Cabin comforts


Christian’s first foray into outdoor pork grilling was so successful last night, we went down to Alamogordo (16 miles away from Cloudcroft and the closest full-scale grocery store) to pick up more pork and grilling supplies. That’ll be for tomorrow night, because tonight is again leftovers… leftover pork, that is. And I’m NOT complaining one bit!
We stopped for lunch at Pepper’s Restaurant in Alamogordo because frankly it’s the only restaurant (other than Chili’s or Applebee’s) that we really know of down there. Other than the fact that it seems to cater to a generation that is busy laying down prescription bottles on the table and talking LOUDLY on their cell phones about their bowel obstruction, the food is reliable, hearty, reasonable and pretty good. Christian had a bowl of red. Red chili, that is, served with cornbread. He devoured it. I had the “Jambalaya pasta,” which was chicken, shrimp, red and green peppers and mushrooms on a bed of fettuccini. Good, hot, lots of it, and it hit the spot for me. Plus we have LOTS of it left over to add to our leftovers din-din. I think the “jambalaya” moniker was pushing the boundaries, but it was a decent meal.
On the way back up the hill to Cloudcroft, I forced Christian to stop at a farm stand selling local pumpkins and apples. It is, of course, an autumn ritual to pick one’s own pumpkins and apples, but I knew I’d be pushing Christian’s boundaries had I asked him to pick apples with me. So, our compromise was buying some High Rolls apples and gourds. And we’ll both be happy. I’ll get my beloved fresh apples for a week or so, and Christian will be able to make his Apfel Streudel (he hates raw apples). Score!
It’s been the most relaxing two days so far and my whole body is just melting into the atmosphere. Well, a few kinks. Our next door neighbor, who NEVER comes up to Cloudcroft, has, well, come up. He likes to play his music. LOUD. And it’s Mexican music. We sorta go to Cloudcroft to get away from that music, which permeates El Paso like a scratchy wool blanket on a summer’s day. AND to add to the chorus, our neighbor directly across from us has decided today is “fix-it” day. With a power drill, a saw, and his vocal accompaniment. But what can you do, right? Some people come up to Cloudcroft to blare music or to drill a hole in their porch to relax. To each his own.
Those little irritations are little, and we can still hear the wind in the trees, the squirrels and chipmunks gathering pinecones and the distant thunder promising some rain tonight. And that is what it’s all about…

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