I have great friends. You can ask any of them. When I followed Joe to Midland at age 50+, I wondered if I was too old to acquire a whole new set of friends. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. Lucky for me, it turned out I wasn’t. I have met some really great people in Midland, mostly due to Judy Shatzer, who knows everyone and made sure I was introduced to them. If it weren’t for her, I’d probably be sitting at home alone eating bon bons, weighing 300 pounds, so thank you for that, Judy. One of the couples she introduced me to just happens to own the Coe Ranch, on the banks of the Ruidoso River in the Hondo Valley and Joe and I were fortunate enough to be one of five couples invited to spend this past weekend there.
The Coe Ranch has a history as deep and rich as the land is beautiful. Billy the Kid worked there for a time and it played a significant role in the Lincoln County Wars. The house, full of antiques and wonderful art, is a grand and sprawling white adobe structure, built in 1882. There’s also a bunk house, several barns and a game house which sports a pool table, shuffleboard and foosball. But it’s the view and grounds that take your breath away. Mary Ann takes care of the property and grounds for Ken & Jaye. Lest you think otherwise, she in no way resembles Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island. I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass…and most everyone else’s too, including the men. She cares for and guards the grounds with zeal.
Everyone arrived at the ranch Friday afternoon. We drove down with Jerry & Cindy and were the last to arrive. Since we are newlyweds, I think Joe and I garnered the bedroom with twin beds to keep the noise level down. We didn’t mind a bit, as we were just glad to be there.
We spent the evening cooking hamburgers and sitting around the fountain, enjoying the company with a glass of wine. Jerry and George threatened to get me up at 5:00 to watch the elk go back up into the hills. That only works for me if they are talking p.m.
We did a little shopping on Saturday in Ruidoso, but the main attraction was the horse races. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve been to the horse races and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it! it takes me a whole day to lose what just takes a few minutes in Vegas. Joe and I had a system. I picked two of the favorites, based mostly on how pretty they were and if they were prancing and seemed ready to run, and he picked a long shot and we boxed them. Basically, it was a crap shoot. We won two trifectas in a row. Unfortunately, that was about as good as it got. We ended the day $12 up, if you don’t count food or drinks. I figure it took each of us four hours to earn $6. That’s $1.50 per hour for you non-accounting types. Let’s just say that Joe won’t be quitting his day job for the track.
Word of our group’s awesomeness must have spread because we ended up with several more around the fountain for prime rib and all the fixings Saturday night. I won’t say that dinner came off without a hitch. Apparently, cooking times need to be adjusted between the dust bowl and 6000′. Being in charge of the meat is a mighty responsibility, so Arthur was a tad bit stressed when he cut into one of the prime ribs and it was red, very very red. It was done enough for me but I like my steak on the tartar side of things. Luckily, everything else was taking longer to cook too…potatoes, asparagus, etc…so it all worked out exactly right. And there was hardly a morsel left, so I’d say it was a hit with everyone.
After dinner we engaged in a rousing game of Pictionary. Let me just say that some people take their game playing very seriously. Also, apparently only Judy and I have ever laid eyes on an ironing board, because that thing she drew was definitely an ironing board. One thing is for sure, there are no DaVinci’s in our group, but that’s what made it great fun.
Sunday it was time for everyone to head home. Jerry & Cindy and Joe & I took a detour to watch Ken do some team roping in Alto with some friends. It was worth the time and price of admission to get to see those magnificent animals in action. Ken’s horse, Boo, is 20 years old and still going strong.
Many thanks to Ken and Jaye for including us for a weekend at the Coe! Great hosts. Great friends. What more could you ask for? Well, winning at the track would have been nice, but kind of greedy considering what a great time we had…