Friday, April 24, 2009

24 days ago - 1st day of my Vacation

Greetings Readers

The first day of my vacation. My family had to leave Colorado as soon as possible to beat the cold front that was going to come into Colorado and dump some more snow.

We did do pretty good and pretty much managed to beat the major part of the front. We did encounter some heavy snowfall, but only outside the Great Sand Dunes on our way to Alamosa. After Alamosa we headed south to New Mexico.

There was some more snow falling here and there but by the time we were about 10 miles away from the Colorado / New Mexico Border we had escape the snow and the cold.

Just crossing over into New Mexico we decided to stop and get something to eat. We reached a small town; Ojo Caliente called and saw that there were only three places to eat. We picked the place that had the words “Café” after the place’s name – Mesa Vista.

The place was what it was for the place where it was located. What I am saying that the café fit the profile of what a no name café in the middle of nowhere would look like. Rustic, old (where the early 20th century started) and nothing spectacular.

Old chairs, table, walls littered with black and white pictures and wood saws. There were some antlers and old antique items scattered throughout the café.

Yet, all that said I was looking for some hometown cooking.

Twenty minutes later I got my lunch and saw my parent’s and brother lunch also. Not what I expected.

My Chicken Fried steak was actually a frozen chicken fried steak that was re-heated in an oven. My gravy was made from those gravy packets you can find on any grocery store shelf. My brother and father’s fries were definitely not fried in cooking oil. Nope – probably cooked right next to my Chicken Fried steak in the oven. And yes the fries came from those frozen bags of French Fries you find in the freezer section of any grocery store.

In the end though, my meal was okay and I was okay with that. Normally, I would have complained like I would have mostly likely done. Our waitress, well I think the only person working in the café was doing her job and did do good service. A couple of local people came in and talked to the person working in the café.

And that was most likely the last time that we will stop at that place. Not good, but not bad – we did give it a chance, but I know that we will never stop there again. My brother and I joked about how we did not hear anything cooking in oil or on a flat grill. We smiled and laughed, as well as our parents when they started listening to our conversation.

Twenty miles later we had to stop at a gas station / grocery store that we knew of. First the way we were going home there was no grocery store at all. We wanted to have breakfast, but more importantly we needed some food for the following day since my parents said that there is no food at the Ranch.

We shopped and then that was when I knew I was truly back in New Mexico and the part of New Mexico that is… well let me tell you what transpired. So, I opened the door for my Mother and then I saw that there was a woman approaching from the outside with about 5 or 6 empty water jugs. I did what I would do I held the door open for her. She walked passed me without so much a glance or in my view – not a Thank You.

“You’re Welcome” I said to her back.

She did not turn around or acknowledge what I just said.

“Daryl. Don’t forget where you are at.” My Mother said.

She was right. I was in a small no name place in the middle of New Mexico expecting manners and grace. Well, not exactly all that, but I did expect a Thank you. After all, she was about 5 yards away from the door I held open for my Mother. I did not have to hold that door open for that woman.

Readers, that was pretty much the day of the trip down to the Ranch. And that ends another chapter in my life. Oh yeah, after not getting a “Thank you” I expected, I remembered were I was and blended in nicely with some of the people of New Mexico. Yeah and if you believe that you are so gullible - Man oh man, I "stick out" every time I am in New Mexico - attitude, dress and the way I talk (or don't talk.)

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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