Weekends were our favorite time. We began to explore - picnic lunches at the Pecos Monument, lunch at a fairly new restaurant called Rancho de Chimayo - trips to galleries, shops on the Plaza, Healy-Matthews Bookstore on Marcy Street, lunch at The Shed. On one trip to Hyde Park I said "This is God's country" - My son said " I just saw him" - ''Where did you see him, John?" - "Back there - He was just walking down the road!" He was so sincere that I turned around and looked where he was pointing!
What I loved most about our new home were the people and their eagerness to tell me their stories - their family histories. I was awed by the ancient pueblo culture and knew there were mysteries I would never fully understand - I was content with not knowing. I loved the warmth and kindness of my new Hispanic friends. And then I learned to love the food, but not at first. On our first trip to Chimayo I ordered the only meal on the menu that didn't have chile on it. Arturo Jaramillo urged me to try an enchilada, but I was afraid it would be too hot. Hah! Look at me now, more than fifty years later - green chile a definite addiction!
How do you describe the brilliance of a New Mexico sky to someone who has never left Chicago? My eyes were still trying to adjust. How does one begin to measure distance in miles instead of city blocks? Absolutely nothing was familiar to me. I had lost my bearings. My Big City girl persona no longer applied to life in this strange landscape - I had to listen and learn. Time for me to get real!