Thursday, July 2, 2009

Land of Green Chiles, Sopapillas, and Loving Family

Here's pics from our trip last weekend to New Mexico. We arrived in Albuquerque Thursday 6/25 around 7 PM, picked up our rental (great weekend deal with Hertz, 50% off!) and headed north on 25 toward Santa Fe. Here's a pic snapped from our car. One side of the road was bright (first pic) and the other was dark (second pic)... the dark side was where the sun was going down... the darkness from massive thunderheads blackening the sky.

By the time we were on the Taos Highway going toward Espanola, the sky was a literal light show. Lightening flashing and illuminating a wall of clouds thick with rain... all in the distance.

We pulled into the driveway of our friends, Seva Simran Siri S&K around 9:15 after a quick stop at Wild Oats in Santa Fe for snacks.

My daughter Satkartar (Saki), her husband Kris, and our family's new addition, Cassandra Kiran (Cassie) were already there, having flown in earlier in the day from Durham. I thought for sure they'd all be asleep after the long trip, but Saki was up with Cassie in the living room trying to get her to go to sleep. What an angel!

Here is Gurujodha meeting Cassie for the first time, when she joined him at the end of his sadhana meditation the next morning.

That morning was also the wedding of Siri Chand Singh and Tejinder Kaur. Gurujodha and Dev Suroop Kaur were co-ministers for the wedding. This was the first time I'd ever known of two ministers performing the ceremony. It's a long story, but the couple wanted Gurujodha and Dev Suroop specifically, because of their background (from either interracial or interfaith relationships) and also because each had an integral role to play in the lives of this couple. Below are many photos from after the wedding. Only one of my photos of the actual ceremony came out.

If the layout looks weird it's because it is very hard to format things with the tools this blogsite provides. Perhaps I will become more expert as I go along.

This was probably the most wonderful wedding I've ever attended. The energy was absolutely incredible, powerful, knock your socks off. A truly blessed couple who demonstrate that with faith and love all challenges can be met, and that the hand of God truly reaches and protects those who serve in His Name. After the receptions (sorry, no pics) we made it up to Ram Das Puri for the last night of Summer Solstice Sadhana and the Rainsabi (all night kirtan/music program).

I am getting the hang of this, kinda.

OK here's more family pics. Cassie is blessed with three Grandpas..... Jerry (Kris's dad in Durham), Gurujodha (also known as G-Popz) and Siri Ved Singh (Saki's father who lives in Espanola). Here is Siri Ved Singh meeting Cassie for the first time.

Cassie gets her first karate lesson with GPopz and learns Short Form One.

After a relaxing Saturday with family, lunch at El Parasol (best little roadside spot in town for authentic New Mexican green chile cuisine), and an afternoon movie (I can't remember what it was, if not such great company it would have been a waste of time), we all met for dinner at La Cocina (best little restaurant in town for great New Mexican food).... Gurujodha, Satamrit, Saki & Kris, Avtar, Siri Ved Singh, Cassie, my sister Guruprem Kaur (also lives in Espanola), and I. Good times, good food, and a good reason to eat a light breakfast in the morning.

Mmmmm veggie burritos with GREEN CHILE

After dinner, Gurujodha and I went to the Ranch for a kirtan program with UstadJi (kirtan master who teaches the Cherdi Kala Jatha) which was a truly blissful and meditative way to top off a full day.

The next morning before packing up for our trip home, Avtar came over (from her friend Lakshmi's down the road) and we all (Seva simran Siri's, Kris & Saki, Gurujodha and me, Avtar, and even Cassie had a tiny bit of banana) had a cozy relaxed breakfast (fruit salad, scrambled tofu, toast, juice, and a little of this and that), talked ashram politics, played with Cassie, and honest to God, it was wonderful.

A few hours of driving and flying time later, we landed in L.A., drove a couple hours, and were home by about 9:30 PM. Too short a weekend!!!

And all I feel is so much gratitude for t his wonderful loving family.

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