Far from Home for the Holidays: More Stories

More stories from readers recalling holidays spent in unfamiliar surroundings.

| November/December 2009

Here are a few more stories we received on the “Far from Home for the Holidays” theme that we weren’t able to print in the magazine.


Memorable Christmas in New Mexico

I eagerly joined my husband, Chuck, in 1952 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was stationed at the Sandia Army base as Corporal in the Ordnance branch of the Army.

The Southwest was a part of the United States I’d never traveled before, and stepping off the train in Albuquerque opened my eyes. As far as I could see there was brown wasteland desert, and massive mountains surrounded the city. A rush of heat caught in my breath as I realized I wasn’t in Minnesota anymore.

We lived off base among other servicemen and their wives in row houses nestled at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. Rain didn’t come often, but when it did, it brought torrents of water down the mountainsides, washing snakes into the vicinity of our row houses. Luckily, we managed to keep them from getting inside. Sand storms were frequent, and I swept sand, which blew in under the doors and poorly sealed windows, out of the house daily.

We made many friends living in the row houses. Couples were there from all different parts of the country, and we were intrigued by all of the accents. We traveled to many places when the men had leave or a weekend pass. We enjoyed visiting the art galleries in Santa Fe, picnicking in the mountains and driving to the Grand Canyon. Our group became very close.

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