Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Girls Gone

Barry and I are in a funk, and this monumental muddle is affecting our ability to negotiate for Navajo baskets, trade for turquoise and bargain for beads. Indeed, we can hardly function at all. Fortunately, Priscilla is here to manage things while we mope about. Without her this would be a colossal catastrophe.

McKale and Alyssa Simpson

What, you might ask, has created such a crisis for two happy-go-lucky guys like us. Yes, it is true that residing in Bluff and working at Twin Rocks Trading Post is roughly the equivalent of living in Shangri-La. If we looked hard enough we might identify a few snags, but they would be difficult to identify and hardly worth the effort. The early pioneers arriving in this community knew, and contemporary settlers know, “This is the place.” While many associate that statement with Brigham Young and the Salt Lake Valley, at the time he made his declaration he had not seen Bluff. The confusion is, therefore, understandable.

As anyone who has ever visited the trading post knows, this joint is all about family. Virtually from the day they were born, our kids have been at the store; first in bouncy chairs situated on back counters, then in “Snuglys” strapped across our chests, next in packs slung on our backs and finally scurrying about on their own steam. Once they grew independent, they scaled boulders, shimmied through crevices and leaped from ledge to ledge on cliffs behind the buildings. They have been trading post kids from the start.

Indeed, when they were still too young to be interested in anything other than ice cream, cake and cookies, Barry, Jana and I convinced them to start their own businesses. “Traders in Training,” became a way for them to generate spending money and save for college. It was also a vehicle for teaching them about art, artists, Southwest culture and personal finance.

Kira Simpson and Navajo Artist

Now they have grown and are abandoning the post. In less than two weeks, Barry’s youngest, McKale, will be heading for a LDS church mission, first in Mexico City and then in Bakersfield, C.A., and Kira, my middle child, will be making her way to college in Swarthmore, P.A.

While they are excited to be moving into the next phase of their development, Barry and I are despondent. Even Buffy the Wonder Dog is walking about aimlessly, intuitively understanding our plight and clearly sympathetic to the cause. Priscilla, fed up with our lackluster performance and believing tough love was the only solution, ordered us to, “buck up.” That, however, has not worked; we are inconsolable. Indeed, Barry is so affected he has threatened to break his covenant against bathing, thereby upsetting our carefully developed business plan.

Therapists, psychologists and cardiologists have all been consulted, and the unanimous conclusion is, “Ain’t no cure for a broken heart.”

With warm regards Steve Simpson and the team;
Barry, Priscilla and Danny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's tough watching the young ones leave the nest. If you're lucky a couple of your kids might stay in Bluff, but the truth is, our small towns don't offer enough to keep them. In our case, we followed our only son to Oregon. We missed our annual trip to the Four Corners and Pueblos and I'm looking forward to seeing you again. BTW- Remember the big pow-wow rooster caricature? My organic farmer buddy LOVES it! See you in 2015, Barry and Steve and Priscilla.
Bill Clark