The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?
A Novel By Teddie S.
Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.
A cuddle. And a trip to Taos.
As we walked into our suite, I looked at the couch, and said, “You know what?”
“What?”, Amy replied.
“I’d love to build a fire in the fireplace, and cuddle naked with you on that couch in front of the fire.”
“Lover, I like your thinking. But one of two things would happen.”
“As relaxed as we are, we’d both fall asleep and miss dinner.”
“We’d make love, fall asleep, and still miss dinner.”
“I’ll take either.”
“Later lover. We’d better get going, or we’ll be late.”
We ended up walking into the restaurant right on time, both of us in long skirts, fancy blouses, and moccasins. I wore the fancy wrap moccasins. We saw my aunt, uncle, and grandmother, and walked over to them. My uncle stood and helped us sit. As I sat, I said, “Thanks for the wonderful idea of getting massages.”
“I thought you’d like them.”, my aunt said.
“They were amazing.”, Amy said.
“So, what are you going to do tomorrow?”
“We thought we’d run up to Taos.”
“Sounds good.”, Grandma said. “Are you feeling better?”
“Yes. The massage was relaxing.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I was concerned about you two. Are you still thinking of going back to Mrs. Benallie’s shop?”
“We thought that we’d run over on Tuesday.”, Amy replied. “Do you and Aunt Ruth want to go along?”
“That would be fun.”, my aunt said.
“Count me in.”, grandma added.
I looked at my uncle, smiled, and said, “How about you Uncle Paul?”
“No thanks.”, my uncle said. “I made the mistake of going with your aunt once. And I ended up sitting out front for over an hour.”
“But they have men’s clothes too.”
“I know. I can go in and buy what I need and be out in fifteen minutes. But it takes you women two-hours to look and not buy anything.”
“That’s funny Uncle Paul. You go fishing, drown worms for hours, and don’t catch anything.”
“I don’t drown worms. I fly fish. And fishing is relaxing.”
“Shopping is relaxing too.”
“I’ll take your word for it, Kai. And I just may go fishing while your gone.”
“Uncle Paul, does that mean that we’ll have a fresh trout dinner?”, Amy asked.
“We just might.”
“That would be great!”
We chatted some more, then Amy said, “Honey. I’m tired. Can we go back to our room and relax?”
“Not coming to the bonfire tonight?”, Aunt Ruth asked.
“Kai can, but I just want to curl up and relax.”
I caught a look from Amy, and said, “I think I’ll pass on the bonfire tonight too.”
Just then we saw a flash of lightning, and a few seconds later we heard the rumbling of thunder. And Uncle Paul said, “There may not be one.”
“If I counted correctly. That was a little over a mile away. And if the red sky this morning was any indication I don’t think you’ll have a bonfire tonight.”
“It was red?”
“If you two don’t want to get wet, you’d better get going. And don’t use the tub.”, my aunt said.
Amy and I thanked my aunt and uncle for dinner, said good night to them and grandma, and headed to our room. Just as I opened our room door, the rain started. And it wasn't light. It came down in buckets.
I closed the door behind us, and said, “That was close.”
There was another flash of lightning followed quickly by a loud clap of thunder. Amy jumped and wrapped her arms around me, and said, “That one was really close.”
“Very. And if you’re going to react like this when there’s a good thunderstorm, we’re going to have to move to a place that has a lot of them.”
“I love it when you wrap your arms around me like that.”
“Brat. But I do love it when you hold me like you are.”
We shared a sweet kiss. Then I said, “I need to use the little girl’s room. And I’ll build a fire when I get done.”
I went into the bathroom and did what I needed to do. Which included removing my wig and makeup. When I came out of the bathroom, the lights were dim, and there was a fire in the Kiva fireplace. The back of the couch was to me, and I could only see the back of Amy’s head.
I walked over to the couch and looked over the back at Amy. She looked up at me, grinned, and in a sexy way said, “Come and join me, lover.”
How could I resist that offer? Amy was sitting on the couch completely naked. I grinned, and said, “I’ll be right back.”
She said, “Don’t be too long.”
I went over to the bed, and completely undressed. I then walked back over to the couch, sat next to Amy, and she cuddled up to me.
“I’m proud of you.”, I said.”
“Why, what did I do?”, she asked.
“You have a nice fire going.”
“I had a good teacher.”
“You, of course.”
There was a very bright flash of lightning followed very quickly by a loud clap of thunder. And the lights went out. Amy jumped and wrapped her arms around my neck, and I held her tight.
The only light in the room was from the fireplace. And that was nice.
I whispered, “This reminds me of a certain blizzard.”
“Me too.”, Amy said. “But we don’t have a sleeping bag.”
“We don’t need one. And my parents aren’t here to tell us to keep it quiet.”
We cuddled together while the rain came down. There were more lightning strikes and rolls of thunder. And I had to add a few more logs to the fire. But we sat there through the whole storm just watching the fire in the fireplace and holding each other.
As the storm passed, things became amorous. And I’ll leave what happened that night up to your imagination.
* * * * * *
Monday morning. Maybe it was Monday afternoon? All I knew was, I’d just had the best sleep ever. And Amy must have too. Because she was still asleep cuddled up tight against me. I was able to look at my watch, and it was a little after seven. And we were usually up by five.
Trying not to wake up Amy, I worked my way out of bed. Then I went into the bathroom, closed the door, and turned on the light. It came on. At least the electricity was back on. So I took a shower.
When I came back out of the bathroom, Amy was laying on the bed looking at me. She smiled, and said, “Good morning, lover.”
“Good morning, love.”, I replied.
“What time is it?”
“A little after seven.”
“Wow. I’ve never slept so good.”
“I know. I just got up. And we missed the sunrise.”
“We have one more.”
Amy took her shower, and we dressed for the day. Both of us in long skirts and lovely blouses. We both went light on the jewelry, a couple of rings, and the matching silver feather earrings. I added the beaded choker and the Concho belt. Amy’s hair was in a ponytail. My hair was in a straight look, with one of the hairbands. And we both wore moccasins.
We stopped in the restaurant for a wonderful Southwestern breakfast. Then walked over to my aunt and uncle’s house. We found my aunt and grandma sitting in the kitchen, and my aunt asked, “So did you two sleep well last night?”
“Amazingly well.”, Amy replied. “I think those massages really relaxed us.”
“They’ve been known to do that.”
“Still going to Taos?”, grandma asked.
“Yes.”, I said. “From what everyone has said it’s worth the trip.”
“It is. Be sure to see some of the native artisans that are there. They do some nice work.”
We took the drive to Taos, and it's a lovely old Spanish town and was now full of artists of all kind. We started at the Taos Plaza and wandered around. Some of the historic sites have been turned into artist studios. The Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was fascinating as was the Taos Inn. And we had lunch at Doc Martin’s Restaurant that's at the Taos Inn.
After lunch, we found the artisans shops, and we wandered in and out of each one. There were some pretty things. We talked with the woman, who was doing beadwork for a while, and she commented on my choker. I told her that it was given to me when I became an honorary member of a Navajo clan.
Then she asked, “What clan?”
When I said, “Azee'tsoh dine'é.”
She smiled, then said, “You're the Nádleeh that was in the paper. Aren’t you?”
She’d been so nice to us that, I smiled as I said, “Guilty as charged. My name is Kai Nez.”
“Then the clan name, The Big Medicine People Clan, makes sense.”
“Big Medicine People Clan?”
“Yes. That's what Azee'tsoh dine'é means. And you are a healer.”
We chatted a little more with her and did buy a couple of her narrow beaded headbands.
We then wandered into a few more shops. Some had some nice clothes, some had leather goods, and there were a couple of artist’s shops with some nice paintings. All the prices were tourist prices. We were taking a nice fly fishing kit back to my father, so we ended up buying some nice things for my mother and Amy’s parents.
One of the shops that we stopped in had an older man doing silver work. We looked at everything that he had in the case, then watched him working on a silver piece. He finally looked up at us, and we commented on how nice his work was. He thanked us, and then I saw him get a puzzled look on his face. Then he smiled, and said, “You know those earrings that the two of you are wearing are my work.”
“Really!”, I said. “We both fell in love with them when we first saw them. And we fought over who was going to buy the one on display. Then Mrs. Benallie told us that she had another almost duplicate pair so that we were both able to buy a pair.”
“I knew that you had gotten those from Mrs. Benallie’s shop. She told me about you buying them. But I never expected to meet you.”
“Mrs. Benallie was excited that you, a Nadleehi, were in her store. And now you’re here.”
I didn’t know what to say.
Then he said, “And that Concho belt you’re wearing is wonderful. Could I see it?”
As I took it off and handed it to him, I said, “Sure.”
He carefully examined the belt, looked at me, looked at the belt again, then back at me, and asked, “Where did you get this?”
“It was given to me.”
“Given to you!?”
“By my grandmother.”
“Do you know who made this?”
“Yes. My great-great-grandfather.”
“Kilchii Nez was your great-great-grandfather?”
“Yes, he was. And you know of him?”
“Yes, any good Navajo silversmith knows of him.”
“Did he make that belt?”
“How can you be sure?”
As he showed us a mark on the back of one of the Conchos, he said, “See this mark?”
“Yes.”, we replied.
“That’s Kilchii Nez’s mark or marker's mark. And he would put it on every piece that he did. Each of the Conchos on the belt has his markers' mark. Take off one of your earrings, and I’ll show you my markers' mark.”
I removed one of my earrings and handed it to him. He turned it over and showed us his markers' mark on the back. As I was putting my earring back on, he asked, “Do you have any more of Kilchii’s work?”
“Yes. A squash blossom necklace. Earrings. And I think the bracelet and rings are his too. And maybe the bone choker. So, if they have this markers' mark, they would be his work?”
“Yes. And I have one of Kilchii's pieces in my collection.”
“I collect items from the old masters.”
“Yes. The early silversmiths didn’t have the modern tools we do. So their work is truly handwork. Would you like to see it?”
“Of course we would.”
As he handed the belt back to me, he said, “I’ll be right back.”
He walked to the backroom of the shop and was back in less than a minute with something wrapped in a cloth. He set it on the counter and unwrapped it. And it was a very elaborately done silver wrist cuff with seven pieces of turquoise set in it. It was beautiful.
I asked him, “You keep it here?”
“Oh no.”, he said. “I brought it with me today to show to a fellow collector that is in town. She has never seen any of Kilchii’s work. It’s rare.”
“Yes. A lot of it, like yours, is in the family. Or the people who have pieces don’t know what they have. A collector would pay top dollar for your belt. It’s sterling silver, and the turquoise stones are exquisite. And I’d say it’s one of the best of Kilchii’s works that I’ve seen.”
“Really! I have no idea what it’s worth. Can you tell us?”
He took the belt back from me, looked it over again, then said, “It’s sterling silver and of museum quality, and even though it’s been worn, as it should be, a collector would pay somewhere around five hundred and fifty.”
“Five hundred and fifty dollars!”
“Now I’m afraid to wear it.”
“Don’t be. Kilchii made it to be enjoyed.”
As he handed the belt back to me, he said, “And the collector that was here is going to be sorry when I tell her that Kilchii Nez’s great-great-granddaughter was here, and had one of his best pieces of work with her.
“But, on the other hand, it might be best that you didn’t meet her. She’s a dealer in rare and fine art, as well as a collector of Navajo silver, and would have been after you to sell her your Concho belt. And she would have offered you top dollar. She offered me top dollar for this cuff. But I’m not about to sell it.”
I said, “I think she would quickly learn that I know the meaning of, not for sale at any price.”
“Good for you. It’s important to keep family treasures in the family.”
“Thank you. You know, I don’t know your name.”
“It’s Sike Yazzie.”
“Sike Yazzie. Any relation to Naainish Yazzie?”
“Yes. I’m his uncle.”
“I’m … “
“Kai Nez. Yes, I know who you are. Both Mrs. Benallie and Naainish have told me a lot about you and your friend. Besides you were in the paper.”
“The word travels fast.”
“Yes, it does.”
Just as we were going to leave the shop, a well-dressed woman walked into the shop. She looked at Amy, then at me, and then at Mr. Yazzie, and said, “Sike, I'm just getting ready to leave town. And thought that I'd stop by and see if you’ve changed your mind about selling the cuff?”
“No, Caroline. I haven’t.”
“Oh. But I see you have it on the counter. Were you showing it to these two young ladies?”
“Yes, I was.”
“You were going to sell it to them. Weren’t you?”
“No. I don’t need to. But if they’d asked I just might have sold it to them.”
“You don’t need to. Why not?”
Mr. Yazzie looked at me, I smiled at him, and he asked, “Can I?”
I looked at this Caroline person, and said, “Why not.”
Then Mr. Yazzie said, “Caroline. This young lady is wearing one of Kilchii’s Concho belts. A museum quality one.”
“Really!?”, Caroline said.
“Yes. And this young lady has some more of Kilchii’s pieces.”
“It’s Kai Nez. And you are?”
“Mrs. Thomas. Mrs. Caroline Thomas.”
“So, Mrs. Caroline Thomas. Do you have a question?”
“Could … Could I see the belt?”
“Certainly.” I took the belt off and handed it to her.
She looked at the belt for a minute, then said, “Yes. This belt is Kilchii’s work, and it's fantastic. Do you have other pieces of his work?”
As I took my belt back from her, I said, “Yes.”
“I’d be willing to offer you top dollar … ”
“Stop! Don’t go any farther. I won’t sell any of his work that I have.”
“Why would I want to sell any of my great-great-grandfather’s work?”
“What was Kilchii’s last name?”
“What’s my name?”
“Kai Nez. Oh. Nez. Oh. I see. And you won’t sell any of his work?”
“No. But if I had a duplicate of one of his pieces I’d offer it to Mr. Yazzie at a fair price. Because I know he’d appreciate it.”
She frowned at me, turned, and walked out of the shop without another word.
Mr. Yazzie looked at me, grinned, and said, “You are something else. I’ve never heard anyone told off that well in a long time.”
“I have.”, Amy said. “She's good at it.”
“Mr. Yazzie.”, I said. “I could tell that she felt that she could buy anything that she wants that someone else has. And I don’t like that sort of people.”
“Kai. You and your friend are more than welcome here at any time.”
We said so long to Mr. Yazzie and headed to another store. This store had some nice clothes, and we were having fun looking at things. Then I said to Amy, “Honey. I just thought of something that I wanted to ask Mr. Yazzie. You stay here, and I’ll be right back.”
“Okay.”, Amy said. “Don’t be too long.”
“I won’t be.”
I walked next door to Mr. Yazzie’s shop and spent some of my mad money that I’d saved from my job. And I was back with Amy in about ten minutes. When I found her, she was looking at blouses. And I said, “Remember we’re going to Mrs. Benallie’s tomorrow.”
“I know.”, Amy replied. “Besides most of these things are not native made.”
We finally headed back to the resort and dinner with my aunt, uncle, and grandmother. And on the way back I guess I was a little quiet, because Amy asked, “Why so quiet?”
“I’m just thinking.”, I replied.
“That’s scary. What are you thinking about?”
“Oh … Just what we need to have when we find our own place.”
“And what’s that.”
“A fireplace. A soaking tub. A resident masseuse. A large park with hiking trails, and a pond. Great sunrises and sunsets. And … ”
“A lot of thunderstorms.”
“What. You don’t like it when I protect you?”
“Of course I do. But what if you're not there?”
“I’ll always be there for you.”
“Tommy, as I told you at the lake on that day two years ago, I love you with all my heart. And I will never stop.”
We were back at the resort well ahead of dinner time, so we went to our room to freshen up. And while we were there we pulled all of the silver jewelry out of the room safe and checked each one for a markers' mark like was on my Concho belt, and all of the pieces had Kilchii's markers' mark.
Then I said, “Well we know that it’s all his work.”
We were planning on going to the bonfire, so we both added a few more pieces of jewelry to our look. I replaced the beaded choker with the bone choker and added a couple of rings. Amy went with the bracelet and a couple of rings. And we freshened our makeup.
We walked over to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner. And found my aunt and grandma in the kitchen making dinner, and we offered to help. My aunt told us that dinner was almost ready and that we could set the table.
As we ate, Amy and I told them about our trip to Taos. We told them that we thought it was a fascinating city, with lots of interesting historical spots, and interesting shops and that we also saw some hippies. My uncle told us that there a few hippy communes in the hills.
Then I mentioned going into the shop with the silversmith and talking with Sike Yazzie. Grandma asked, “Is he related to Naainish?”
“Yes.”, I replied. “He’s Naainish’s uncle. And he told us some interesting things about my Great-Great-Grandfather Nez and his silver work.”
“Like what?”, my aunt asked.
“Well he said that he is one of the old masters and his work is sought out by collectors. And he showed us how to tell if it was made by him or not.”
“How do you do that?”
I removed one of my earrings and showed them the markers' mark on the back, and said, “This is Sike Yazzie’s markers' mark.”
Then I removed my Concho belt and showed them the markers' mark on that, and said, “This is Kilchii Nez’s markers' mark.”
“So if a silver piece has this mark on it, it was made by Kilchii Nez?”
“Yes. We checked the silver pieces that we brought with us and found the markers' mark on all of them, and even on the bone choker that Aunt Ruth gave me.”
“So there are collectors of Navajo silver?”
“Yes. And we met one.” And I went on to tell everyone about our meeting with Mrs. Thomas. My aunt and grandmother laughed at what I’d done, and my uncle just shook his head.
My aunt then went and retrieved her silver jewelry, and we looked at each piece looking for the markers' mark. And we only found two that didn’t have great-great-grandfather’s markers' mark. My aunt said that she had figured that those two pieces of silver weren’t my great-great-grandfather’s work. We did see a markers' mark on those pieces and I told my aunt that Mr. Yazzie might be able to tell her who the silversmith was.
We talked some more about the excellent work on the silver pieces and how long it must have taken. And when I told them what Mr. Yazzie had told us the belt was worth, everyone looked at me in shock.
Then I said, “Oh. There’s one more piece that we need to check.”
Amy looked at me a little puzzled, and said, “I thought we looked at everything?”
I went and retrieved my purse, set it on the table, opened it, and pulled out a bag. I looked at Amy, handed her the bag, and said, “Since you like the long skirts and the blouses that go with them. Someone thought that you’d like this to go with them.”
She took the bag, looked at me in a way that told me that she wasn’t sure about this, and said, “What’s this?”
“I don’t know. Open it and find out.”
She slowly opened the bag, looked in it, then looked up at me, and said, “Brat.”
I gave her a surprised look, and said, “Well what is it?”
“Everyone else doesn’t.”
She carefully removed a Concho belt from the package. It was like the one that I was wearing, where the Conchos were held together with rings. But the design was completely different. The Conchos on Amy’s belt were square with a turquoise stone in the center of each. I saw smiles from everyone. Then Amy asked, “Is this one of Mr. Yazzie’s belts?”
“Yes. It’s not sterling, but it’s good silver.”
“You shouldn’t have.”
“Why not. You like pretty things. You have a couple of pieces of Great-Great-Grandpa Nez’s silver. So why not another good piece of silver for your collection. And it will look good with your skirts. Put it on and lets see.”
Amy stood and put on the belt. And it looked very nice on her.
Amy then looked at me, and said, “I love it. But you’re still a brat.” Then she kissed me.
As Amy sat, Grandma said, "Amy. Honey. That looks wonderful on you."
"Thanks, Grandma.” And with a little smile, Amy added, “And isn't it Ajie."
Grandma smiled, and said, “Yes. Ajie. Ajie Nez.”
“Aren’t you married to Kai?”
“Of course I am.”
“Well then aren’t you Ajie Nez?”
“I guess I am.”
“We going to the bonfire tonight?”, Amy asked.
“Sure.”, I replied.
“Mind if we join you?”, grandma asked.
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