“Why,” questioned the Abilene cabinet carpenter as he picked up his saw and sawed.
“Why,” wondered the puzzled internet tech as he picked up his fiddle and fiddled with our communications apparatus.
“Why,” pondered the incredulous plumber as he picked up his ratchet and ratcheted.
Why in heavens did we ever leave Ruidoso? That was the repetitive question.
There was the cashier at Marketplace grocery store. She looked at Roberta and I suspiciously, as if we might be sneaking out with a box of Cheerios under my shirt.
We had mentioned we were new residents, having moved from New Mexico. “You are curious as to why we traded Ruidoso for Abilene?” I ventured.
“Yeah,” she replied. “I didn’t want to pry. Why would you ever leave Ruidoso?”
My favorite was the young clerk at McCoy’s Drug Store. I had stopped in to sign up as a regular customer, figuring a local store would come closer to matching the cordial hometown service we had enjoyed at Sierra Blanca Pharmacy.
I waited in silence as the pleasant McCoy’s clerk methodically copied information from my driver's license. Finally, without preamble, noting the former address, she looked up at me with a questioning face and simply asked, “Why?”
We have a standard, honest reply to these queries. Yes, Ruidoso is truly magnetic and a marvelous place to call home. But life is a series of seasons, and our Abilene season has us surrounded by family, a plethora of physicians including most specialties, and 15 minutes from our driveway an airport with four daily 45-minute flights to Dallas.
Our new neighbors nod as if they totally understand. Inwardly, they think we are as crazy as a hoot owl.
Ruidoso is magnetic? It certainly was to us back in the early 70s when we traveled to the mountain resort as guests of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce to hear famous radio commentator Paul Harvey. That weekend visit eventually led to a part time cabin and, in 2000, full time residence.
So, this message to our former town: Ruidoso, as goes Abilene, so goes West Texas. You are the envy of many, many wannabe residents. You folks involved in Village and Chamber of Commerce tourism outreach?
Take a bow.