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What are you grateful for? September 2021

Gretchen Schum, Hondo (manager of Midtown Market)

My first job teaching, outside my home state of Pennsylvania was teaching music K – 8th grade, at Questa Elementary School. It was very difficult. I was not prepared for it, as well as for the cultural shock of everything. I hung in there for a

First, I would like to apologize to the folks I interviewed last month. All the stories were under someone else’s name!
I am a proud grandparent of three, and very happy they share their lives with me. I try to listen more to them these days and see what is on their minds and in their hearts. My grandparents were pretty much absent from my life, so this time around I want to be present on a regular basis for my grandchildren.

What do grandparents and seniors bring to our lives that we are grateful for?

Michael Lane Boldt, Hopewell Lake
In my late-night visits to a cult-owned café in Manila Springs, I’ve had a chance to share many conversations with my dear elder friend, Bijan Pirnia, a man with a knowledge of true wisdom and compassion far beyond his 60+ years of age. Topics from politics in a post-truth era existence and existentialism, school, literature, art and love. Our conversations formed an unexpected relationship that has made my life infinitely better.

Robert Stanley Burke IV, Taos
I regularly enjoy spending time with my senior godfather, Pravine Agarwal, because I find deep meaning in honoring our sacred relationship. Pravin is a beautiful soul who currently finds himself at the blissful age of 74. I thoroughly enjoy our prolonged conversations centering around Eastern philosophy and general mysticism. Excellent chai, exquisite Indian cuisine, heavenly sitar serenading and extraordinary tablah mastery are a few of his gifts that I am thankful to say have blessed my life.”

Elijah McNulty, Questa (12.5 yrs. old)
My grandma Nan Nan lived in Phoenix, Arizona. I was eight when she passed away and I still miss her. I am grateful still to her for being always really kind to me and was always there for me. She would take me to fun places when I was down to cheer me up when I was sad.

Aliyn Dunbar, Lama (12 yrs. old)
I like being with my grandparents because they involve everybody in the family and bring everyone together in their home in Minnesota. They live on a lake and I visit there every summer with my cousins. We play games and do things together like tennis, diving, and pickle ball. I am grateful my grandparents bring us all together.

Ron, El Rito
Parents on my mom’s side were good. My grandfather died when I was eleven, so we were always over there helping grandma do things. We would ride our bikes over to her house and do chores like mow the lawn and she would give us money, then we would go to the local craft store. She was a great cook and we loved her cooking. She was fun to be around. She would take us on the trolley to get ice cream. She immigrated from Austria in 1912 on a ship. I am grateful for my memories of her, we had a lot of fun with her.

Jakob Rosing,Taos (retired engineer)

An event that changed my life six years ago was when I lost my father and my daughter’s father on the same day. It changed my life big time but I wanted to make it a change for the positive for my daughter to witness that you can be strong and survive anything. Courage empowered me and broke my heart wide open. I am grateful that the world showed me that it is beautiful and full of love.
Tim Long, El Rito
(retired teacher and toy maker)
The summer is waning, the garden is at its height, the bees are busy, and I am thinking of an experience that challenged me that I became grateful for. What experience, situation, job or schooling looked challenging at the time and overwhelming but when it was over, you were grateful because it changed you and enriched you? After interviewing these four people, I was filled with a feeling of appreciation for the courage and strength of the human spirit and heart.

Fabbie Rael, Questa (manager of Artesanos thrift store)

The experience I am grateful for was walking The Camino De Santiago for 500 miles. We started in France, finishing in San Cristobal in Spain. I struggled with hiking, going downhill, until I acquired a pair of walking sticks that saved the day. I am grateful for being able to do it because I thought I was too old, but I did it! I discovered that walking was the journey and not necessarily reaching the goal. It was a reflection of life.