A little something about Clayton, New Mexico.
As most people know, I’m a small town girl, living in a big city world. I don’t like seeing the air I breathe, I am not a fan of traffic, even though I can drive in it, I’m not a fan of wall to wall people, even though I am a social person. I like my quiet, you know that quiet of small town America. That being said, about an hour before my interview for my first EVER PTA job, I googled Clayton, New Mexico. It was the middle of the middle of nowhere, just like home, but in New Mexico.
Clayton is much more than the sum of its parts: the people. A caring, funny, loving, accepting community of people who welcome in new comers into their fold and make them a part of that community – it’s a collective, and not of empty buildings, but smaller businesses that continue to thrive amongst the emptiness.
Everyone knows where Clayton is, they have all passed through the area if they have headed west or east, but it’s that little town that no one knows, also. It is the town built on family and community, and that shows in the care that the facility I worked at took in their patients. I was quite like being up home, in Northern Maine, where we take pride in taking care of our elderly, and of our co-workers.
It’s a community of innovative people, with unique places to eat, watch movies, buy jewelry, take a walk in town and check things out.
It is the community that shows up, en-mass, for the football games every single week.
I can’t forget the Luna Theatre, when I first laid eyes on the spot, I was sure I was not going to enjoy my experience. I was wrong, oh so wrong. It’s clean, the old seats are oddly comfortable, the staff is sweet and I loved the old school ambience, right down to the 50s/60s style lighting.
Clayton is also a host to some fun creatures that, some, hung out at my doorstep.
I found this big guy’s nose in my doorway one afternoon.
Then the deer, and the antelope and – rabbits and the wholesale number of other things you see, like tumbleweeds piled against your car in the early hours of the morning when you walk outside – that was a sight to behold.
New Mexico, in general, is a host to some great sunsets.
Then, there are the sunrises. In Maine, each are great, but not was “wide” and all encompassing as in New Mexico. It is like the sunrise and sunset is almost 360 degrees.
Then there is the place I worked – Clayton Nursing and Rehab. This is a crew of dedicated, loving, funny, talented and welcoming bunch of men and women. C.N.A.’s that do 12 hour shifts, sometimes 2 of them for 30 residents and more residents. Nurses pass medications and manage the floor (there are no med techs), the DON, Lori, is also the MDS coordinator with her right hand woman, Kay is Miss Jacqueline of All Trades. A fun crew who took in a French speaking Acadian, made her feel at home, as so I didn’t miss home as much as I might have. Lunches, welcome pot lucks and going away soup bashes, birthday apple pies, travel advice, and husbands who mount tires with a smile. Thank you, Clayton, for a great 13 weeks of friendship and adventure. Maybe we can do it again sometime.