• Carmen Medrano

The Silver Lining

Updated: Feb 10

“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven't seen, how much I'm not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” – Carew Papritz.

I love to travel, to experience and see new things. I was scheduled for a conference in Las Vegas, NV and my husband was going to be leaving for Texas when the pandemic hit. Needless to say, both our trips were canceled. I was bummed when we had to cancel our scheduled family trip to Mexico. We didn’t do our annual trip to Sin City for my husband’s birthday. Not to mention, my sons didn’t spend their birthdays on the lake... Boo hoo!


I may sound like I’m sulking. But if anything, I’m thankful and feel blessed. I was disappointed about my Vegas Trip, but to be honest, it was becoming more of a burden to get my husband from Texas to Vegas and not only that the kids would have been away from him longer than they would have liked. The day we would have arrived in Mexico, there was a magnitude 7.4 earthquake. Talk about dodging a bullet. That earthquake had casualties and destruction within Oaxaca and Mexico City.

Don‘t worry about my kids, they spent their birthdays in Rio Costilla and some property we own near Coyote Creek. Poor kids, they rode four wheelers, played baseball, slip-n-slides, fishing, bike riding, etc. The silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that my husband has not had to travel for work. This was the first since my youngest was 4 that my husband was home for his birthday. We usually celebrate it before or after his birthday, but it was special for my husband to be home for his actual birthday.

My husband and I went a month without seeing our sons, because I was coming in contact with Pt’s with COVID too often. Then I was sent to a different department and took care of non-COVID patients. This gave me the opportunity to reunite my family. It wasn’t all bad because I was quarantined with my husband, and it was like when we first were married before kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but it was nice to just focus on each other. Did I mention I married a former landscaper that is working from home? Because of that, we were blessed with beautiful flowers and a bountiful vegetable garden.

It gave us the opportunity to revisit our old favorites in Northern New Mexico and some new places also. We spent our whole summer, biking, hiking, camping, and hanging out as a family.

On a Thursday night, I asked my husband to go out on a date. We had to call around, because restaurant's are closing earlier and of course we decided to head out at the last minute. We barely made it to Lambert’s Restaurant in time for dinner.

The ambiance was beautiful. We sat under their historic apple tree. An apple tree that is what I have always pictured the tree of knowledge to have looked like. We sat in the open air under twinkling lights. My husband ordered a bottle of wine to start the evening with. Tony, our favorite waiter at Lambert's, told us the specials and we both were sold. I don’t remember even looking at the menu. I had the Scallops and my husband had the Venison.

We started with a Caesar Salad and a Beet Salad. The Caesar salad was a split Romain head that was charred on the grill. It was dressed with a homemade dressing and topped with crunchy croutons, shavings of grana padano, and a singular white Spanish anchovy fillet. The Beet Salad had perfectly roasted and seasoned pickled beets on a bed of baby greens and local micro-greens, it was topped with fresh strawberries, mint leaves, feta, pepitas, crispy ginger, and was simply dressed with olive oil. The Beets were definitely the star of the show. Yumm! Soon after finishing our salads our main dishes came.

The scallops were cooked perfectly. The pan seared scallops rested on creamy coconut polenta accompanied with a balsamic reduction and topped with dressed microgreens and shaved fennel. The Venison Tenderloin was cooked to a perfect med-rare and served over a mound of roasted potatoes, topped with an herb compound butter and micro-greens, and accompanied with grilled asparagus spears. We shared a timirasu that was highly recommended by Tony. It was the perfect way to finish our dinner.

We decided to take a walk. It was so peaceful, because there were no tourists and since the bars were closed, there weren’t many people out. We talked and joked as we walked. We saw a man and a woman with sage sticks and sage wreaths with pretty flowers embedded in them. I asked if I could take a picture, they said, "of course!" She gave me a wreath and the man commented that Jesus never sold anything. I gave her a tip and we continued walking.

We walked around the corner and there was a van with music coming from what we thought were the speakers. Turns out, as we walked by, there was a man inside of the van playing a piano. Awesome! We listened to the music and continued walking through the John Dunn Plaza. When the sounds of the piano faded, there was music playing throughout the plaza. Our dinner and walk was romantic.

When we got home my boys had finished their dinner. My 14 year old son grilled some steaks, potatoes and corn. I was proud of the two young men we are raising.

Even though 2020 has been full of anxiety, stress, a pandemic, fires, and loss of friends and family it really slowed our lives down and made me more thankful and made me realize how blessed I truly am.



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