Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

September 18, 2001

When I woke up as usual this morning, just before 5, the first thought that hit my head was that today was the one-week anniversary of THE TERROR. It was a crushing thought, one that has weighed all of us down all the time. So I made up my mind to try my best today to move ahead, to get on with normal life, to think of better things. It is what we all must do. Fortunately, my neighbor was back in town and would be joining me on my Tuesday walk. That would help. We hit the streets at exactly 6 a.m.

After catching up on his doings over the past two weeks, I said I had spent a good part of my own time laughing at the memory of an episode that had happened to him, my mother, my wife and me, just before he left on his trip.

This tale unfolded two weekends ago, when Linda and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada. We were leaving on Sunday, because I had been invited to play in a craps tournament the following Monday and Tuesday at the Flamingo Hotel. But things got complicated.

To give you a clear picture of what happened that weekend, I have to give you a little background on my daughter. Kayleen is 25 years old and lives in Albuquerque. She has a college degree in exercise science and works as a trainer in a health spa. She is also going to beauty school to become a hair stylist. In the future she hopes to combine both professions, in her own spa.

My daughter is neither married nor has children, but I guess her nurturing nature, for lack of a better term, caused her to purchase a small lop-eared rabbit. Well, when Bonita the rabbit appeared on the scene, my wife immediately started acting like a grandmother. I think the reason is that most of Linda’s friends actually are grandparents, and she is jealous.

Anyway, that weekend my daughter was taking a trip to Colorado with her cousins, and would not return until Monday evening. Because there was no one in Albuquerque to take care of Bonita, Kayleen asked her mother to do the honors. Well, what more could a grandmother want? Linda immediately canceled dinner engagements for both Friday and Saturday.

On Friday my daughter showed up with Bonita and all the necessary paraphernalia: cage, water dish, hay and hay dish, sliced carrots and sliced-carrot dish, dried peas and dry-peas dish, toy ball, and a plastic box with wood chips, on which Bonita was to do her duty. Plus a blanket to put all these things upon.

The moment my wife found out she was going to be responsible for Bonita, she started worrying about how to arrange for the rabbit’s care on the Sunday we were leaving for Las Vegas. She finally decided to ask my mother and my walking-partner neighbor to share the job, until Kayleen got back on Monday. Why two people? Although Linda thinks the world of both of them, she wasn't sure either one of them could shoulder the burden alone.

In addition to all the paraphernalia, Kayleen left a set of instructions the size of a dictionary. After trying to read them in one evening, with one eye always on Bonita, who was loose upon the blanket, as per Kayleen’s rules, I felt exhaustion setting in. But Linda, a natural-born caregiver like her daughter, had her chin on her palms on the floor, close to the rabbit. For fear that Bonita would escape, my wife was not even blinking. And that wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Linda wears contact lenses.

By 10:30 p.m., I was ready for bed. The rabbit had not gotten back into its cage, but I was not too worried. I had noticed that the minute it left the blanket for the kitchen floor it scurried back at once, because it could not get traction on the slick tiles. I left for the bedroom with the rabbit having hardly moved, and my wife also almost motionless. Linda awoke the next morning with bloodshot eyes, and headed back at once to the kitchen to check on Bonita. I did not ask her what time she had finally gone to bed.

All day Saturday, we kept a close watch on the almost motionless rabbit on her blanket. Growing accustomed to her job, Linda went to bed early, shortly after 10 p.m. But on Sunday her stress started to build again, as we approached the time of departure. My mother showed up an hour early for any last-minute instructions that my wife might have. My mother was starting to take on the stress too, and I suggested that maybe she should try a vodka tonic to common her nerves. She said it was a little early for that.

Just before we left for the airport, the neighbor showed up to get his instructions. With a glazed look in his eyes he staggered home a little while later, with far more rabbit information than he would ever need. When we arrived in Las Vegas, the first thing Linda did was call home to see how Bonita was doing. Several minutes passed before my mother could break her rigid posture of rabbit-sitting and answer the phone. After an extended conversation, she and Linda determined that Bonita was doing all right.

When we got back from Las Vegas, Kayleen had returned from her trip and taken Bonita home. Linda called at once to see if the rabbit was OK, and was assured that it had come through the ordeal just fine. But I’m not sure the same thing could be said of my mother. Our call to her got only a terse recorded message she was not be available until farther notice! Even my neighbor was affected by the Great Rabbit Caper. To make sure he did his part, he had postponed his trip for a day.

It was good to laugh about Bonita the rabbit with him today, one week after the Terror.

Have a good day yourself.


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