Sunday, May 11, 2008

OT: This place is infested with cowboys

I've been in New Mexico since Friday evening, and out where our place is, it's hi-lo cattle country, real ranches with real livestock and real cowboys, not the poseurs you might see other places. Of course, you go up to Santa Fe, and the situation is dramatically different, poseurs are everywhere, and everybody knows it, and few really care, except that you're not going to hear many kind things said around here about the pseudo-cowfolk (or much of anybody else) in Santa Fe.

We're near the edge of Santa Fe County, only about 45 minutes on an absolutely deserted highway to the Plaza, and the drive is really nice even in the dead of winter, so if the spirit is moved sufficiently, one can take to the road and shortly immerse oneself in the "Fanta Se Experience." I like to visit the galleries. Watch Zozobra burn. Have me a plate of New Mexico meatloaf (stuffed with corn and green chile, you haven't lived until you've had it). But who has time? Not me.

While the house is pretty much complete, the garage is a disaster (the contractors had to knock out parts of the walls to get the right size pine lumber to repair some of the floors in the house), and I just -- today -- found where I could get the right kind of materials to repair the garage. Oh boy! A half-assed job could have been done with contemporary materials, but I wanted something that would match the 100 year old shed, and the place that was recommended really couldn't come up with the right sort of materials. So I've been scouting for other resources, and behold, no more than five miles away, I found just the place. Romero's, of course. They don't have a website. This is New Mexico. Newfangled contraptions may be all the rage in Santa Fe, but when you're out in the country like this, it's best to keep it simple.

Then there's the landscaping. We had somebody doing preliminaries, but strangely, nothing came of it. She... disappeared. Well, she did some work, yes, but discovered it was going to be a little more challenging than she anticipated, and vamoosed.

And wouldn't you know, a neighbor came over one day and said, "You want us to clear your place? We can take care of it in an hour or two, take anything you don't want to the landfill." I said, sure. And sure enough, when I came back, they'd done an excellent job, and I expected they'd want to be paid. No. Not at all. Glad to help. At least I could do was buy them dinner.

We had skunks. Now we have cats. The cats have taken care of the skunk problem. And the cats, so far, aren't a problem themselves. Although the neighbors say it's wise not to get too attached to them because the coyotes come and get em. Ou. Coyotes.

I have seen coyotes in New Mexico, though not near here. Wildlife around here is mostly cottontails and antelope. And road runners. There are so many birds I can't begin to keep track of them all.

And there are cowboys. In the late spring, there's a big rodeo and cowboy gathering. People come from all over. Texas, even.

And on Sunday afternoons, I can listen to "Singing Wire" on the radio, and hear about the Frybread Queen, and Last Train to Hopiland.

Hard not to love this place.

Edit to add that the picture up top is of a carreta at Laguna Pueblo c. 1899

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