I carry my shade with me? What do I mean by that? Well, simply put, as I walk around Las Cruces during my daily rounds I walk under the shade of my pink umbrella. We are still in the throes of summer here in the southwest borderland and daily temps can get to the high 90’s. The sun can be so hot that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk within seconds of the gooey mess landing. What a visual! Since I have that visual in my mind every day that I venture forth around town I realize I don’t want my skin to look like that fried egg. Sunscreen is not real good for my sinuses. My nose stuffs up every time I use sunscreen on my face, so, that means sunscreen is not a solution for me to keep my skin protected.
I was puzzled about what to do when one day I spied my umbrella. I know, you might also agree with my first inclination which was to promptly speak out to myself and say. “Are you kidding?” “An umbrella is used when it rains!” “Not when it is sunshiny and in the 90’s.” Then it hit me like a bolt of lightening. After all, this is monsoon season and we do get lightening strikes and sometimes on a daily basis. Therefore an idea hitting me like a bolt of lightening is quite appropriate. There I was in my room having this discussion with myself when the “aha” moment hit me. Of course I can use my rain umbrella for a sun umbrella. I remember seeing the Asian women where I lived in San Jose, California carrying an umbrella for shade during the summers. The summer temperatures in San Jose rarely rose above the mid- eighties so I myself never felt the need for a sun umbrella. But here in Las Cruces, New Mexico it is a completely different story. Now every day, as I walk around town, I thank the women I saw in California for giving me the brilliant idea of my sun umbrella. By the way, as I walk under the shade of my pink umbrella I am also prepared for the summer rain storm that can hit without warning. We are in the monsoon season after all and now, I not only carry my shade with me I also carry my protection against any and all possible rain plops that may come my way. Since I have been using my sun umbrella I have seen other brilliant women carrying their shade with them as well. Hooray for our brilliance!!
I love metaphors and I just can’t let this metaphor go by the wayside. I’ve been thinking that when we consciously live our lives on our Spiritual path then that is like carrying our shade with us during the hot summer days and carrying our rain plop protection during the rainy season.
Ok, there really is no beast. In fact, the hungry beast is me. You probably guessed that, right? I left the library after I worked on Tags for my blog posts. I was famished. I started walking down Main St., the main street of downtown Las Cruces, in search of a place to eat. This was quite a feat. It was around 6:30 pm and by now all the stores downtown that even exist were closed. Yep, what few stores there are in the downtown were closed for the day. With hardly any stores around that also means next to no restaurants, coffee shops or just charming eateries. Which means the hungry beast I was would have a difficult time foraging for a place to satisfy my need for food within my budget. I was in luck! Our local hamburger diner, Days Hamburgers, was open til 7:00 pm and I stopped in for a quick burger and fries. What would our downtown do if Days was not here? What would I have done if Days Hamburgers had gone the way of the dodo bird and just gone out of existence like the other restaurants have? Thank goodness this was not the case and I enjoyed a fast food re-pass that I wolfed down before they closed. Days has been a downtown staple feeding famished people like me since 1932. https://www.facebook.com/days.hamburgers
Unfortunately, our downtown is not a shinning example of Main Street U.S.A. Check out this website to learn more about revitalizing downtowns throughout the country. http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/about-main-street/ No matter how much our city council and the newspapers tout our beautiful downtown this still does not cause the much needed stores or restaurants to magically appear. Our downtown has a dirth of empty buildings leaving citizens like me to dream of a beautiful, busy, fun thriving people friendly happening place. Alas, I can only dream because no matter how much I click my ruby slippers together I still remain standing in what I call a shadow of a downtown. Until saavy and intrepid boutique store and restaurant owners decide to take the leap of business faith our downtown will remain a nothing zone. Even though downtown Las Cruces has beautiful metal benches on which to rest our weary bones, artistic lights lighting our way, thriving flowers and trees to enjoy this still does not make up for no places to browse in or actually buy from. Since moving to Las Cruces I have shared my thoughts about the emptiness of our downtown. I have shared with people I know and with people I meet my concern about not only the emptiness, but, the non-existence of a downtown. Does this help our downtown problem? I honestly don’t know. I do know that most of the people I talk with about the lack of our downtown agree with the fact that we have a problem while sharing comments of their own about the situation. Do we have solutions to our problem? Not really, because everyone is like me, no money to put where our mouths are. If I had the money I would open a coffee shop where everyone could drink their favorite caffeinated beverage while munching yummy pastries or overflowing sandwiches as they turn the pages of a good book. I would open a native American silver and turquoise jewelry store. We are in the southwest after all, the home of native Americans and turquoise. I would open a stunning wine tasting bar that features the great wines of New Mexico. Last but not least, I would open a great shoe boutique. As a woman, I can never have too many unique shoes. Right now I can dream about my entrepreneurial ideas and of course when I win the lottery I will have all the money I need to bring these big dreams to reality. In the mean time there is a real store in our downtown called Run Culture. Not only is this the only retail store that is open for business in our downtown it may be the only store in the entire county that is dedicated to a running culture. Run Culture is owned by Carlos Rivas who I think is a great business owner and cheerleader for bringing people together in our downtown. Carlos is brilliant. He has started group runs events. Every Wednesday evening runners can join each other in 1 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile loops through downtown Las Cruces. Check out http://www.runculture.com for information about the store’s events. Thank you Carlos for being the first store owner to help build interest in our downtown. By the way, these Wednesday runs are growing every week. More and more people are coming downtown to run the loops. Yay for Carlos and his Run Culture.
The next big news for our downtown is that we will finally have a downtown plaza. Yes indeed. Finally after 20 years of waiting for a downtown revitalization plan to be fulfilled Las Cruces hopefully will be breaking ground in January 2015 for a downtown plaza. I have learned to be a skeptic about these sort of things. Over the last year I have seen signs posted about this business and that business coming soon. Guess what? As I happily waited for the coming of these new businesses I found out that the words COMING SOON have a very different meaning here in Las Cruces than they did in San Jose, California where I moved from. These two words in San Jose were synonomous with immediately as in probably happening next week. Here in Las Cruces they must have a completely different dictionary because I have found that COMING SOON is synonomous with maybe or maybe not or please wait until we decide to make it happen. Any way, as I learn the new definitions of common terms I will be waiting patiently for the Downtown Plaza to be built. Well, maybe or maybe not. There is an article about the proposed Plaza in the Las Cruces Bulletin dated 6/27/14. The article can be found at http://www.lascrucesbulletin.com.
I have found that patience is my challenge to learn as I walk my daily path. I just wish the path was not so BLEAPING long.