Friday, January 30, 2009

Two on the same day, it just isn't ME, but here it is anyway

Thanksgiving for remembering.

Today I paid a visit to my "place of employment". I've been retired for more than five years, but my heart lingers at the site of my dream job, much in the same way that my soul lingers in Santa Fe. Besides, being on the payroll gives me an excuse to run up there on payday, to find out that they've already mailed my paycheck.

While I was at Belco today, there was some conversation about Thanksgiving. I immediately thought of a Thanksgiving story, but I do not often have the ability to tell a story in a crowd of people (there were three besides me, if I recall correctly). I talk much too slowly for most people's patience, so I usually wait until I get home and write it out as a "door hanger" to send back for the crew to read.

I distinctly remember having written this story before as a door hanger, but could not find it anywhere, so it's being re-written here from the dubious memory of an old man. Some time later, I'll post another story from the same time period about another Taos adventure.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend of the year 2000, we made a trip to Taos to get a piece of custom-made furniture we'd ordered. As it turned out, we never got that piece of furniture, but that is irrelevant to this story.

It was only after we'd turned north on US84 between Santa Rosa and Las Vegas (New Mexico) that we entered a significant snowstorm. we made our way slowly toward Las Vegas, doing our best to avoid the few automobiles that were traveling along the highway, and skidding and spinning all over the road (flatlander Texans, they really don't belong here).

We got to Las Vegas about noon, and were REALLY undecided about how we should proceed to our little city of mud, about 70 miles away. We sought a place to have lunch, and it appeared that every place in town was closed. The storm must have been going on here for some time. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground.

We finally went to the Plaza, and to the Plaza Hotel, thinking that "just perhaps", their restaurant would be open, because they had to deal with hotel guests, who transcended the duration of the storm.

It was almost unbelievable! We entered the restaurant, and were warmly greeted. It seems that we has stumbled upon a special Thanksgiving dinner that they were giving. Although we should have had reservations for this event, the weather had kept some of the people who had made reservations away, and they found us a table. It was a wonderful meal, a lot more than we'd expected for a "traveling" lunch on the road, but it seemed to be the only game in town!

We spent the next hour wondering if we should go our normal route across the mountains, of if we should take Interstate 25 to Santa Fe and follow the Rio Grande up to Taos. After much debate and soul searching, we settled for the regular route over the mountains.

It turned out to be an excellent choice. The road was completely clear, and we encountered only a couple of small patches of ice in shady portions, which did not inconvenience us in any way.

After we got to Taos, we spent a lovely weekend, in beautiful weather, and found that our piece of furniture was not ready, nor had it even been started. More than a year later, we gave up and, on another trip to Taos, talked to the artisan, who promised us, and even showed us on a list, that our piece was coming up for fabrication within the week.

We told him to forget it, and traded most of the deposit we'd left with him almost two years before for a wall cabinet, and he still owes us $60 in trade, which I have vowed to never worry about again in my whole life.

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