Christian and I just arrived back to El Paso from Cloudcroft. First thing we did was hit Taco Tote for dinner, knowing full well we both couldn’t stand the heat of the kitchen at home, and both of us craving some fresh, hot Mexican food. For some reason, though, I was craving the sliced cucumbers they offer for free at the salsa bar, drizzled with lime juice. Oh, and the pico de gallo, just straight up.
Of course, the free salsa bar has an unwritten stipulation (and security camera assisteance) that you have to actually order something in order to partake of the free salsa bar, so I ordered two pork adobado tacos, and Christian ordered two bistek tacos. THEN we had a free-for-all at the free salsa bar, lol.
When we got home, I was hit full-force with a feeling of depression. The heat of the flatland, the reality that it was back to work tomorrow and the loud neighbors STILL shooting fireworks (illegally) off their balconies made me long for the solitude, peace and immersion in nature that we got to enjoy for three days this weekend. So, I continued what I had been doing up in Cloudcroft…I continued my “nesting.”
I’ve read a lot about how pregnant women begin to “nest,” rabidly cleaning their homes spic and span, trying to make everything look perfect, cooking, doing laundry, even scrubbing toilets with a smile on their face. I think I’m becoming that person. And it’s new to me. I’m not the neatest person nor do I get a thrill from cleaning between tiles with a Q-tip. But that was my M.O. this weekend, “making a home.” I’ve always considered the cabin in Cloudcroft to be my home. I even lived there alone for almost three years. I seemed to be the only one really interested in it. But now family members are coming out of the woodwork, silently starting to try to stake a claim on it. And I feel extremely territorial about it! I’m the nature girl, the one who always wanted to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder in a little cabin in the woods.
Even though my father owns the cabin, I still consider it mine, even more so now that I hear others are interested in actually BUYING it away. Dad hasn’t relented, but I fear he’ll decide selling is the best thing to do. NOOOOOOO!!!!!
Even city-slicker Christian is beginning to look forward to the weekends up in the mountains, even if it means no DSL or Wi-Fi, no DVD or CD player (well, other than our laptops), and no shower. Nope, just the century-old claw foot tub, a percolator for coffee rather than an espresso machine, Life magazines circa 1945, and toiletries and soaps about that old, too. It’s a CABIN, not a second home in the Hamptons, and I don’t want it to be all Ralph-Lauren’ed or IKEA’ed, like some people decorate their cabins. I want the old rocking chair my grandfather sat in. I want the manual popcorn popper. I want the old, peeling cabbage rose walpaper. I want the memories to remain just as they were when I was a child. And I want my child to have that, too.
We had all but one meal at home at the cabin, again making use of the George Foreman grill (god, what did I do before that thing?), and stretching our rotisserie chicken into three great meals, and even having leftovers for the dogs. I won’t weigh myself for a week after this trip, although we did hike about two hours a day and my housecleaning in itself must have equaled about an hour’s hike. On Sunday night, we had dinner at the Texas Pit barbeque restaurant in Cloudcroft. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and loved the cafeteria style ordering, the little condiments bar with pickled peppers, onion rings and all kinds of sauces… and the succulent beef ribs. Well, the restaurant has gone “upscale,” now with table service, meaning prices have risen dramatically and quality hasn’t. And they don’t even serve beef ribs anymore! Just pork. However, I had sliced pork which came with cole slaw and fake mashed potatoes, and the pork was great. The sides weren’t. Christian went for the shrimp po’boy, which wasn’t po’ in price, and wasn’t a po’boy. But he said it was good.
The trick in Cloudcroft is not to eat out, however. Prices are jacked up, especially on holiday weekends. By all means, cook at home! That’s the whole experience of being in Cloudcroft, cooking with your family, making the neighbors jealous with the wafts of barbeque coming from your porch, eating as messily and as much as you can handle, and at a fraction of the cost of the handful of restaurants in town.
And anyway, food just tastes better when you make it with love, by yourself or with your partner, and watching the sun set over the Tularosa Basin, as you sit on your rickety old porch, thinking THIS IS LIFE.
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