Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a message from one of my friends on Facebook, who I had never met in person.  She lives in London, and she and her companion were traveling to Texas, then on to Santa Fe.  They both share an interest in Native American art, particularly from the American Southwest.  Very politely, she inquired as to where we were located, and whether or not it would be permissible to visit.

We quickly established that they were coming into the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from London, and that the airport is minutes from where we are located.  So, Michael and I immediately invited them to come over and visit.

After a grueling flight with typical delays, Elaine called me and we arranged a time and directions for them to visit.  Elaine asked if they could bring their Texas hosts as well, and we agreed without hesitation.  “The more, the merrier” is our fairly standard approach.

Knowing that they would be traveling and experiencing the typical hotel/restaurant fare, I also extended an invitation for a typical Texas lunch as part of their visit.  Yes, I love to cook, and it is so much fun for us to relax with new friends over a meal and exchange stories.

Elaine and Harry arrived the next day, accompanied by Bruce and Diane, their Texas hosts.  We immediately hit it off, and spent some time sipping wine and getting to know each other.  After a bit, Elaine mentioned the Gallery, and we proceeded there.

The next hour was spent telling stories about our Native American friends – how Toni Roller of Santa Clara held her grandmother Serafina’s pot and lovingly told us how Serafina and Margaret Tafoya (Toni’s mother) would make the pots together.  How Stacey Carr of Laguna delicately paints his geometric forms with fine yucca strands.  How Franklin Peters of Acoma creates such thin-walled polychrome pottery.  And as they touched and held various pieces of pottery, jewelry, weavings, fine art, and fetishes, the work and talent of the artists who created those pieces.

Michael’s stomach rumble began to remind us of the promised Texas lunch, so we proceeded into the kitchen to prepare our plates and head into the dining room.  I was a bit trepidacious serving barbeque and all the fixings to people who may not be familiar with the foods, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, even to the extent of several return trips to the buffet area.

We had a bit of dessert with a Texas hot cocoa cake, one that I love to make and serve.  Then we adjourned back to the Gallery, where they selected several new treasures to take with them.  I provided some suggestions as to their visits in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and their research of the many wonderful attractions of those two cities also gave them an incredibly full agenda.  Without a doubt, I believe they will fall in love with New Mexico as I have, and this will not be their last trip to the Land of Enchantment.

The day finally ended with hugs all around, and Michael and I feel that we made four new friends during the visit.  Two from London, and two from a very nearby town.  This is the way, in our opinion, that long-term relationships are built.  It was a quite lovely visit to our Gallery, and we certainly hope that our new friends feel the same.  Our Gallery has provided us the opportunity to meet and build friendships with many wonderful Native American artists, and also the ability to meet and build friendships with other Gallery owners and people who are interested in Native American art. 

Yes, I do think it was a quite lovely visit.

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