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August 2022
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Mon, August 01 2022 - 2:41 pm

August 10, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Yesterday I walked straight into a new (to me) neighborhood that formerly I have only touched, and found yet another interesting playground. The retaining walls that keep the playground quite a bit above street level are covered with paintings - more bold bright mural art that wraps  around the corner of the block.

Near the corner of the mural are the words (approximately): we want sanitation not discrimination. On the way back home a man stopped his car and entered into conversation. He said he used to know a few miners who lived in the neighborhood, but they have all died.

It is safe to assume given the mural, that the neighborhood used to be largely Hispanic and indigenous people. I wonder who the neighborhood is comprised of now. The only person I encountered in the neighborhood proper was an Anglo who made sure I was aware of the hiking trails on Boston Hill.

Made me wonder if the current denizens would rather not have strangers walking on their streets.


August 7, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I have not been able to log on to my website for two days, maybe because of weak signals. I’ve been wanting to write about soft breezes, something I have not heretofore related to the New Mexican experience. In fact, those wonderful caressing gentle winds surprised and pleased me when I went back to the Midwest.

Mysteriously, we have had some here in Silver City in recent weeks. Due to humidity in the air, they are only pleasant if the temperature is just right. Once it gets too hot, humidity is a drag.

It is rather comical: people here comment on the humidity when it is in the forty, but in humid regions like those east of the Mississippi River, it gets much much higher. If it is too hot and too high humidity, you feel as if you are trying to walk through water.

That is how I hear it has been in my old Indiana home lately.

Sounds like I got out just in time.

August 4, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I have been reading Chris Bohjalian novels lately. If you have not encountered many new words lately, read him. He will use words (I bet) that you have not seen before. I suspected him of making some up, but they are in online dictionaries. More fodder for Spelling Bee games, if I can remember them.

Of course, somebody makes up all the words we use every day, if not a week ago, then certainly years or centuries ago.

I have the habit myself.

August 3, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Living in a studio apartment with no washing machine, I do my laundry at a laundromat called Laundryland. Pretty fanciful name, no? And only about a ten-minute walk from home.

It is the best laundromat ever. It is far from new but very clean. (The machines work just fine.) I have learned a few interesting tricks there that I would never recommend. A grease-spotted shirt that escaped emergency action with Dawn dishwashing liquid at home? Buy a last-minute garment saver from the soda machine - coke. Something I no longer put in my body, but great for getting out grease. Just put in in your washer after the real wash cycle begins. Yeah, it is an expensive last minute fix, but cheaper by far than a new blouse.

And as an added bonus, I think the coke gets rid of old soap residues from past washings. My clothes and linens feel softer than usual. It probably dissolves mineral deposits from the water, too. Of course, I would never recommend it.

The folks I have met working there are very industrious and thorough. If you are traveling through or a resident, the Laundryland on Hudson is also just across a parking lot from the Visitor Center. You can see where to visit next while your clothes are in the washer.

Laundryland is also just across the street from the local Post Office. You can buy postcards from the Visitor Center and mail them right across the street. Another thing you can get at the Visitor Center is a Zia zipper pull to replace any missing from your clothing or camping gear.

How cool is that?

August 2, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Today I found Hidden Park! I was within half a block of an entrance (there are at least two) last week and missed it. Duh.

There is actually a pretty imposing set of stone steps leading up to the park. My theory is that it used to be a pretty grand home or some kind of institution that is no longer there. Go onto 38th Street from Swan and go up the staircase. Keep heading north on kind of a trail and you encounter a swing set with three swings. Head north from there and you encounter a basketball court and net and a few benches. In the same general area is one of those kiddie toys on a big spring. There are some nice views in spots.

I encountered a woman who lives nearby on my way back home. She told me the neighborhood has been advised not to go there because of issues with the wildlife. I did see a good-sized deer, but nothing else.

She told me that three weeks ago they removed a bear from the park! They tranquilized it and shipped it deep into the Gila. Of course I learned that after I had walked through.

The fact that I had to walk for an hour to get there is another deterence, but I plan to head back every now and then. It’s nice to have a variety of destinations.

The public library now has more murals around the inside of the patio near the main entrance. The young folks were working on them during the last week or so and their spirit fits right in with what was already there. I bring that up at this moment because I am here at the library right now. The artwork makes a person feel welcome.

August 1, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I spent some time at the Visitor Center Sunday, introducing a few folks to the sandbox and animal print blocks. Kids almost universally like it a lot. Some older adults do not look like hikers so other subjects of conversation come up. One group of four folks included at least one man who had lived in New Mexico for twenty years twenty years ago.

He showed me a beautiful picture of Fort Bayard on the wall that had at least two-story white buildings with columns and balconies - really nice buildings. He told me they were gone now - at least the way they looked in the photo. He said someone who got elected governor had a thing against Fort Bayard and the State kicked out the residents of the buildings. Now, unmaintained, they are going to pot.

There is a story there I will have to look into... sometime.

I ran into the same group along the river walk on my way home (away from the surveillance cameras, heh).  I think it was the same gentleman who said then that he calls New Mexico the Land of Disenchantment.

Oh, well. I am still under the spell, and more and more people are becoming discontent with California, his current state of residence. Hmpf - Maybe I should call California the Fool’sgolden State.

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