Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The New Mexico Years

(Click to enlarge.)
I remember this trip. We're all very tired as we journeyed the three-four day trip from New Mexico back home to WV. Looks like the cat in my sister's arms is even tired. That's me in the cowboy hat on the other side of my mom.

When I was six years old, my dad on a whim applied for a college teaching job in Las Vegas, New Mexico and got it. So we spent two years in NM and it was an adventure. In my first grade class I had American Indians and Spanish speakers. Not something I had come across in West Virginia. I learned to eat chili, which I'd never tasted before (and still love). I have my father's recipe from those days. 

We lived in a row of barracks up on a mesa (WV hill with the top naturally sheared off). Every little house had a horse or two roaming free and the horses knew which house they belonged to. Ours was named Blue because he was dappled. Sometimes he'd come to our door at mealtime and bang the screen with his nose until we gave him a snack. I also had a pony named Soapy that bucked me off once and my dad almost swore.

I didn't like the dusty desert, which was a shock after WV's lush green hillsides, but I loved the wild donkeys and the horned toads that skittered across our back patio. They looked like toads but lizardlike with a tail. I'd catch them and stroke their backs.

Lots of memories but that's another post.

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