My childhood was spent in the mountains of Cordova NM. I grew up in the 90’s, where most of my memories are of my grandmother’s house, where I would spend most of my days from the time I was three up until I was 18. Growing up, I remember snow days being a huge deal; no school, sledding down heavily snow packed mountains with my cousins near Borrego Mesa in the winter months. The snow was high, reaching up to my knees in these high mountains. And even in the lower elevations, where my grandmother lives, you could still find snow reaching at least 5 to 10 inches. A White Christmas was always a given.
Summer months were spent hiking and fishing in the Rio Medio, catching wild brown trout. We would also play in the small acequias my tios used to irrigate their land for alfalfa for their cattle and horses. I remember monsoon seasons, sitting by my Tio Virgil’s side, watching the dark clouds roll in from behind the mountains on almost a daily basis. Heavy rains would come, and flooding through the arroyos would cause a big commotion among my aunts and uncles. The floods and heavy rain meant the alfalfa would grow well this year.
When I go home to visit now, especially during the holidays, there are no more White Christmases. Sometimes there are patches of a light dusting under the pinyon trees, but winters are so warm that any snowfall that occurs in the morning usually melts and evaporates by end of day. In the summer, monsoon seasons are short, and flooding is almost non-existent, meaning my tios work double-time for irrigation from the acequias. It is scary seeing how much has changed in such a short time.