By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — Just when I thought I’d O.D.ed on awe and wonder, I found myself infused with another dose of fiesta adrenaline.
The only dilemma was, which choice to make. Anyone who says there is nothing to do in Las Cruces must have been hibernating in a very deep cave.
Full-tilt fiesta season used to have its lulls and valleys. Now it’s a steady cascade of events with a couple of Superweekends, periods so crammed with relentless fun and pageantry that only the strongest fiesta animals can hope to survive.
After Winterfest weekend, I thought I might be one of the casualties, succumbing to one of the two chronic maladies sweeping the Sun-News this year.
I got the one that goes beyond Montezuma’s Revenge into Montezuma’s Vendetta, causing you to lose five pounds in 24 hours and later making you feel obligated to have at least a few Christmas cookies, a pitcher of Margaritas and a pint or two of peppermint stick ice cream to build up your strength.
Instead, I decided it was time to take a break and contemplate my choices. I bellied up the bar — Corie Lane’s Pure Energy Juice Bar at Tom Young’s, that is. I ordered a stiff drink: a supersize Immune System Booster, a concoction of lemon juice, lots of cayenne pepper and other industrial strength magic ingredients. Is it potent? Let’s just say, any bugs this drink won’t kill, you WANT to have on your side.
Thus fortified, I planned the rest of my holiday itinerary.
Last weekend, I was sorely tempted to run off to T or C for a soothing soak in Geronimo’s healing waters and the annual Elephant Butte luminarias beach walk and floating parade of lights and art hop, crowned with a community screening of “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the El Cortez Theater, a place I’ve always wanted to see and never manage to catch when it’s open.
But I’ve never missed joining at least one day of Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival celebrations and dancing, and I also wanted to catch the last day of the Border Artist Show. And I had my heart set on heading to first-century Judea complete with artisans and traditional foods, surveying the recreated marketplace, picking a “tribe” and joining a tour to see over 100 period-costumed, artistic Methodists create living Nativity scenes in the Advent Journey.
Could I I still fit in the “Living Christmas Tree” musical spectacular and the Mesilla Christmas Tree Lighting and the Ft. Selden Luminaria Tour and reenacters’ encampment amidst the ruins? And what about all those tempting weekend concerts with Vos Vaqueros and Celestial Sounds, and the Mesilla Valley Chorale? Could I remain standing long enough to join any or all of those sing-along ops?
I wondered briefly if I should have avoided all these difficult decisions and accepted offers to join loved ones for the holidays in the Pacific Northwest, New York or Florida.
Bemused, I wandered out to my yard, where the mid-December temperature hovered around 70 after a little cold snap that almost killed my petunias and neon lapis blue lobelia, but not quite. Confused butterflies still fluttered around my patio, trying to make sense of global warming.
And I attempted to choose from an astonishment of seasonal riches, missing distant loved ones, as we all do this time of year, but greatly comforted by the joys of life in my chosen querencia.
There’s no place like home for the holidays, especially if your home is Las Cruces.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org