Carlos was a big Mexican man, a bandana wrapped tightly over his head – dark sunglasses propped up that would normally obscure his steely stare. He had a long greying beard, and tatoos covering all the exposed skin of his sleeveless arms. His well-worn shirt bore the familiar shield of the Harley. Normally this would be the kind of man I’d give plenty of personal space. Tonight, we had just met in the Saloon and were sitting at his table – finishing drinks and talking before we headed to his house for the night.
Lydia wore a baseball cap, a Harley t-shirt, and jeans. She had overheard parts of our conversation, which was natural as they sat at the table next to us. Clare asked the waiter for some history behind this old western saloon we were dining in, since it obviously had some character, and scars with stories. Turns out the bar was original 1860, but the rest was rebuilt. The arrow stuck in the ceiling was undocumented.
Lydia had a lot more information to share than the waiter, and couldn’t resist coming to our table to tell us. She had lived in this town since she was a child and as a teen she had danced as a can can girl in the Opera House next door. Lydia and Carlos were excited to hear about our travels, and when they found out we were in an RV, and didn’t yet know where we were staying that night, they offered up their driveway. We were delighted to accept.
We finished our drinks, and Lydia walked us through the saloon, past the diners, through the side door, and in to the empty opera house. It was like we stepped back in time to the 1800’s – everything in it’s original condition, albeit slightly more dusty. We saw the old wooden stage, with red velvet curtains, and the overlooking VIP booths that rimmed the upper balcony. We looked at the portaits of the famous Native chiefs on the walls, and she pointed out Geronimo. She said it was sad that he had to die alone and sick in a prison cell, rather than at home with his family.
We left the opera house, Lydia hopped on back of Carlos’ Harley, and we followed them home. Upon arriving, we got a tour of their casa, and the eclectic mix of art from Mexico and New Mexico that filled it. Lydia is herself a mosaic artist, as well as an energy healer – doing Reiki especially for those terminally ill. Carlos works at the local copper mine and is known for his mean BBQ pig that he cooks on a giant homemade grill and offers to friends, family, or anyone walking past the house.
We chatted in the house for some time, learning that tonight they rode to the saloon for a rare date night dinner. Their 16 year-old daughter (adopted from China) was out of town for the evening at a band competition — which they had won.
Carlos is soft spoken, thoughtful, and one of the kindest men I’ve met. Lydia is joyous and passionate, and radiates a very loving Spiritual energy.
Lydia and Carlos loved Silver City, and felt it was a warm and welcoming place. They were living examples of that for sure. They were just two blocks from downtown Silver City, and said we could stay as long as we wanted. They offered us full use of their home, but we assured them we had all we needed in Stella. We said good night, headed to our camper, and fell asleep with smiles on our faces.
The next morning we awoke to find out that Lydia had a rough night. She had three martinis instead of her usual one, and we knew what that meant. We laughed knowingly, realizing that we use to do the same when faced with a rare, child-free night on the town. Fortunately, she was up and about, still smiling and as cheerful as the night before.
We talked a bit more, hoping to see each other again — maybe for the blues festival here in Silver City at the end of May, where Carlos assured us there would be plenty of BBQ and room to park our RV. Maybe they would come to Bend. We then said goodbye. They gave us a nice bar of herbal soap made by a friend, and some local pecans to snack on. What wonderful friends we have met.
Each day we are amazed at the clues life is giving us. When we open our hearts, follow our intuition, and let Spirit lead – beautiful things happen!