October 24, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

I had myself all set to write an article this week on the sad
state of network television, but as I was preparing for it, I
came across an article I wrote some time ago about an old

I decided my TV network bashing will have to wait.

I wrote the article for Cloudcroft's Mountain Monthly newspaper
in February of 1998. This will be the first time it has appeared
in The Newsletter.


Daisy didn't do tricks. She wasn't a retriever (unless you
count her tennis ball). The only time she got into water over
her head she didn't like it and gave up swimming forever. She
was good for only one thing...total and unconditional affection
for me and Peggy.

She gave us that love for 14 years. Her heart gave up in the
early hours of Monday morning, February 9th, 1998 as a fresh
blanket of snow was falling outside.

Daisy loved the snow.

"The last thing we need is another dog," I told Peggy 14 years
ago. She said my 12-year-old stepdaughter was given the dog by
her grandmother.

"I'll be the one that ends up having to feed it and clean up
after it," I said as I rounded the corner from the living room
and into the kitchen where Daisy stood, looking up at me for
the first time through those coal-dark eyes.

It was love at first sight for both of us and I'm not that big
a push-over. She was about a year old... out of her puppy stage.
She was a white and brown Cocker. Her 4 feet were like fluffy
little mops that would eventually track in large volumes of mud
as the years went by. Just a hint of pink tongue protruded as
she panted lightly. Then she delivered her knockout punch...that
flirtatious cock of the head that would become her trademark.

When we went to bed, our bed was her bed. When we sat on the
couch her spot was right alongside. While our other dogs would
grab naps now and again during evening TV watching, Daisy was on
full alert, paying attention until the bedside light went out
for the evening. Then and only then would she snuggle between us
for a night's rest.

When Peggy had major surgery and was in bed for several days
Daisy was there beside her. Had Peggy stayed in bed for months,
there also would have been Daisy.

Obviously she became known to us as Miss Daisy. While we loved
the other two dogs in our family there was always the tacit
knowledge among them that Daisy was number one and it went

During home-improvement projects Daisy was there as job foreman
from the minute I picked up the hammer until day was done. When
the other dogs played tug with an old rag, Daisy acted as
cheerleader with little barks and growls. When Dusty, our Lab,
dug lustily at gopher holes during our walks in the Cloudcroft
woods, there was Daisy acting as hind-catcher of all the flying

Fourteen extremely short years.

It's one of life's humorless practical jokes. The Good Lord
brings a dog like Daisy into our lives but makes us suffer for
the experience by taking her back.

I know some that read this hold the belief that dogs do not have
souls. I will argue that God loves all His creations equally and
would not reward some with the promise of a hereafter without
doing the same for all.

What is a soul after all? It is the capacity to feel, to know
good from evil...to love.

God was walking through His kingdom early that Monday morning
when He saw that new arrival. Daisy looked at Him through those
coal black eyes and with just a hint of that pink tongue
protruding as she panted lightly. Then she finished Him off with
her trademark cock of the head.

He told the Angel in Charge of Check-ins to be sure all the new
arrivals were comfortable in their new home and He said, "That
one…....the brown and white one with the big ears. I'm taking
her with me."

I hope He realizes how muddy her feet can get.

Don Vanlandingham

Warmer than normal. Lots of sunshine this week. Highs in the
low-70s. Lows in the upper-30s. No measurable precip.

The trees are beginning to lose their leaves, signaling the end
to the optimum foliage change.
Mountain Standard time begins this Sunday at 2am.
Seven radio stations serving Cloudcroft, the basin and other
mountain communities. Offering programming from the best in
music to cutting edge talk formats. For more information, see
the link to our web site on the Services page of Cloudcroft.com.


The museum of the horse...in Ruidoso.


Q - At 9000 feet above sea-level, is Cloudcroft hazardous to
one's health?

A - I'll yield my reply to residents of this community that
have lived here all their lives and are in their 80s and 90s.

Cloudcroft has the highest golf course in the US. Some people
in their senior years walk the golf course two or three days a
week (not me...I use a cart and I only wish I could play two or
three times a week).

If there are any problems with altitude, it is usually with our
visitors from lower elevations that over-do it when they get
here. Health officials recommend moving at a slower pace for
the first day or two after arrival.

Children overcome with the excitement of a visit to the
mountains may over-exert and have temporary ill effects.

If you have preexisting medical conditions that may be affected
by a sudden change of altitude, consult your physician before
making the trip.
October 24 -- Cloudcroft at Mescalero (7:30). Varsity

October 24 -- Cummins Industrial Tool Show and Sale. Chimney
Spring, 2679 Highway 82, Mayhill 11am-7pm.

October 25 -- Harvestfest

October 26 -- Return to Mountain Standard Time (back one hour).

October 31 -- Trick or Treat Costume Contest. Call The Chamber
for details.

October 31 -- Blackwood Legacy Quartet Gospel Music. Chimney
Spring, 2679 Highway 82, Mayhill 7:30pm. $10 per person.

November 1 -- Cloudcroft at home against Hagerman. (2pm)
Varsity football.

November 22 -- Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce banquet.

November 29th -- Santa Land opens. Cloudcroft.

December 6th -- ULLR Fest.

December 13 -- Pet Parade. Burro Street. Cloudcroft.

December 20 -- Christmas in Cloudcroft. Zenith Park.

December 24 - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7pm.
Cloudcroft United Methodist Church

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

It was with great delight that I was able to read your
newsletter, my first visit to Cloudcroft was around 6 years
ago now, and your town has very fond memories for me, even
though my stay was brief.

I am from Australia and will always remember the beauty of the
area, I stayed in a cabin in the mountains which sadly is no
longer there now, following the terrible fires you had in the
area about three years ago...I just wanted to say, keep up your
great newsletter, even brief visitors like me enjoy it.
Diane Galpin
Southport, Australia

Dear Newsletter:

Hello. I would like to give you my thanks for the newsletters.
I lived in Cloudcroft for 12 years and now I live in Las Vegas,

I am in the military and the letters with the pictures just get
me over my home sickness for a few days 'till the next letter
comes in.

Is it possible to have an issue with a lot of pictures in it so
I can change the desktop on my computer?

Thank you,
Derek Deutsch
Nellis AFB
Las Vegas, NV

Dear Newsletter:

What a great newsletter this week, as they all are.

The pictures are great! Thank you. 

Tell me something -- are the turkeys tourists from England? 
Just "funn'in 'ya". If I were in Cloudcroft, all the wildlife
could take any part of the road they wanted. 

Hope the bees are not as vicious in a few weeks. 

Thanks again for transporting us to a place we would love to be. 
M. Goodin

Hereford, TX

[If you missed the pictures in last week's Newsletter, you
can view them here:]


Dear Newsletter:

My wife Linda and I lived in Cloudcroft for 8 years and we now
live in the center of Iowa. You are right Cloudcroft is
beautiful if you like snow and you are retired with lots of
money, but if you have to make a living it's not so good, so
don't sell every thing and move to Cloudcroft thinking you can
get a job like you had and live the lifestyle like you were

PS: You can not grow tomatoes out side in Cloudcroft.

All my friends and family have a great day in Cloudcroft.

Doug Plum

Dear Newsletter:

I have been reading the Cloudcroft Newsletter for maybe 4
years now, and just wanted to comment on a question asked in
"Letters To The Editor."

We had a cabin on the "sunny side" of the mountain for about
3 years and loved it. However, every time we visited, I noticed
my blood pressure went up and stayed there.

Went for many hikes, but never adjusted to the altitude
(always out of breath too much going up hill). My childhood was
spent in a mountainous area in upstate New York, so I guess my
heart will always be on a mountain - I'll always miss being in
Cloudcroft on a fall day, sitting on our deck.

We still visit from time to time, but are now planning on
retiring in the Ozarks, where we have relatives, and trees,
trees, trees!
Dale Gonzales,
Bayard, NM.

Dear Newsletter:

With the elevation as high as it is, the average person who
resides at that level has a thinner blood balance. Your having
moved from Florida which is sea-level to Las Cruces, who's
elevation is about 4500 ft, you at least a thinning process
going on. If you were to move to Cloudcroft, you would
experience a little light-headedness, but as time goes on you
would be fine.

Now, I do have to warn you about cooking pinto beans. In 1962,
my poor mother cooked a pot of beans for an entire day and
still found them hard as a rock. Thus the discovery of a
pressure cooker.

As far as the living in the area, you have far less snakes to
bother you, great water - spring feed, fishing on the
reservation, black bears who always want to eat. Great places
to hike, picnic, ski, ice skate, and sledding.

Driving during the winter is a little bit tricky, respect the
roads and be very careful.

And most important, meet the families in Cloudcroft who have
been there for ages. There is a treasure of history in
Cloudcroft. By the way Don, in the 60's we had a Vanlandingham
family in Cloudcroft. I went to school with Eugene, his father
was the Baptist Minister... any relation?

Mary Lee
Aberdeen/Pinehurst, NC

Dear Newsletter:

Having been a resident here in the mountains for just over a
year now has given me new perspectives about the town of
Cloudcroft (and the neighboring communities). 

I live in Sunspot and work here at the National Solar
Observatory. We are a small community - who work together,
live together and depend on each other during those "not so
nice" times during the winter. 

It has been quite an experience. 

My previous residence was in Alamogordo where I spent a better
part of 30 years doing all sorts of community things and doing
the tourist thing by visiting Cloudcroft. My employment brought
me to the mountains. For which I'm grateful. 

However, now that I'm a resident and not a tourist there have
been a few things that have been real "eyeopeners." 

1. Our best efforts to eliminate the moth problem haven't
worked. I understand a "ladybug" infestation also occurs up
here on certain years. Can't wait. We've just now have had to
learn how to live with the Millers. 

2. Traffic in and about Cloudcroft is the pits. I go to (and
through) Cloudcroft at least once a week. Driving eastbound on
82 and trying to cross to get to the Allsup's sometimes is the

Don, I appreciate your comments regarding center line huggers
and sideliners, but can't we just stick to one lane painted on
the road? Also, for all you "flatlanders," please slow down when
there is snow on the road.

My first snow experience on the Sunspot highway last year nearly
ended with a head on collision when someone decided they could
just whip around a corner. The kids driving (and I'm sorry to
say this) from Texas slid right into my lane and were headed 
right at me. Fortunately,I was able to stop before impact. Less
than 6 inches of separation between me and their car didn't make
my heart beat any slower. The worst part of it was that it
didn't stop them. They just backed up and left without checking
to see if I was okay. Snow is snow. Ice is ice. Sometimes they
disguise each other. 

3. Living at altitude has its own unique problems and
challenges. Sunspot is about a thousand feet higher than
Cloudcroft. The first thing I've seen is that weather changes
at the drop of the hat. Be prepared.

Second, my little bit of asthma is greatly enhanced by the
thinner atmosphere. (Take it easy for the first few days.)

Third, getting sick at altitude is a new experience. (Ear/sinus
infections are UGLY. Especially since you usually have to go up
and down the mountain to see a doctor.)

While it may seem like the altitude isn't affecting you - the
longer I stay at altitude I find that different metabolic things
also happen. Do an internet search on high altitude sickness
and you can see some of the types of bugs that can and will
happen at altitude. My best advice, take it easy, let the body
adjust and you will be fine. 

The most important thing that I can share with all of you is -
let's protect our beautiful Sacramento Mountains. The natural
resource up here is a treasure and if we don't take care of it.
It won't be anything that you would want to visit. 

Don, you do a great newsletter.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Diehl
Sunspot, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I got a kick out of your comments about the colors that football 
teams wear and I couldn't resist adding my two cents. Back when
I was 10, I was looking for a football team to dedicate my life
to. The Cowboys weren't an option in my house--we were raised
to be ABC (Anybody But the Cowboys).

Ultimately I was attracted to the Minnesota Vikings. What 10
year old girl could resist a team who wore purple uniforms and
called their defensive line the 'purple people eaters'! That
was a good enough reason for me and I've been hooked ever since.

Thanks for your newsletter.

Hollie Jacobs
Las Cruces, NM

Dear Newsletter:

You noted the "Centerline Hugging" phenomenon and I have to
gripe a little.
Last week, headed down to Alamogordo for our daily Wal-D-Mart
run, in the stretch of the "safety corridor" in High Rolls where
the speed limit is 45 mph, I was attempting to maintain the
legal speed as vehicles stacked up behind me. On this stretch
with an uphill passing lane, a car with two youngish-looking
girls used the UPHILL PASSING LANE to pass me going downhill!
With oncoming traffic!
They passed someone else before disappearing into the tunnel.
And of course, by the time we got into the flat of Hwy 82, they
were nowhere to be seen.
Safety Corridor? Seems like I was the safety problem trying to
maintain the speed limit! And there was not a law enforcement
type of any kind to be found in the entire stretch. I was also
saddened to observe NM plates on said car. 
It makes me wonder how many of the white crosses did themselves
in, and how many were innocents done in by people driving like
this person was.
Sorry for the rant, but who wants big city driving in the
Richard Day
High Nogal/Biloxi, MS

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

Copyright © 2003 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter