Ruidoso House Cup

I have this special little coffee cup loaded with memories and sentiment.  It’s a limited edition… only a very few were made.  Fun for me, because I know all the other owners.  And even more fun, I’m the one who created them.

It’s my “Ruidoso House” mug.  (I’d like for you to pronounce it properly… so say it out loud like this:  r’ DOE-suh House.  Ha!  We never took the time to properly say rue-ee-DOE-so, which speaks of the noisy little river.)

Nana and Granddad built this house in Ruidoso when I was a very little girl.  I would have claimed it was there before I was born, because I have no memory of it being built.  But I have a photo of my sister and me standing on the land without the house, so I know they built it in the mid 60s.  Nana loved planning houses, and she must have had such a wonderful time looking down the road, preparing plenty of space for a growing family.  Although we were the only two grandchildren at the time, many more came into the family through the years.  We have all loved the place as children and as adults… but I’d guess that no memories could ever be more precious than those from our childhood.

There’s the memory of simply getting to the house.  That drive through the Hondo Valley, Granddad with the heavy foot, and Nana telling “Dadda” to slow down.  That stop at the 31 Flavors in Roswell for a butter pecan ice cream cone.  That smell of opening the doors and going into a cool, closed up mountain house.

When I made these mugs a couple of years ago, I took photos of things I knew we all cherished.  The pool cues on the paneled wall and the old balls racked up on the green felt.  “Eight ball in the corner pocket” must have been said hundreds and hundreds of times in that downstairs game room.  My favorite game was pea-pool… where we all took our secret numbers from the red plastic jug and hoped we wouldn’t be eliminated.  Our whole family would join in that game while my uncle’s old forty-fives dropped one after another onto the little player, and we’d do the twist with the pool sticks while we sang “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.”

I took a photo of the old drapes, with the silly purple lampshade and the ugly ceramic pheasants beside the ping pong table.  In my younger days I sometimes wished Nana would update the place and at least get rid of those crazy drapes.  Oh my goodness!  Thank you, Nana, for keeping things forever the same in that house.  All the old towels and bedspreads and drapes and dishes were just fine, and they make my memories that much sweeter.

That big game room was truly amazing.  She designed one whole wall to be filled with bi-fold doors that opened up to reveal Murphy beds.  When they were all pulled down there was sleeping room for all of us!

Nana was an artist, and her paintings were hanging in the house.  But in the master bedroom she had prints of the famous Blue Boy and Pinkie on either side of the dresser mirror.  It was hard to choose, but in the end, I knew I needed to include Nana’s wonderful portrait of an old Indian man on the mug.  He was always there in the living room… a beautiful painting, and very “Ruidoso”.

There’s the white rock fire place, complete with the gold plastic clock and the ceramic owl match holder.  No, this home would not be featured in any magazines, but you can’t imagine how charming these features are to me!

There’s one more photo on the mug.  The front of the white house, Nana and Granddad’s white car in the driveway, and snow on the ground and in the pine trees.  That’s exactly what the house should look like.  It’s a snapshot I took years and years ago.  So thankful for those kinds of photos… because years and years ago we didn’t have cell phones in our hip pockets that we whipped out to take digital photo after digital photo.  No, in those days we had 12 exposures on a roll of film, and we were quite sparing with our picture taking choices.

Well, I’ll close this narrative.  If you’ve read it, you’ve certainly indulged me.  Like most of my things, I really wrote it just for me.  I wrote it so I could sit here and have a little cry over the memories.  I wrote it for the other members of my family who also have a cup like mine – and identical memories.  I wrote it for my grandparents who are no longer here with us.  I wrote it to say goodbye to the Ruidoso House.


11 Responses to “Ruidoso House Cup”

  1. Kim says:

    What great memories!! Thanks so much for writing this down for all of us!

  2. Sandy says:

    It’s truly my pleasure!

  3. Jany says:

    Sandy, which grandparents? My dad built a cabin (for the Bordan’s I think)in Ruidoso back in the late 50’s

  4. Sandy says:

    Yes, the Borden grandparents. How about that!

  5. Glenda says:

    Thank you for inviting us to share your wonderful memories. Your stories recalled my warm recollections of times at my great-grandparents’ home, cram-packed with all the relatives. FAMILY–such a treasured word!!!

  6. Lawanda Calton says:

    One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the ability to remember. Not sort of, but in detail. We can re-visit and re-live those by gone days as often as we want to. Thank you again, Sandy, for a drive to Ruidoso this morning, entering the white house and stepping inside onto the deep blue-green carpet!

  7. Katie Howell says:

    I love this!

  8. Betty Williamson says:

    This one even made me cry, for different reasons than you did probably, but for all of the memories of our childhoods and how bittersweet they become with the passing of time. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Lyndell says:

    I loved reading about your memories. Thank you for sharing. Your descriptions make me feel a “connection” because I am so blessed to be enjoying their other home.

  10. Bobby Ann Dictson says:

    Such wonderful memories. Your memories can go with you forever. Your Grandparents were such nice people. We were fortunate that we knew them and their entire family. They would have loved your article. That was the reason they (like so many parents and grandparents) built that house so the family could enjoy it and these fantastic memories could be made. Please keep sharing wonderful memories of Portales and the people there.

  11. Robin Green says:

    Now I know how to pronounce it, and also ‘see it’ in my mind’s eye. Is the house being sold or torn down?

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