Monday’s Blog; Change to the “Extremus”

re·sist·ance
rəˈzistəns/  noun
  1. The refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.

ex·trem·ism
ikˈstrēˌmizəm/  noun 
  1. the holding of extreme political or religious views; fanaticism.

12/19/2016; The electoral college has acted; 

How adept I have been in my lifetime in facing resistance. I have always believed myself to be easy going, open to new ideas, new thoughts and new tools, ready to accept change that make our lives easier;  Now, I look back and say, I have not been so so easy going after all. 

While I now have less of a problem accepting changes in ideological matters when presented with understanding and plenty of fore thought, it is in the realm of every day stuff that offers me the most difficulty overcoming resistance to change and the least important in the effect on my live. Perhaps it is the frugal nature I was raised with. But I am getting over it.

In explanation, How often I have resisted the acquisition of newly offered pieces of equipment meant to simplify life, such as a food processor, a microwave/convection oven, film cameras, digital cameras, personal computers, lap tops, a kindle, a tablet, cell phones–and on and on. I felt that what I had was doing just fine. Then, I faced the reality of having a washer/dryer on our motor home. Once again, I resisted. How can the rig withstand the electrical and sewer requirements of the washer/ dryer. I can turn that space into storage and continue the trips to the laundromat.

However, through the decades of changes, I have admitted with each new acquisition, that yes, I am happy with the new technology and hopelessly share our addiction to all kinds of the stuff of life and why did I always fight it in the first place.

What brings this sort of confession on today is the recent break down of our on-board washing machine and the days we rationed our clothing until the machine could be replaced. I am now a grateful user of our now working machinery, but aware of my fighting spirit resisting change. Lesson; without change, we would stagnate, fail to evolve, fail to learn, fail to discover. That would be a sad outcome.  Together, we all are facing daunting change. How to deal with acceptance is the question of the moment. 

The rapidly changing state of the current world around us constantly in the news and shared on our social media. We are changing in parallel to global change as well.   The world has entered a new phase, fast and furious. These are turnabout times, 180 degrees around, beyond expectations or anticipation but real and looming large. 

I am not feeling so easy about what is in store for us. Perhaps I can learn from my former propensity to resistance the need to be strong and thoughtful and not over react until each situation becomes clearly defined, if such a thing will happen under the new leadership. It seems we face daunting days ahead of us. Best to go forward with our eyes open and our chins held high. 

Monday’s Blog, China Factor

Las Cruces, NM has been a favorite stop from our first drive across the US via motor home some 15 years ago.  How lucky we are to have good friends living here, so devoted and knowledgeable about this outstanding region of New Mexico.  When in Las Cruces, we savor many high spots on our list of to do’s in the area: a bountiful farmers market, the rich music and art scene and meeting and hearing our dear friend Leora, (referred to as the rose in the desert by a talented and popular musician and conductor, a reference well deserved) broadcast over KRWG, the local NPR station.  We pursued our quest for pecan pie and pecans from Stahman’s Pecan Farm, our favorite source for Pecans.


 Pecan trees from Stahman’s past

During last year’s visit, we drove to the farm for our pie and pecans only to be greeted by a locked door and a sign that the retail shop is closed. Not a good sign for sure. Remembering the closure, we visited another previous source; Julienne’s Jewelry Shop located on Calle De Guadalupe in Old town Mesilla, where we have been able to purchase Stahman’s goods in the past when time did not permit a drive to the farm. The shop staff informed us that Stahman’s is now completely closed having been purchased by a Chinese run company. She has heard that all of the pecans will be exported leaving no pecans for local use from Stahman’s trees. 

Luckily, Julienne has found a new source for locally grown pecans and pies and we indeed purchased some of each to share with our dear friends. Annually and without fail, we have visited this shop and other businesses and restaurants in Old Town Mesilla.  This pecan pie was very good, not the overly sweet filling of other versions of the pie but pleasant and flavorful.  If you visit Las Cruces, do stop at Julienne’s.  Warning!  You will be enticed by the wonderful clothing, shoes, boots, and jewelry awaiting purchase as well as various pecan treats and locally made coffees. Then, drift around the square to visit a marvelous bookstore, a salsa shop or two, chocolate shop, ice cream store, gift shops and several Mexican restaurants to savor. The locals are friendly and warm sporting golden smiles.  

For all of you history buffs, back to Stahman’s Pecan Farm and its history. My friend Leora told me that years ago, when her now 20 something children were young, they enjoyed many memorable school field trips to the farm. The farm workers formed a community, living on the farm land in staff housing and enjoying a thriving community life style; The school visits were very special and welcomed by the staff and highly anticipated by the children. This strong farming community thrived for decades (1950 to the 1990’s) and then the land surrounding began to be swept up by developers and farm workers chose to move into houses of their choice, drastically changing the nature of Farm communal life. Those days are now completely lost with the sale of the farm. 

The farm’s legacy luckily lives on and has been documented through many research projects and precious oral history projects supported by the University of the State of New Mexico, Las Cruces campus. I have provided 2 of the many links below for those who enjoy delving into history.  It is hoped that the local pecans sold overseas will be well revered and Las Cruces will continue to be source of supplies for local pecan lovers as well. We must have faith that while life is full of changes, they will be for the better. 

And now, for another piece of pecan pie.

A quote from one of the articles preserving the history of the ranch; They’re the stories of the workers of Stahmann Farms and the communities hidden behind the iconic pecan trees. Those communities existed from the 1950s until 1990, and once boasted their own clinic, gas station, company store, hen house and airstrip, which was mainly used by the farms’ owners. 
Visit the following URL for the history of the farm


Another link to more historical insight into farm life and community on Stahman’s farm visit, http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/education/nmsu/2016/09/11/nmsu-researchers-tell-stories-stahmann-farms/90231176/

Monday’s Blog, sometimes not on Monday

Life has been a whirlwind. We are underway in our motor home and very happy campers. so just some thoughts to share, and the incredible people encounters we have had along the way. 
Our motorhome has been under repair for several weeks. We have been “stuck” in Rochester, our home town for an extended period of time; following our usual schedule when we are underway in mid October. This year we stayed through the first week in December. Thanksgiving week was a treat as we drove in our Jeep to our son’s farm in Virginia and had a memorable 9 days including Thanksgiving, a luxurious small family day with our wonderful family, son Dan, Daughter in law Malena, over the top grandsons Alexander (a brilliant 17) and our multi talented grandson Corey (14); What a day, what a meal what a loving family. 

Paul’s new friend at the National Gallery of Art

After those beautiful days on the farm we drove to DC and enjoyed the National Gallery of Art, tearing ourselves out of the contemporary collection to take the Metro to our nephew’s house in Alexandria. Steven and Daisy and baby Oliver entertained us royally and fed us a tasty and memorable dinner. The next day we met RV Friends visiting their family in DC. That led to a midday visit to the American Indian Museum. Metro back to the Alexandria house then our first Uber ride to a lovely Greek restaurant and reunion with Paul’s cousin and her significant other. Both a joy and so glad to see them.

The next day, a long ride home bolstered by a lovely breakfast at the Del Ray Cafe. What a delightful Alexandria cafe where I had a treat–a vegetarian Eggs Benedict. Yum. We arrived in Rochester and had a day to transition to Motor home/nomad heads and filled the Jeep, drove to Colton RV in N. Tonawanda to transfer to our rig. What expertise and a joy Colton RV, Staff members John and Jesse are. They seem to have done successful surgery and our rig looks better than new. 

Luckily, Paul and I are spontaneous types; we adapt instantly and suddenly found ourselves driving down the road ahead of expectations, Jeep in tow and heading westward. (After an intense visit to Wegmans to stock up the empty larder on board.) How happy we were to BE ON THE ROAD AGAIN. 

Jackson Pollack at the National Gallery of Art

The next few days we enjoyed the feeling of traveling with no definite plans, no reservations and the world at our fingertips, finding sites to see, places to camp overnight and suddenly being near people whom we have known for years or an encounter as we check out of a store, campground or other spot. The 20 something clerk at Wegmans and her boyfriend love to hike and travel and her parents are long time motor homers, so we shared her stories and her anticipation of a trip to Colorado with her boyfriend. Our childhood friends; My best friend from age 18 months onward and her husband in Cleveland. 

We drove our rig to a Walmart near their town. They picked us up and off we went to a restaurant for breakfast and an intense 2 hours of catching up. They drove us back to the Walmart where we did some errands. Murphy was there with us, you all know Murphy–if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. We were locked out of our rig, the latch would not release. A call to Coachnet, our roadside service brought Gary a locksmith who had us in the rig within 10 minutes and with a new trick. Unlatch the top lock first then the bottom and you’re home free.

Off to the Columbus, OH area where we called another couple, the husband, Paul and I shared our young years in Rochester through high school. They came to our campground and we had a glorious 90 minute visit. What a joy to catch up. As I write we are in Walnut Ridge, AR, east of Little Rock. On our way we have encountered a couple who own the campground (Indian Creek OH in Geneva.) They live in and work out of a glorious old home built in 1856. She has lived in that house all of her life. The organ in their living room was built in 1868, a year before our apartment building in Rochester, Warner Loft, was built. They are full of life and share a great sense of humor.

There is so much more, but we are enamored of our life on the road, the encounters along the way and the unexpected next curve in the road. We just wish every turn could be spectacular but we know life happens and there are good and hard times for all of us and our friends. This is not my usual highly edited message, just musings and wishes for a wonderful life for all, lived to the fullest and leaving wonderful memories for our family and friends to cherish for years.