Green Chili. Is. Everywhere.
I went to a restaurant for lunch Monday and literally every sandwich came with green chili on it. Last week when I went back to Danny’s Place (that awesome BBQ restaurant that serves St. Louis cut pork ribs) I was the only person in a group of five who didn’t order the green chili cheeseburger. At this point I’m just waiting to find out that the Wendy’s in town serves green chili flavored frosties.
According to the locals, green chili comes in varying degrees of flavor and spicy-ness. On my turkey sandwich it was very mild and added more texture than it did flavor. Apparently I am not allowed to pass judgment on the condiment until I eat on Mexican food where it tends to have more kick.
This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I found out that it is actually a very good thing, and for reasons much more objective than taste. I am told that some chemical in green chili supposedly raises endorphin production in our bodies. I am also told that this consequently biologically improves people’s moods. Thus, by transitive property, eating green chili = happiness.
After doing some very brief, non-scientific research on google, this seems to be a generally accepted theory. But I have better proof than that. The people here in New Mexico really are super nice. Seriously. My goal when moving here was to know enough people by Super Bowl Sunday that I would have a party to go to and not have to watch the big game by myself or at a sports bar. Well I now find myself having to chose between multiple super bowl parties. Half the stuff in my krib was donated to me by a local church or co-workers. Not to say that people in St. Louis or Oxford are mean or unhappy, but people here do genuinely seem nicer and happier than the norm. I’m telling you, it’s gotta be the chili.
Speaking of nice people, I had an interesting run in with some Tuesday morning. As I exited my car in front of the krib after running an errand, three passer bys stopped for a chat. “Did you just move in?” they asked. “Well you should know there are three ghosts that live in there.” They then proceeded to tell me a tall tale of an old black lady and two kids who haunt my place. Apparently, if I leave my bathroom light on a night and turn everything else off, I will be able to see them moving around from my bed. “But don’t worry,” they assured me, “they are nice ghosts so you don’t have to be afraid.” I am still quite curious as to how they know all of this, considering I am the one living here and not them. For the record, the only ghost I have encountered thus far is of the holy variety.
And speaking of that third member of the trinity, I recently joined a Bible study. Well, it’s a Bible study, but then again it’s so much more. The gathering is designed for guys and gals in the 18-25ish year-old range. A very nice couple hosts it in their home (an incredibly beautiful one, I might add… the couple I mean, but yes the home is quite gorgeous too). Janice makes sure to have a delicious meal ready for us around 7:30. This is no easy task since the group size both nights has been in the upper teens. After eating and socializing for half an hour we then gather in the living room where Paul leads the study/discussion on the night’s topic. I should also add that Steven leads us on the guitar in two worship songs (gotta make sure I get all my shout outs in). This weekly event has been so great for me because a) it’s another chance to get into God’s word b) the large and diverse group always provides interesting points of views that challenge me and make me think and c) it is a great way to meet some awesome people my age-ish.
I found this Bible study through a series of random but connected events. Ellen, the girl here I know from Miami, works with Robbey at the caves. I met Robbey on my first night in Carlsbad when I played volleyball with them. He took me to Church one Sunday where I met his cousin Stephanie. Even though Robbey was going hiking that afternoon, I planned on staying back because it was conference championship Sunday and I needed (yes, needed) to watch me some football. Stephanie kindly offered me to come to her Aunt’s house for family lunch (I would take Robbey’s place at the table). This is where she told me about the really cool Bible study on Monday nights.
My mom will be happy to know that between Sunday afternoons at the Bemis’ (I now seem to be adopted by that family… at least on Sundays after Church) and Monday nights at the Trone’s I am fed my two good meals of the week. So my diet isn’t completely based off of Ramen noodles, Honey Bunches of Oats and KFC.
And while we are kinda sorta still on the topic of church I should probably mention my latest encounter with my neighbor Dan. I often see him walking his tiny dog Fritzy (yeah, I guess tiny went without saying) around the block. One day he caught me at the mail box. I a very ‘I’m just trying to be a nice neighbor and don’t want to offend anyone way’ he asked if I would attend church with him that Sunday. After I agreed to that he also roped me into ‘Sunday school’ before the service. This turned out to be another Bible study, just one of a much older demographic than Monday nights at the Trone’s. I was a big hit.
So I am now officially being courted by three area churches and still have 2-4 left on my list of ones I need to check out. Robbey’s church actually gave me a coffee mug with their logo on it and text that says “I was mugged at the Church Street Church of the Nazarene.” People from the Lutheran church I went to on my first Sunday in town continue to donate random items for the krib. And then it’s just really hard to say no to a neighbor who is the nicest navy veteran you will ever meet.