By Abe Villarreal

There are some things that I like to experience when I go to restaurants, visit new places, or simply make my way through the workday. We all have our favorite things to see and do. Without them, we feel like life is just passing by us without feeling, without those moments that make us smile.

I like to read menus that tell the history of the establishment on the back page. Sometimes the story is heartwarming, other times hard to believe. I read one recently on a visit to Chicago that told the story of a family of immigrants who arrived in America with not much in their pockets but a heart full of courage and a head filled with ideas. Before they knew it, a restaurant was born. The rest is history.

I like to walk by those old pubs that have been in the same spot for generations. You peek in and hear those songs playing in the background that seem to only play in the movies.

I like it when I'm in a crowded room, people taking up every seat, and everyone is speaking at the same time. Different things are being said but somehow one harmonious sound is heard.

I like it when a waitress at a restaurant comes up to me and greets me with "hey, sweetie" or "what can I get for you, honey?" with a big smile and a tilt of the head. It makes me feel like she's been waiting for me for a long time.

I like going into a church and seeing the excitement of people embracing each other as if they haven't seen each other in ages. You can hear neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, catching up on what has happened during the week until the lady begins to play the piano quietly because it's time to get ready for the teaching.

I like when I'm driving to work in the morning and passing by the gas station at the edge of town. I go by it around the same time each day, and each day the city or county laborers are there to pick up their coffee and a breakfast burrito.

It's early for me, but for them with their oil-stained overalls and bright yellow safety jackets the day is halfway done. When I see them, I know that the town is at work, making progress.

I like it when I'm in the car and that same commercial comes on that I've heard more times than I could remember. A familiar voice, a jingle, and an advertisement for the local mechanic or insurance provider.

I like it when I go home after a long day at the office and my cat Nadya is waiting at the window. It's one of the only times that she shows affection by wagging her tail, meowing, and letting me hold her.

I like it when I'm winding down, late in the evening, and the only thing to see on TV is the news or old sitcom reruns. There are certain shows that I have memorized but that I could watch over and over again.

I like it when I know what I have planned for the week and when what I have planned happens. The volunteer day on Saturday, the church service on Sunday, the trip to the plaza for tacos or an elote on Sunday evening. I like it when it all happens, just as I expected it to happen.

I like it when life reminds me that in small, familiar ways, life is mostly about small, familiar things.

Abe Villarreal writes about life and culture in America. He can be reached at

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.