid of one of the worst headaches I've had in a long time. (I believe the headache was God's way of telling me I was overworking myself.) As I lay on the couch in the living room, my eyes glanced over at the fireplace and I started laughing. My wife wondered what I could possibly be laughing at. I said, "We have eight stockings!"

It's funny because we are a family of four. However, there is a stocking for Edgar, an exchange student from Brazil who lived with us for a year in 2001-2002. (Edgar just celebrated his 21st birthday!) There is a stocking for Chris (he's 16), who lived with us for four months this past fall. And there are stockings for Stephen and Spencer, two brothers aged 15 and 13, who spend much of their time here. (There have been times when Stephen's mom has had to bring him by here in the morning before going into town because most of Stephen's clothes are here.)

The fact that we have stockings for all these kids isn't surprising, and isn't what made me laugh. They really are a part of our family. But what a family portrait we would make! There would be Ginger and I, and our boys Ethan and Tristan, and then the four teenagers: tall, Japanese Edgar with his Brazilian tan, sandy-blond Chris, too-cool Stephen who looks like his Japanese mother, and Spencer who looks like his African-American father.

How I would love to have all of those "big" kids home with us for Christmas; then we could actually take that portrait that I imagine. Only two of them are still in the community. Edgar, of course, is in Brazil, and Chris moved away to New Mexico almost four weeks ago.

Last night I had the most vivid, detailed dream about seeing Chris again. In the dream I had somehow arrived in New Mexico and needed to find the house where Chris was living. All I had was a bike and directions. I found the street I needed to take: Alemagordo. Yes, that's how it was spelled on the streetsign in my dream, and I pondered the strange spelling. I hopped on my bike, knowing that I had several miles of uphill riding.

The road began with gentle curves, but as the hills got steeper, the road became more like a cooked noodle. At one point there was a short bit of downhill, and I let my bike take me as fast as it could go, to get my speed up before the next hill. However, a cop pulled me over and said that even though I was on a bike, I was going too fast; and he wrote me a ticket. It was $70.

I started to protest, but then I saw a family at the front door of a nearby house. I took my ticket and walked over to the family to ask for directions. I started to explain where I was going, but the father, having seen the policeman, asked about why he stopped me. I told him, and he said to me, "Well, that's a horrible welcome to New Mexico for you, isn't it?" He asked to see the ticket, and I handed it to him. It said I was cited for going to fast (which I felt wasn't true), not riding my bike on the right side of the road (also not true) and not wearing a helmet (OK, that one was true). He looked at the ticket in his hand and then gave me directions: "You're almost there," he said. "Go on, get going."

"OK," I said, "But I need the ticket back."

"No you don't," he smiled, and waved goodbye. I couldn't believe how nice this man was; he was going to pay the ticket for me!

I left, and hopped back on my bike, but the road was too steep now. So I got off and walked my bike. Finally, at the end of the road, I came to a narrow driveway that headed straight up. I ditched my bike and started climbing up the hill. How in the world do they get their cars up this? I wondered. I came around a small pinyon pine and saw the house above me. Chris was doing some cleaning outside. He didn't know I was coming, and I couldn't wait to surprise him!

Then I woke up. Isn't that always the case? You always wake up before the good part of a dream---either that, or right before you hit the ground.

The good news, I guess, is that Chris really is coming to visit us for a week at Christmas!

1 comment:

mark said...

Well, when Chris is home for Christmas, you could round up the other two and get your picture taken. Then you'd have at least three of the four there. And, if you really wanted, you could photo shop Edgar into the picture. The technology they have nowadays is pretty sweet.