Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Kind People of New Mexico

Everywhere we went in the state of new Mexico, we ran into very kind people. At first it was a string of nice old men who like to chat, and I mean that in a good way, not a creepy way. Sometime after we crossed the border from Arizona, we stopped at a gas station, and there was a good old guy working there who told us all kinds of stories about how he remembers when gas was 19 cents a gallon, and that when he was a boy of about eight years old, his father would send him to the store with 50 cents to buy a pack of cigarettes, and that he had to always bring back the change. My kids got a kick out of imagining someone trying to send their eight year old to buy cigarettes, but they got even more of a kick out of when he told us how excited his whole family was the first time they got a car that would go 55 miles per hour.
Next stop was a hotel in some town outside of Las Cruces because it was too late to keep driving or to set up camp. The old fellow there treated us to stories about a painful mule ride into the Grand Canyon. The same old fellow was very kind when for some mysterious reason our shower the next day only had scalding hot water, and would not, no matter what you did or how many knobs you turned, offer any cold. At first I thought my Girl Child was being dramatic about the temperature, but it was honestly so hot you could make tea. Since no one could figure it out, the nice old gentleman offered to just let us have another room to get showered in without my having to ask.
By the time we hit Albuquerque, I had a chance to see other kind New Mexicans in action. In fact, at a little stop in the historic old town district, I somehow managed in a moment of grace to knock a decorated ceramic cow scull off the wall and send it shattering to the ground. I have no idea how much this cost, but as in most touristy gift shops, everything else was expensive. I figured I would have to pay for it, as these kinds of places usually have a "you break it, you bought it" policy, and I was fine with that, even though it was the kind of thing that I wouldn't even like if it weren't broken. But, almost instantly a very nice young sales girl asked me if I was OK, and when I started to apologize, she totally took the blame and said that it was hung in the wrong way, that it wasn't my fault, that she was so glad I wasn't hurt, etc, etc. I was embarrassed and grateful at the same time, and we hurried out of there.
We met similarly nice folks in Santa Fe who took the time to explain the particulars of making the chili we bought, and who gave us a lighter and a pack of matches at our campground in Bandellier when our lighter died.
All of us were very impressed with the people, and the state of New Mexico. It's so refreshing to confirm how many genuinely nice people there are in the world. We would love to come back to visit again, especially the beautiful mountains in the north.


  1. Have I told you how much I love the state of New Mexico? Didn't you also found amazing landscapes? I got to spend 2 weeks in Los Alamos with dh and a 2 year old little girl. Dh was there working at Bandellier in a detail as their Fire Management Officer right after the big Bandellier fire that reached Los Alamos. Got to hike around the park, our little girl took naps in the weirdest places of the park and climbed up the dwellings together. Felt in love and tried to convinced Dh to apply for the any job openings at Bandellier. Love it so much!! Safe travels my friend.

  2. New Mexico is such a beautiful state- I imagine it would be a great place to live. I especially liked the northern parts with a little more green scenery to remind me of northern California.


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