Monday, October 30, 2017

"Instead of Dead"

Los Poblanos Organic Lavender from Los Poblanos on Vimeo.

Ms. Ché and I have been celebrating our "50th" this weekend at Los Poblanos (Historic Inn and Organic Farm) tucked away in Ranchos de Albuquerque adjacent to Albuquerque's North Valley, a rich and diverse community of land grants and farms, palatial estates and modest homesteads along the east side of the Rio Grande that date back, in some cases, to Spanish Colonial days.

Los Poblanos has been here in one form or another for more than 150 years (I think, not having the history of the place in front of me.) It became a "model farm and dairy" in the 1930s when Albert Simms and his wife Ruth Hanna McCormick bought it and commenced a major overhaul. They hired John Gaw Meem to build several new buildings and renovate/expand existing buildings to create a cultural center and working farm as well as a rather extravagant home for the Simms.

I won't go into the history of the Simms' tenure, nor detail the story of the restoration of the site by the current owners. It's quite a tale, but it's not for now. (This article in New Mexico Magazine is the short and dirty version...)

Since we moved to New Mexico full time at the end of October, 2012 (it's our fifth anniversary as New Mexicans), we've been to events at Los Poblanos many times and enjoyed their fine hospitality. It''s a lovely setting that often hosts Canada geese and other flyway birds, especially this time of year.We heard cranes overhead not long after arriving yesterday afternoon, and geese were calling later. We were visited by peacocks at breakfast, and one seemed to have followed Ms. Ché over to the Farm Shop afterwards.

Los Poblanos seems remote and out of the way, but it isn't really. It's only a few miles from Old Town down a leafy lane, past the fields of lavender for which its latest iteration has become famous.

We came to have dinner at the highly regarded restaurant, stay the night in the newly built Field room section, and have breakfast in the morning in celebration of our "consolidated 50th" -- fifty years together, 48 married, and five years as New Mexicans.

At dinner last night, we had many thanks for one another (oh yes), and made the comment: "We're here instead of dead."


We've had quite an adventuresome life together to say the least. It's the kind of life that makes people's eyes bug out, filled with oddities, adventure and risk, and simply enough, either of us might have wound up dead by the side of the road almost anywhere along the way.

But we wound up here instead. The way I put it, we're living our lives in reverse. It's a constant wonder to us.

Lavender fields outside our window in the morning

So the morning is dawning cloudy and chilly, the lavender field outside our patio is touched with dew, breakfast is waiting. We've had our morning french press coffee, and I need to clean up a bit before we venture forth. We'll have some things to do in town, and then head home to our passel of cats,

Instead of dead...


  1. Che,

    Congratulations! I love, love, love stories about successful long-term relationships. I mean real relationships, not couples that stay together (kinda, sorta, grudgingly) because of financial concerns or social standing; I mean couples that manage to find that oh-so-elusive rhythm that allows them to pull in the traces together as a team.

    Truly, it is a feat to celebrate, and a rarity.

    Thanks for sharing this intimate moment. It has given me a smile to start my day.

    Best, Teri

    1. Wow. What a great thing to say! Appreciate it!

      We had a wonderful time at Los Poblanos as we always do, but this time was special. The staff was in on our anniversary celebration and went out of their way to congratulate us and provide some special treats. Even the owner, Matt, came over to wish us well. It was nice.

      Even though it's been 50 years, it doesn't seem like it to either of us. It feels like a few months -- maybe. Ms. Ché is off getting her creative writing degree (in May) and I'm gradually turning into a would-be gentleman farmer. We have loads of memories, but we're hardly nostalgic for les temps perdu. There's always tomorrow!

      Best, and thank you.


  2. Che & Ms Che, well, congratulations and good cheer. We are all thankful you are here and not dead! That's such a nice way to put it. (At this point I'm in the habit of saying at least I'm upright and walking.) I so enjoy your verbal rambles, and glad I latched onto them. Here's to many more years of you two creating adventures in backwards living.

    (it says "nota," but it's I, lea-p)

    1. Dear "nota"

      Thank you so much. We've been down quite a few roads, eh? Sometimes it's a wonder we're still standing let alone walking around on our own power.

      Snow came overnight to the higher mountains; winter creeping in bit by bit.

      "Backwards living." I like it!