Happy Christmas Eve from Taos!

Taos Mountain in the snow and clouds

Taos Mountain two days ago (morning telephoto shot)

Well, let’s see: plenty of firewood? Check. Grocery shopping done? Check. Decorations up? Check. Presents, cards? Check—well, those that got done, at any rate. I’m gradually learning that the key to this is to try but not too hard. Anything that increases emotional pressure of any kind is out, and I mean anything.

My wife and I didn’t exchange gifts last year, just didn’t need to. We’re not doing that this year, either, but we do have an overnight trip planned very soon to go see sandhill cranes at a couple of wildlife refuges south of Albuquerque and then fun in Duke City the next day. If you’ve never been to Two Fools Tavern, you don’t know what you’re missing—I like the “bangers & mash” with real English sausages and mashed potatoes, along with a pint of Guinness. And of course we’ll hit the Apple Store.

This year the weather isn’t bone-breaking cold over Christmas, only down to 7 °F tonight and up to 40 tomorrow. I guess I’ve been here long enough to call seven degrees acceptable, since the lowest we’ve seen in this location is 27 below!

That will still be plenty cold out at the Pueblo this evening. Bonfires and gunshots, folks, with matachines dancers this time. My wife had a female acquaintance (new to town) ask her this morning when the processions starts. Tee-hee.* I wonder how the lady will feel parking in a pasture and knocking burning embers off her clothes.

* Answer: After the church service, post-sunset, but really “Indian time.”

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • terri December 24, 2013, 12:03 PM

    Indian Time. Yup. Gotta love it and especially in 10 degree weather…I love that comment of the newcomer though. Can you imagine an on-time procession that would start at sundown before you become a piece of meat in a morgue…with onlookers watching along the road as the pueblo folk made their way through town?

    • JHF December 24, 2013, 12:36 PM

      Have you been to the Pueblo on Christmas Eve? Or are you speculating on a different scenario? Reason I ask is, the procession just winds around the plaza at the Pueblo with all the bonfires, doesn’t go through town. Couldn’t have people shooting off deer rifles there, anyway. 🙂

      Turning into ice waiting for the people to come out of the church is something of a tradition in itself, especially when the plaza is iced over. That’s not the case this year, and there’s no wind, either, so it shouldn’t be so bad.

      • terri December 28, 2013, 11:19 PM

        I was commenting on your comment…the newcomer thinking the pueblo folks wound thru town:-) I know they don’t. My comment was meant as a ‘gee whiz’ scenario. Thazzz all 🙂

  • M.J. December 24, 2013, 5:03 PM

    Just wanted to wish you and your sweet wife a very Merry Christmas and thank you for many hours of enjoyment looking at your pictures and reading your blog. My heart belongs there in Taos even though I live far away, I get to enjoy it through your eyes. Oh, and you want to know how I know your honey is sweet? It’s because she puts up with you. Ha! Have a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to see the pictures of the cranes.

  • Byron December 24, 2013, 6:24 PM

    John, it’s good to know that despite the chill you’re enjoying this, your Best Christmas Ever. Tomorrow I plan to celebrate my 84th and best Christmas so far. Thanks for the pic of Taos Mountain. I think it’s in the Top 5 of the hundreds or thousands of photos you have displayed over the past years, Bravo, Byron



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