Tuesday, May 23, 2006

El Paso Weekend

I visited El Paso over the weekend, for a huge surprise party. The event was a combined birthday party to mark Frank's father and uncle's 60th birthdays. We managed to keep it a surprise after all the months of planning although Frank's dad remarked that he thought something was up since relatives were pouring into El Paso with no reason to be home. In other words, it wasn't a holiday and there were no weddings, quinceaƱeras or baptisms scheduled.

The party was a smashing success complete with 2 hours of mariachi music, delicious food and dancing. I can't help talking about the food when I've been back to El Paso. Some of the best enchiladas, chili colorado, brisket, rice and beans are found there. Of course any weight I gained was offset by the food poisoning I came down with after eating at the McDonald's at Love Field in Dallas while laying over enroute to home. It was the only downside to the trip. Let's just say it'll be many, many years before I eat at Mickey D's again. :::::shudder:::::

The weekend was a celebration of life. Not only were we recognizing the birthdays but also showing off 11 day old Izacz, the newest boy in la familia Saavedra. It was also a time to remember with love and respect the very recent passing of the patriarch of the family. There was a definite bittersweetness flavor in the air. At one point in the evening a few family members gave a short address to the crowd. All of them mentioned how this night was to show their father/uncle how much they are loved and appreciated. They also mentioned how painful it is to celebrate as a family with one so very valued member missing. And Frank, in only a few short words, paid tribute to his mother and all she has done for the entire family. There were a few tears but soon the lights were dimmed and the music turned up and hearts felt lighter than they had in weeks. It was a much needed reminder that life goes on, despite everything.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mariachis. They were spectacular and Frank did me a favor and requested my favorite song "Volver, Volver". The song is about the ending of a romantic relationship and how the singer regrets the loss and wishes to return. It's passionate and beautiful and I've loved it all my life. I had the special attention of one mariachi who kept singing to me and winking and nodding. Ahhh, there's nothing like winning the eye of a man who wears marching band clothing embellished with metallic pasties down the arms and legs! The afterparty--cause you know there had to be one--featured the leftover brisket, chips, cheese, salsa and of course the one keg that we hadn't floated. I'm not sure how late everyone stayed, but their idea was to drink the sun up. I was in bed sometime around 2am and that was late enough for me.

It was hectic but such a nice time. How was your weekend?

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