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May 2024

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Welcome to December’s Questa Del Rio News, our annual edition devoted to the spirit of giving. We hope that sharing this story with you will put you in the Christmas spirit!


Has something like this ever happened to you? Years ago, a thin Hispanic man with a long, angular face and white hair peppered with black, saw me with a flat tire on the side of the road. Without saying a word, he went to work fixing it for me. I stood there numbstruck.

Halfway through the job, the man went to his car, wheeled out his oxygen tank, attached the tubing to his nose, and breathed. He then finished the job.

I took $25 out of my wallet and handed it to the man. Now, you may not have experienced this exact same scenario, but what came next might resonate with you. He refused my money and said, “I did not do this for money. Just do me one favor. Pass it on.”

That was ten years ago, and I must confess, I don’t believe I ever consciously passed on a particular kindness with that man in mind. Yes, I’ve done kind things for others, but I never gave his remark the respect it deserved.

PASS IT ON. We sometimes hear it and say to ourselves, Sure, sure. I’ll pass it on. And then we forget to do just that.
Well, here’s a chance for all of us to PASS IT ON. If someone has done you a kindness and wouldn’t accept payment for it, pass on the kindness. Give a donation to Questa Del Rio News in honor of that person or give a generous donation to the newspaper, so we can continue to offer the newspaper for free. Our newspaper needs operating funds in order to remain viable as a lively focal point and a service to our communities.

And this is the best time to give, because during the month of December, the New Mexico Local News Fund will match dollar for dollar every donation up to $3,000, and Kit Carson Electric is matching dollar for dollar up to $1,500. So, your donation of $200 becomes $600! I am passing on the kindness of that stranger I met years ago with a donation of $500. That donation becomes $1,500 for our paper.

Please open your heart and your wallet. Your donation is tax-deductible, since the paper is a project of the QEDF, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

We have a dedicated and fearless newspaper staff and legions of community members who have stepped up as volunteers to produce this wonderful paper every month. Here’s how you can help: read page 3 and choose the best way for you to make a donation. Then sit back and say, “Ahh. I passed it on.”

‘Tis the season for loving. I can say unequivocally that I love this paper. And I love you, dear readers, because without you, there certainly would be no Questa Del Rio News.

May the sweet magic of the holidays gladden your heart and bring you blessings galore.

Your Friend,
Ellen Wood, a.k.a. Maruška


  • Ellen Wood

    Ellen Wood, born in 1936, is a prizewinning author, columnist and former management executive. After her youngest child began school, Ellen started an in-house ad agency and won 16 awards for annual report and advertising excellence, including 4 national awards. Five years after her mother died of Alzheimer’s, Ellen experienced early symptoms (she has the gene, APO-e4). At 68 she developed a program of mind/body/spirit techniques that proved so successful, she wrote and published “Think and Grow Young,” followed by “Joy! Joy! Joy!” (now retitled “The Secret Method for Growing Younger,” Volumes 1 and 2) and gave inspirational speeches. Since 2018 Ellen has been the ad agency for NorthStar Tire and Auto in Questa, NM. Ellen started painting in November of 2020, having dabbled at it in her 20s, and gave herself a new name: Maruška, her father’s middle name. She is overjoyed to be part of a big, loving, kindhearted family. You can find her paintings at www.northernnewmexicoartists.com/ellen-wood

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