“The Cactus Patch Is On The Road Again”


Photo from Texas Monthly

Since last Sunday, we have been in the high-altitude lovely village of Ruidoso, New Mexico. If it weren’t for visiting Texans, like us, this town wouldn’t exist. Every business owner seems to be an expatriate.

As of April 1st, New Mexico allows recreational sales and use of Marijuana. The evil weed is now legal for anyone 21 years and older. Up until the 1st, it was by medical card only, which could be purchased online for a small price. I had no idea the folks in New Mexico were such potheads. Then I was reminded that everyone that comes to Ruidoso is from Texas, so I guess that makes us cowboys the potheads.

So MoMo, my wife, and I are thinking maybe a gummy or two to help us sleep. Why not? We’ve earned the right by being old and living with constant pain. We stop at one of the five Pot Stores in Ruidoso.

A nice period adobe building hidden among the pines is painted a garish Weed green. Nothing like curb appeal to draw customers in.

The perky little “Pot-arista” led us, through a secret triple bolted door into the main shop where all the goodies are displayed in well-lit sterile display cases. I feel better already knowing that all health regulations are met.

We are the oldest folks in the shop and feel out of place and on the verge of embarrassment. The employees are in their twenties and seem unusually happy. My wife asks our Potarista about a gummy specifically for sleep and relaxation.

“Oh, it all makes you chill and sleep like a baby” she replies. “I take a bit in the morning, then some at noon, then more in the evening, and then a toke around bedtime,” she says.

It’s obvious the girl is stoned all damn day and this is the only job that she can perform while high.

I tell her we are from Texas, we’re old as if she didn’t notice, and we want a gummy to help us with the pain and sleepy time. She brightens up and exclaims, “we have a new gummy, just in from Austin, it’s called Willie Nelsons Head, you’re gonna love it. Willie has the best stuff you know.”

She brings us a small box printed like the Texas flag. Inside are a dozen little gummies shaped like Willie Nelson’s head. The realism is uncanny. The skin tone on the wrinkly face, the pig-tails, and that scallywag glint in the tiny eyes. It’s also a bit creepy. It comes with a CD of his greatest hits, so I’m all in.

Once in the car, I pop in the cd, and ” On The Road Again” plays. We each eat a Willie gummy, put the car in gear, adjust our sunglasses, and head for who knows where.

“A Deer Named Sweetface”


Last week was our annual summer trip to Ruidoso New Mexico. High in the Sacramento Mountains at 6500 ft. above sea level, the temperature was a pleasant 75 degrees in the daytime and a chilly low in the 50s at night compared to our 98 degrees high in Granbury Texas. I didn’t break a sweat for a week and didn’t worry about a damn thing that was happening back in Texas, although the national news covering the Afghanistan debacle gave my wife and me a few restless nights. A couple of iced tumblers of Tullamore Dew while sitting on the covered deck took the jangle off of our nerves.

Like most villages in the New Mexico mountains, Ruidoso has a large population of Deer, Elk, and wild Mustang horses. Pictured above is a local four-legged resident that took a liking to my watermelon and granola cereal. The small Doe was going gaga over the gluten-free granola, eating large handfuls from my palm. When I fed her bites of cold watermelon, well, she almost danced with glee. I was surprised how dainty her mouth was, and her gentle nibbles showed no sign of biting. She and I experienced a small mind meld and came away with a better understanding of the complicated relationship between man and wild beast. I have the food, she likes the food, I feed her the food and she likes me, and I like her too. It was illuminating, to say the least.

The picture above is when she tried to take the bowl of watermelon from my hand, or possibly give me a kiss of appreciation. Either way, she was a sweetie, and I named her Sweetface. I considered naming her Marfa, after the west Texas town we visited a few days later, but I am glad I didn’t because Marfa was a complete letdown and bubble buster. More on that experience later.

%d bloggers like this: