I was shocked when I heard the news. Stahmanns is closing, WTW???!!! Like many, I took for granted that they were always going to be there whenever I felt like making the drive on a lazy Sunday afternoon. While I was shocked, the wife was saddened by the news. The pecan brittle they sold there was one of the last connections she had to her grandmother. So much like the music fans who rush to buy their idol's music at the news of their untimely death, we made plans to make one last trip to Stahmanns.

Our usual routine was to take the back road to Old Mesilla for lunch at La Posta, then stop at the Stahmanns Country Store on the way back for ice cream and brittle. This time, though, it was a Friday and it was early enough that we beat the lunch crowd so we opted for lunch at another Highway 28 institution --Chope's. The green enchiladas and the green chile are some of the best found anywhere and always worth the stop. Then it was off to Stahmanns for a bittersweet goodbye.

If you want to buy a Stahmanns Farms gift basket or a can of pecans, you'll have to hurry. Once the merchandise runs out, both the Country Store as well as the one near the Mesilla Plaza will shut their doors forever. The economy and increased prices are to blame. But you and I had something to do with it as well. We took it for granted.