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March, 2023
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Wed, March 01 2023 - 2:40 pm

March 20, 2023
Silver City, NM

We have all heard of the infamous planned obsolescence practices of industry, but honestly they have gone too far. I swear rubber bands are now designed for a planned early death!

I used to use the same rubber band for years before it would finally snap; then they would even snap with energy sometimes inflicting a painful little whipping as they died.

Now the average life of my admittedly cheap rubber bands can be measured in weeks, and when they die it is not with a bang but a whimper. For that I guess I should be grateful.

March 19, 2023
Silver City, NM

Either I have lost a layer of fat from my whole body, I am more sensitive to the cold, or the weather reports have gone bonkers. The temperature is supposedly in the forties out there, and it feels like the twenties to me. I do not get it.

A friend of mine and I had lunch at a relatively new vegetarian restaurant yesterday. It was very good. The restaurant is called Enjoy the Journey and is on the NE corner of Texas and Yankie Streets right downtown. If you want to be sure to get all the choices on the menu, go earlier rather than later.

March 18, 2023
Silver City, NM

Today on my way to the Visitors Center I encountered a little gentle hail. The stones were tiny but could definitely be seen bouncing around on the sidewalk!

I feel sorry for all the visitors coming to the Southwest to avoid all the wintry weather and encountering what we are having. The weather this winter has certainly been topsy-turvy this year. Some of these people might have been happier at home.

On the other hand, culturally Silver City might be unique. If you must have the big city, it is not the place for you. On the other hand, it is a wonderful spot for those who love the great outdoors.

We are only a few days short of the equinox! Exciting.

March 17, 2023
Silver City, NM

The Silver City Museum has something new for kids: a scavenger hunt for objects on display at the museum. Once they are finished they get a prize - a rock. What an appropriate thing for the museum here to offer from such a mineral-rich region!

Reading books about the region as part of the volunteer book club, I am stunned by some of the goings-on around here in the nineteenth century. It is even worse than I had thought and, living in Santa Fe for twenty-five years, I knew that not everything that went on around in New Mexico was pretty.

Of course this sad fact is true for the whole country; just in New Mexico the sad events are more recent.

March 16, 2023
Silver City, NM

Silver City Library has been having an art show in their conference room featuring local artists. I saw one painting that reminded me of the work of Diane Cornelius. Good eye, right? Hardly - the whole wall was her work! Fun.

I met another artist featured: Beatriz, who tends toward the mystical experience. She writes haiku to pair with her paintings. She is taking some time off from participating in The Grant County Art Guild, so this may be the place to see her work.

The room is only officially open from noon to 1:00 because it is a conference room, but you could probably peek in. They do not have conferences scheduled all day every day. Another display features a contemporary Mimbres (or Mimbres-style) potter whose work is just gorgeous. Her work can also, like the Cornelius paintings, be seen at the Guild gallery.

March 14, 2023
Silver City, NM

Now I do not know whether to trust my online weather predictions. Many times I have gone outdoors here only to find it felt much cooler than I expected from the listed temperature, but figured it was just getting old, humidity or lack thereof, etc. etc. My perception, in other words.

Recently, however, I read in a local paper that our reported weather is really the weather miles south and feet lower than Silver City proper. It is recorded at the Grant County Airport, if I understand correctly. That may be considered local in a car culture, but then local does not mean much in a place with such variable topography, I guess.

Nevertheless it is usually quite comfortable here in Silver City as long as you are dressed appropriately. My boasts about summer comfort in hot weather, though, might not have been very accurate. Maybe it was not, say, 88 degrees; maybe it was only 82.

Oh well.

March 13, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

Silver City is relatively dead on Mondays. The Grant County Art Guild is open every day, though, and offers a wide variety of art styles and media to enjoy. Much of what is here will be unlike anything you have ever seen before.

The Mimbres pottery museum on campus is spectacular and a favorite, I hear, among those over forty - maybe because by contrast with most of the pots we are very, very young! The campus is a lovely labyrinth.

There is not much happening here on Mondays these days. I am afraid that here Monday is the new Sunday.

March 12, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

Just as we learn as children that what goes up must come down, I am in my seventies learning that what goes into my brain must - of necessity - come out.


March 10, 2023
Silver City, NM

One of our supposedly local weekly publications did something I have never seen before: it told me I could finish a comic column I had started reading by going online. Unbelievable! I do not happen to have WiFi at home. There are many people in the region that do not, I am guessing. Not everyone who lives in Silver City can afford it, not all our elders are capable of performing the necessary keystrokes, and not all residents of Southern New Mexico have WiFi waves, even if they could afford to pay for the technological equipment.

Very strange. Is this happening in other small communities, I wonder? The bottom half of the truncated articles page is taken up by an advertisement for the family of newspapers of which this one is a part. Not a good promotional technique, I am thinking.

March 9, 2023
Silver City, NM

Arrogant people think wishy-washy people are wishy-washy and wishy-washy people think arrogant people are arrogant. Strange.

I think we are all arrogant because we all make necessary (if not always accurate) judgments all the time. In fact, one shrink told me if you do not judge people you are not an adult. Well, I was not, and would not cop to adulthood for another twenty years, so maybe it is no wonder I was able to kid myself that I did not judge people.

Why am I even going on about this? Go figure. I will let you be the judge of this rumination’s worth. It is not about Silver City at all.

Oh - except that today I can add purple crocuses to the list of blooming flowers I have seen here this Spring. Happy Spring!

March 8, 2023
Silver City, NM

In spite of the cold and snow last week, the flowers are agreeing with the birds. Daffodils, vinca, ground phlox, and violets have joined Spanish broom in celebrating the return of the sun.

Unfortunately an article in one of the local free papers had an article that has reminded me that here Spring also brings strong Spring winds. The headline of the article called it Silver City’s dirty little secret. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit here that we have a lot of strong winds ahead this season, and because it is dry here they pick up a lot of dust and grit.

So beware. Silver City is not paradise. Those winds are not created by the beating of angel wings. On the other hand, they are usually at their worst in the afternoon so you can get some good outdoor time in before lunch.


March 7, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

What does pandemic etiquette look like - or should I call it postpandemic etiquette? As long as I know very sick people who are suffering the effects of a Covid-19 infection, I am not inclined to minimize it myself. If I understand correctly, we in this country continue to lose thousands to the illness. Does not sound very post to me.

Be that as it may, what do you feel is your responsibility to your fellow citizens? If you get sick, do you feel it is your responsibility to notify those who have been around you?  Aside from personal acquaintances, do you feel a responsibility to register your sickness and/or exposure to an app available for the purpose?

I am not online at home - which is a perfect excuse for not registering my exposure on an app. But is that responsible?

All kinds of ethical and etiquette questions come up in regular life which only get magnified during a pandemic and they linger after many consider the emergency over. This is obviously the case in Silver City also. Alas, this town - no matter if it has many wonderful people in it - is not exempt from the general consternation about defining what acceptable behavior consists of. I, for one, believe we owe it to the people we can reach to inform them if we are sick or have been dangerously exposed. Informing a public health agency is not out of line, either.

As for registering with an app that can make people I do not know aware of what they have been exposed to through me? I do not have a clue. Someone would have to walk me through the process.

...or is that part of the demand these days of ordinary etiquette?

March 5, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

At the museum volunteers book club we talked about what to do when people do not like the book. I love it when that happens. Why do people not like it? A difference of opinion makes for a great discussion. By the end of the meeting, we pretty much agreed that universal acclaim is not necessary.

If anyone strongly disagreed, they did not speak up. Yay! No cancellations in the future, I hope.

March 4, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

Farmers Market is open again and I was actually able to buy produce! The man I bought it from said they grew over the winter in a greenhouse even though he was sure it was freezing in there. Maybe the soil was just warm enough. I had one of the carrots today for lunch. It is fine. How exciting is that?

I bought some other stuff too. One of my budget challenges for the month of March is to not spend too much at Farmers Market. I did not begin well. Not only did I splurge on some gingerbread (at a very reasonable price) but then I forgot to pack it up and bring it home! Or I left it somewhere at the market. So embarrassing! I am especially scattered at the market - I do not know quite why.

Oh, well, I will not starve. I feel quite fortunate that my income is above poverty level and I have some very interesting social interactions volunteering at the Silver City Museum, which has become a regional one. The volunteer coordinator Shannon has started a book club for the volunteers. We are reading books of all kinds about the area, including one about the zinc miners’ strike in the 1950s which resulted, among other more personal benefits, in a movie about the strike. The Salt of the Earth, which was not distributed in the U.S. at the time but was wisely seen in Europe, China and Russia, is available now on DVD. The story of its making is fascinating.

I went yesterday to my first volunteer book club meeting and it was awesome. I am learning stuff I should have learned fifty years ago when I first moved to the state of New Mexico, and history I never did learn about my home state of Indiana.

March 2, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

Lovely people coming into the Museum this afternoon from the Midwest. They are the intrepids who are brave enough to come out in the weather which is, today, definitely not Spring.

One advantage of moving to a place like Silver is that it is not a community that is closed off from new folks. There is an influx of people moving in for the climate and the culture and the art; they are happy to meet new folks.

I was disappointed when I first came here that the downtown definitely is not fifty percent Hispanic as the overall population is supposed to be, but friendly is friendly and I appreciate that.

The influence of the culture is everywhere to be seen.

March 1, 2023
Silver City, New Mexico

The local library is quite active here. There are special programs happening quite frequently: today alone there is a workshop between 2 and 4 this afternoon for people who want to learn how to use computers.  There is also a program about a book written by a pilot about some of his experiences the 2d, I believe.

I have a lot to learn about how to use online resources and I would love to see the program about (or with?) the pilot. The only problem is that now that I am paying more attention to what is available, I am getting busier and more involved with the community myself.

Where have I been for the last year and a half? Acclimating, I guess. Maybe I am finally getting enough oxygen to my brain. Heh.

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