Evening Strolls and Memories in Lava Beds NM

Walkway to the Lava Beds Visitor Center

The sunsets here at Lava Beds National Monument are some of the most spectacular that I’ve ever experienced. As much as I love my morning sunrise walks, my favorite time of the day is dusk.

Cave Loop Road in Lava Beds NM

As I walk in the evening here (and everywhere), I am always taken back to one particular childhood memory. When I was a little girl, I came down with a serious case of appendicitis. It was right after the Easter vacation and I missed a couple of weeks of school. Since I was raised by a single mom and she worked full-time, my grandparents were my caregivers during my recuperation. I loved the time that I spent with them.

During this time, my grandfather had just retired from Longwood Gardens and they moved into my grandmother’s family home outside of Kennett Square, PA. It was an old Sears and Roebuck kit house built in the 1930’s – the materials arriving via the railroad just down the hill from the property. I remember the built-in floor-to-ceiling kitchen cupboards, the extraordinary millwork throughout the house and the stone fireplace most of all. My great-grandfather was a house painter and I remember the interior walls painted with a mottled, textured surface in dark earth tones. I’ve never seen anything else that compares to it.

From 1908 to 1940, the Sears and Roebuck company sold over 70,000 kit homes across the country. The depression and, ultimately World War II, brought an end to the kit house era of that time. I hope the house is still standing today. It would be interesting to visit it!

One particular night during my convalescent stay with my grandparents, I observed my grandfather standing at the screen door in the sunroom at the back of the house. He was gazing out into the darkness listening to the night sounds as dusk was settling in. I can still conjure up a pretty vivid picture of his still silhouette by the door. It’s one of those memories that stays with you always. I asked him what he was doing and he told me it was his favorite time of the day and his evening ritual. And so, at that moment, it became my favorite time of the day. 🙂

One Comment on “Evening Strolls and Memories in Lava Beds NM

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