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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Expensive Day!

Yesterday broke bright and beautiful and a lovely yellow balloon rode over the white sand below and in the bright blue sky above! We headed for Tularosa but did not get far, since Eagle Ranch lies between Alamagordo and Tularosa and it has been a favorite place since 2000! Oh, pistachios of green chili garlic flavor, hot red chili ( which I didn't buy this time--just finished the bag from two years ago--I'd put them away and forgot them--but they are really too hot) and lime flavored in wonderful burlap bags. Pistachio cookies and cranberry biscotti ( they probably won't make it East--so good with morning coffee!) Picked up a few other odds and ends but no wine. I'd bought some there last time but don't remember being so impressed that I couldn't wait for our return. Luciano, the young man who waited on us, was amused by the fact that I won't order from home because I won't pay the S and H but rather make a jaunt every few years out to NM!!!! Well, I get more that pistachios for my buck that way! LOL Then to the post office where I bought some stamps and met a teacher from Old Saybrook Ct. She and her husband flew into Alb and were on their way to Las Cruces to meet up with a classmate from Old Saybrook HS with whom she graduated 50 years ago but hasn't seen since. The lady didn't make it back to Ct so they came out here to see her for the first time since "59!This lady is recovering from an attack by one of the learning disabled she teaches in the mental hospital in Ct. She had surgery on her right shoulder and needs to return to work next week--so they are flying out of El Paso. They visited the Bosque so we rhapsodized about it. Then she shared stories about el cheapo Kate Hepburn whom she saw around town very frequently as she grew up--Kate took her trash herself to the recycling place and even in her 90's heaved the plastic bags into the bins herself and then tottered over to her car and drove off. People fully expected her to go into the bin with the bag she was so tiny and frail. She also shopped at the local IGA and had the stock boys carry her groceries to her car and off she'd go. She left money to the town to refurbish the theatre and town hall and create a performing arts center, though the town had to raise some funds, too! Then it was to the winery, which we'd skipped two years ago and wine tasting at 10:15 in the morning. Purchase some Symphony and an expensive but delicious bottle of port. Bill bought some pecans from the trees outside. Then it was through the Mescalero-Apache reservation through Riodoso and Riodoso Downs and past--thank God, not --over Capitan to San Patricio and the Hurd Museum, which we'd also by-passed two years ago. Judy was truly fun--she gave us the geneology of Peter Hurd--born in Roswell, educated at New Mexico Military Institute( MIMI for short--everything for short! ) and two years at West Point before convincing his parents that he wanted to be an artist. Cute envelopes addressed to parents with drawings on them and along the margins of the letters to show he had talent and interest. He contacted NC Wyeth and asked to study with him but NC was tired of students lacking in discipline and dedication--hmmmmmmm!--but Peter convinced him that his military background prepared him for that and NC relented. Peter met NC"S daughter, Henriette, soon married her and after the birth of two children, convinced her to come to New Mexico to San Patricio--I wish you could see it! A dusty spot down a steep hill with several dusty roads, a few houses, a Church and his little ranch. How did she EVER survive after the social standing she had in Brandywine,Pa and Portland, Me. But she seems to have LOVED it and her son is surely a New Mexican and has the talent of his mother and father combined. How I wished I could have afforded even one PRINT of anything any of tree have done! I settled for notecards and postcards of the few works they had! An especial fav is one Peter done of LBJ as an horse's ass! To understand why he would have sketched such a disrespectful thing I suggest that you google a search " Peter Hurd's LBJ's portrait" I could never do the story justice!!! From our cultural interlude we moved on into Roswell, where, as before, we paid no attention to any of the alien hype stuff and had lunch at Pepper's. I had a roast beef dip and cole slaw but Bill had a Mexican reuben--corned beef, sauerkraut but pepper jack cheese and green chili sauce! Once we left Roswell it was like we entered a whole another world of desolation. Flat, desert, NOTHING for miles--a train track that ran alongside us just as empty as the road we traveled. Then as we approached Elida we saw the rear of a train--like a snaky red and green necklace racing across the expanse. We didn't seem able to catch it--it was moving so fast. But in Elida, it crossed our path and so we were stopped--to admire Elida's welcome sign!!!!! It was so wonderful to see this bit of civilization--a wind farm in the distance, a cop creating a speed trap in a broken down gas station and a train that ran the road next to us--until at last, we overtook the engines--smoky and hauling heavy up the grade. We were going about 60--Bill figures they were making about 55. Soon we left them in our dust and eventually came to Portales and on into Clovis--As we approached across the emptiness, Bill tartly said--oh, yeah, I can see why prehistoric man chose this place to settle! Checked into our upgrade--another comfy suite--hit Applebees for a salad and beer and called it a day! But it was a good day--we both laughed when we saw that we were 2 1/2 hours south of Santa Rosa--where we'd entered NM --knowing that today Clovis would be our exit into Texas!

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