by Kris Neri
Before I could react to that, he added, “Nothing works here. Welcome to New Mexico.”
No, it hadn’t. But as to his comments, it wasn’t luck that made me choose satellite TV for our new home here in the Land of Enchantment. We’d had satellite service for many years, and mostly, have been quite happy with it. Why fix what isn’t broken?
And as for things not working here…thankfully, that bit of hyperbole hasn’t proven to be true.
So far, everything related to our move has worked, and well. From our closing on our house in Arizona, and the closing on the house here, to our furniture delivery, to our satellite installation — everything has gone, not just like clockwork, but more like a Swiss clock’s workings.
The satellite installer also told me our internet wouldn’t be any good. That’s a concern for me, since I teach online class. Back in Arizona, when a class’s activity really heated up, I could pretty much guarantee I’d have to give up processing assignments at home, where my wifi always crapped out at the worst possible time, but in cafes and the public library. To say we haven’t had the best Internet service in the past would be a criminal understatement. But, so far, our service here has been faster than we’ve ever had, and more importantly, consistent.
The only real challenges we’ve faced are the same ones that everyone who moves to a new locale faces. That is, not knowing where to find some of the things you need and are used to finding. In your old home, you had your favorite stores, your favorite restaurants. In your new place, you don’t yet have those favorites. You can view finding new ones as either a fun adventure or a nuisance. I opt for the former.
The other day Joe needed to purchase a new sage smudge stick. Now, I’ll grant you, that’s not something everyone needs, but he likes to burn sage in the early morning while he sits outside, watching the sun come up, and having his coffee. In Sedona, Arizona, where we moved from, you can’t walk a block without finding some place that sells bundled sage. Here, we actually found it in an antique shop. I wouldn’t have predicted that, but who cares?
But that’s the way it is in small towns. Most services and items are available, but not always where you expect them to be; while, others are simply not there, and you have to hunt for them elsewhere.
When I worked as a concierge at a Sedona resort, I dealt with that issue all the time. Guests were always asking to find the kind of stores that simply didn’t exist there.
Do you see them? I always wanted to ask. Instead, I’d tactfully explain that if they really needed one of those stores, they’d have to drive an hour or two to find them.
While most of the people inquiring after those big box stores would ask for an alternate way of finding what they needed, a few of the ruder guests have actually asked, “How do you people live here?”
While it’s true that big cities often have better job opportunities, more cultural aspects and larger venues, sports teams, greater shopping, and so much more — small towns usually offer a saner pace, an unexpected abundance of the arts, though through smaller venues, a welcoming friendliness, and sometimes especially, charm.
At one time I probably wouldn’t have appreciated small town charm, but now I love it. And I’m glad we’re finding so much of it here in Silver City, New Mexico, in the Land of Enchantment. Even if we do have to hunt for smudge sticks.
Which are you? A city lover, or do you appreciate a small town’s appeal, too?