Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. What could possibly be better than an entire day dedicated to thinking about and being grateful for all the blessings in our lives?
We have lived here in Las Cruces for five years now, and this year I have been reflecting upon how thankful I am to be part of this community. In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to share three reasons I am so thankful to be living in Las Cruces.
I’ve traveled all over the world, and I’ve met some really great people, but some of the best people I’ve ever met are right here in Las Cruces.
There are three things that I’ve found characterize the residents of this great town: generosity, humility, and hospitality.
I’ve never seen a community so willing to rally around a great cause. Whether it is to benefit NMSU, cancer research, Mesilla Valley Hospice, The Gospel Rescue Mission or one of the many other vital non-profit organizations serving our community. People in Las Cruces are always willing to give generously of their time, talent and resources. Las Cruces may be a small town, but you give big. Way to go Las Cruces!
Even though Las Crucens are big givers, I rarely notice people fighting for limelight. What I do notice is that so many of our friends here in Las Cruces are quietly serving our community without expecting recognition or anything in return.
Finally, I’m particularly thankful for the hospitality I’ve experienced since we moved to Las Cruces. Where some small towns can really make new residents feel like outsiders, Las Cruces is a city that welcomes people with open arms.
Las Cruces has grown a lot in the last twenty years, but I believe that it’s because of the community’s roots in agriculture that it has remained hospitality oriented. There’s something special about people who work with the earth – planting and harvesting – providing for basic human needs. Historically they knew and cared for their friends and neighbors. I believe that friendly, caring spirit is alive and well today in Las Cruces.
I can’t imagine ever being bored in Las Cruces. In fact, I feel like we hardly have time to enjoy all the things that are going on here each week.
Las Cruces’ history and culture brings together a combination of American, Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultural heritage, making this a truly unique place to live. That culture along with the great people of Las Cruces, means there is always something to do.
The downtown Farmers and Crafters Marketing on Saturday morning is one of the events I’ve been very thankful for this year. Our small community is so blessed to have such a great market where we can find local produce, meat, and eggs, handmade crafts and jewelry, and so much more. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the market, you should visit it soon!
People rarely call me refined, but I do enjoy a touch of culture and class. Las Cruces is home to many exceptional art galleries and museums.
My grand kids are big fans of the Natural History Museum in the Mesilla Valley Mall and the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.
Karen and I recently had the opportunity to visit the Branigan Cultural Center in downtown Las Cruces. It features in-house and traveling exhibitions, regional historical and permanent collections and the work of local and regional artists. We were particularly impressed by the area dedicated to the history of the region. It took us a long time to read all the information and look at photos and memorabilia. It was well worth it!
Plus, there is the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. I am always amazed that our little community is home to such an exceptional orchestra.
I am thankful to be part of a community were there is always something to see and do.
The third reason I am thankful to call Las Cruces home is that we don’t have to worry about extreme heat like Arizona and Florida, summer humidity or frigid winters like our East Coast and Mid-West friends, or endless dreary, grey days like North-Westerners.
We don’t have to worry about stocking up for the next hurricane evacuation or earthquake, and we don’t have to build basements to protects us from severe storms or a tornado.
I just love living in a city where my wife and I are able to play with our grand kids outside year-round. Sure, Las Cruces has its windy days and a few hot days in the summer, but compared to most of the country we are pretty blessed.
I love what my friend, Steve Jarvis, told me the other day about the blessing of Las Cruces Weather:
“I used to get a little bit depressed in September every year back East because Labor Day had past and I knew in another month it was going to get cold; the leaves would start falling, I’d have to spend three weeks raking them, and then I’d have to prepare to start shoveling snow. In contrast, I really look forward Fall and Winter here in Las Cruces. The weather is just wonderful. There’s really just not a bad time of year here!”
This Thanksgiving I am thankful to be part of a community with amazing people, a rich culture, and amazing weather.
Happy Thanksgiving from Picacho Mountain!