Here in New Mexico, there are just some things you do and don’t do. From weather-related dos to traffic-related don’ts, the following are 15 unwritten rules that every New Mexican lives by till death. See how many you follow — and what else you would add to this list.
1. Make sure people know that New Mexico is a U.S. state.
After you assure them they can visit without a passport, wow them with the facts: New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state on January 6, 1912.
2. Respect your elders.
The older folks among us have seen things we can only imagine. They deserve respect just because they have made it this far, but they also hold our heritage and are a wealth of knowledge and love.
3. If you can put chile in it or on it, do it.
Can you think of a food that
shouldn't have chile on it? We didn't think so.
4. It's not winter until it sticks.
Our weather is fickle and full of false starts. Why drag out the coat when tomorrow will be sunny and warm?
5. Don't underestimate the deer and elk.
These critters just can't get the hang of crossing at the wildlife signs. Better to just keep your insurance agent on speed dial.
6. If there is a trail, hike it.
Trails are in our blood - the Santa Fe Trail, the Camino Real, Route 66.... Today, our spirit of adventurous wandering endures as we hike trails through our forests, over our mountains or even through our backyards.
7. Celebrate the rain.
We love our perfect, sunny skies, but when it does rain, New Mexicans rejoice. We're grateful for the water and find beauty in the drama of the sky.
8. Expect traffic.
Sometimes the traffic is backed up on I-40 through Albuquerque, but other parts of the state have traffic too.
9. You can't have one without the other.
Granted, sopaipillas can be stuffed or used to mop up chile, but don't you always save at least a bit of it for that sweet drizzle of honey?
10. It's not Christmas without luminarias.
Luminarias have been a New Mexico tradition for hundreds of years. Before paper bags, people built little bonfires.
11. Christmas should be celebrated all year.
Ah, the divine marriage of red
and green. It's good to know that if you can't decide, you don't have to!
12. Only New Mexicans can make fun of New Mexico.
We do things a little differently here. Love it or leave it, or learn to deal.
13. If you have an old truck, let it be art.
Why drag old faithful to the junkyard to be crushed? If you leave it in the yard long enough, nature will turn it the perfect patina. When the tourists start taking pictures, you know the rust is just right.
14. Heed the "No Services" signs.
Water? Gas? Potty stop? Get it all together before you head out down those long, lonely roads. Those "no services" signs mean you will be peeing behind a tree if you don't.
15. Keep the faith.
Our Lady is ubiquitous in New Mexico, and luckily, tolerant of sharing her alter with other icons of faith from around the globe. We're passionate about our beliefs in New Mexico, but we like to think we make room for others.