***Hi all. I had to take last week off. It just didn’t feel right to brag on our 4th while so much was, and still is, in turmoil. We will all move on but let’s not forget. Instead, let’s honor those who are gone by being better human beings. We don’t have to agree on everything but let’s at least look past our personal judgments and opinions and just be a little more compassionate. It’s not a solution to everything, but it’s a damn good start.***
The 4th of July: the time when Clayton’s population swells to 3,000+. That’s huge for this town and perfect to me! It’s always been one of my favorite times to visit because I know the town welcomes everyone. Up until this year, our family traveled from Las Cruces or Albuquerque to hang out on the ranch. It was a good 2 or 3 day respite from the trappings of city life. I used to call it the place where I could reset my soul. We’d have fireworks and back porch sittin’ and really just do a lot of nothing, unless my father-in-law had a “Honey Do” list for us. Then it was moving rock and building things and helping to weld something together. Whatever it was, we were always happy to do it because it was getting our hands dirty – something we didn’t do enough of in the city.
This year was different. I mentioned to Clay how strange it was that it was Friday before the 4th, and we were already here. That it was July 5, and we were still here. It was odd how we didn’t have a Honey Do list or that we weren’t trying to get as filthy in the outdoors as quickly as possible. I didn’t feel the need to rush anything this year, to stay on the ranch because I didn’t want to move, I didn’t need to disconnect from city life. In some ways, I’ve already disconnected so the 4th wasn’t respite, it was just another good weekend full of friends, family, and celebration.
Instead of staying on the ranch this year, my mom came into town and we partied together! OK, not like rockstar party and dancing on the table (because the Eklund didn’t host a beer garden and we aren’t cool enough to know anyone at the VFW – yet), but we really did enjoy ourselves. It was more like adult partying where you actually remember what you did and what you said and no one makes an offering to the porcelain gods. I think I prefer this kind of partying anyway.
First up was the Street Dance. This is an annual event where one block of Main Street is shut down right in front of the Eklund Hotel. We dance, we talk, we hang out with people we haven’t seen all year! People come home and get the town gossip and a few selfies. If you can believe it, I had my phone and I didn’t take a single picture. Swear, I was there. We left just about the time the rain and thunder cleared everyone out.
The next day was all about Trinidad, Colorado. Yes, again: don’t judge. We wanted my mom to check it out and we were in need of a Walmart trip for some pool chemical stuff. Seriously, we both thought we could just fill up the pool, throw in a bit of bleach, and swim. Total novices in the upkeep of pools and now I know why people make a living off of being cabana boys. Sheesh. Anyway, we drove through downtown Raton, ate at Bella Luna Pizzeria again, and hit up the local Wally World. It’s still one of the cleanest Wally Worlds I’ve entered and, if you’re a regular visitor, you know that means a lot. Back home to relax and enjoy.
Monday was the big parade. It’s a hometown parade where the rodeo queen and her court ride horses, the kids ride their bikes, and everyone is getting candy. Except this is Clayton, so we know the people who are in the floats and the people in the floats know the people on the side of the street. The first responders are driving their vehicles with sirens blasting, the high school teams are representing Clayton with pride, even a group of low riders! We’re New Mexico, that’s how we roll. No pun intended. Anyway, we got to hang out with some friends in their covered porch. They happen to live right on the parade route, so we had shade and friends and lots and lots and lots of candy. The best part? My mom said she hadn’t been to a parade like that since she was a kid. She loved it and that always makes me happy!
We aren’t done with Monday yet. We still had the rodeo. I seriously debated wearing my cowgirl hat but, with my luck, someone would say something all rodeo-like and I’d stand there and blurt out something about my damn chickens. Or that I want 2 rodeo bulls so that I can name them Sprinkles and Twinkles. So instead, I actually combed my hair (I think) and wore my favorite UNM Lobos cap and we headed out to get our rodeo on. Again, fun. The best part was the fireworks show afterward. This year, it was synced to music and was extremely well done. Thanks go out to the Clayton Fire Rescue for the fireworks and Union County Youth Supporters for a great rodeo! Your efforts are unmatched!!!
Back to planet Earth Tuesday morning. But the fun’s not over! Wait until the next blog post when I introduce you to the keets. The Guineas (and a few other furry surprises) are here!!!