Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!

As we took our morning walk on Friday, we remarked on the lack of wind and it got me thinking. How many other things are different about where we are than when we were at home in Kansas? At the risk of sounding Jeff Foxworthy-ish, you might know you’re not in Kansas if:

1. The wind is ruffling the leaves at the top of the tree, but there isn’t a breath of air on the ground. At night we open the windows and turn off the air conditioner, but lots of times there isn’t enough breeze to move the blinds. Only once in nearly 3 weeks have we had wind here and it was a good one, blowing up a real dust storm on the night of my birthday.

2. You can’t tell where the driveway stops and the yard starts because it’s all made out of gravel. Flowers may be planted in a small area surrounded by timbers or stones to protect them from cars driving in and out.

3. People shut their doors when going outside for a few minutes not to keep out the bugs so much as the lizards!

4. You wake up in the morning and look outside at a mountain! Now Mt. Sunflower aside, where in Kansas are you going to see that?

5. The sign in a regular restaurant, not a Mexican one, says “Today’s pepper index: green, moderate; red, hot.”

Tomorrow is the Truth or Consequences Hot Springs festival which includes a tour of 10 hot springs spread around downtown. I’m anxious to see them and to hear the history of each one. One of the things we’ve enjoyed most about our time in New Mexico this fall has been the small town festivals and parades. That’s another difference, I think. When we went to the Elephant Butte parade, I don’t think we saw a single tractor!

Some things are very similar to back home, though. We enjoy eating in the small town restaurants and hearing the conversations between tables as people see someone they know. High school football is still important to the life of a small town. T or C has a large football stadium for the Hot Springs High School Tigers. It sits on a hill and you could see the stadium lights from Elephant Butte, the next town over. And people still take pride in their state just like they do back home.

Just two more full days here and then we’re off to Albuquerque to help with the balloon festival. We finally had word today that we are in the system and will have a place to park our RV while we are there, so Sunday will begin the prepacking to be ready for the road. Then Monday we’re off to a new adventure.

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