Eat My Dust!

Thomas, Laura, Felicia and Jessica Lujan in June of 1983
Arroyo Jacona- Pojoaque, New Mexico

Today I went to the valley to deliver a birthday present to my dad. Now that I am older I can appreciate all the little things about the town I grew up in. There are gorgeous rock mountains which would make a great subject for a work of art. There are so many quirky houses like the one up on the hill where the old track and field once stood. I remember all the stores that are no longer around. The best memory I evoked today was pulled from the smell of motorcycle exhaust. I realized how much the smell reminded me of riding. I could almost taste dirt in my teeth? As soon as I smelled that exhaust, I remembered this cute photo of the twins, my cousin Jessica and I. I was 8 years old going on 9, my brother and sister were 4 years old going on 5, and my cousin Jess must have been about 7.

I have never really been what I would call an extreme girly girl. When I was a youngster I could run hard with the toughest boys in the neighborhood- and hey I can still say that I pride myself on running with the toughest in the gym! I didn’t care if I would get dirty, look messy, or if all the girls liked me. As a matter of fact, there may have been a few who I told to “eat my dust!” Haha… I am almost positive that was one of the many silly phrases my dad made up while we were thrashing the New Mexico earth with rubber tires! Being that we were from the valley, three-wheelers were a regular part of growing up. Most of our friends had them, and me and the twins would beg to ride. We had two 110s- one red and one blue. They were just the right size for us and didn’t have enough power to “throw us around.” Come on? Don’t you know what that means? Both of my brothers still love to ride. Thomas and Isaiah have an armory of bikes for hunting, fishing, camping and fun. Brian and his family love to visit the Dunes with their click.

When I was a kid, on several occasions we took the three-wheelers through the arroyos or “the back way” to Sam and Kim’s house. They were friends with my parents and we would make a day of it. We packed all kinds of stuff in the 3×6 compartment in the rear of the ‘wheeler. Then there were countless times that Laura, Tom and I cruised to Ponce’s to load up on junk. We gathered all the money we could find and would buy candy up the wazoo and maybe put more gas. It was always fun to ride through the river and get covered in mud. A few times I remember getting stuck or stalling out and being really scared that I couldn’t pull start the bike again or that it would simply sink away into oblivion! I would go as far as saying that not one inch of the Pojoaque Valley was left untouched by my family- no matter the season. In the winter, we used the three-wheelers to pull each other on whatever would make a good sled.

When I started blooming into girlhood, I was still in love with riding. We climbed mountains- crossed rivers, raged through arroyos, blazed around trees, passed through sand, and loved every minute. I can’t forget about the time I flipped backwards a bazillion times with my friend Tammy. Now that was funny (right Tam?). There was a big hill at Lino’s house and our parents were having a get together outside. Tammy wanted to take me up the hill (which is no longer there) and I was hanging on for dear life! I think I told her to gas it- and from there it was a blur. We landed up flying through the air backwards and then came to a stop with a mouth full of dirt on the ground. Ouch… We laughed about it when I met her coffee a while back. It was funny because we were so addicted to riding that we just pretended like nothing happened so we wouldn’t get in trouble. Tammy’s glasses were all cracked and crooked and we just got right back on the bike. Haha!

The older I got, the more I loved having a set of wheels to get from point A to point B or B to Z. One of my good friends lived in El Rancho, so I would take the three-wheeler to her house from mine in Arroyo Jacona. Me and Ang would take the three-wheeler to our friend Kim’s and we would meet up with others in our “riding crew!” Kim was another lover of the wheels. I remember her doing some things on her bike that would surely make a boy cry! She knew how to handle her wheels and had mastered the hills near her home. I miss her. Today I was sad to I realize that next year she will miss our 20 year class reunion. She had really  been looking forward to it.

Who would think that the strangest smells could induce the most precious memories? When exhaust fumes tickled my nose, I was immediately transported back in time. I guess you never know when, where or what will trigger memories. I am just glad that I now have a means of recording them.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family Photos, Friends, History, Hobby, Memories, New Mexico, Worthy Reads, Writers, Writing

5 Comments on “Eat My Dust!”

  1. Perianne Says:

    What a wonderful free childhood you had. My own was pretty town based and constipated. I discovered the freedom of the bush when I was a teenager. Fortunately we have been able to bring my fearless daughter to the country. Your wildness and courage is the same as hers. She throws herself into any adventure and often returns covered in blood and grazes, ecstatic with tales of adventure.

    • flujan Says:

      Thanks Perianne— that was such a cool statement about your daughter coming home “covered in blood and grazes, ecstatic with tales of adventure!” Loved it!!!

  2. raven's witch Says:

    hi,i just nominated you for the super sweet blogger award! you are nice and i like your blog to 🙂

  3. […] Our ride on Sunday through Caja del Rio, past Diablo Canyon, to the Rio Grande River was beautiful. How quickly we forget the childhood feelings tied to our land and nature. When I was a young girl, I spent a my time on a 3-wheeler. My brother, sister and I explored together. Looking back, we learned together. While my brother and I sat along the bank of the Rio Grande on Sunday, we talked about those priceless days. (Read: Eat My Dust) […]

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