Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Santa Fe

If you're wondering where I've been for the past few days, all you "millions" out there who read my blog; I was visiting my sister in Santa Fe. I didn't really have access to a computer to enter my thoughts and reactions, plus I was having such a good time, I didn't have any opportunities to journal. I didn't even take notes.

I hadn't been to New Mexico's capital for many years and I was long overdue for a visit with my wonderful sister. She has made a wonderful, productive and fulfilling life for herself and I felt fortunate, just to catch a glimpse of what she does daily and where she does it. What a gal! She has three offices and many responsibilities as a Therapist and Director of Pastoral Services ie. counseling and ministering to many needy clients. She also sings with the Sangre de Cristo Chorale and all its social activities and fund raisers, does crosswords, cooks gourmet meals and keeps up with many dear friends. I'm very proud of her as you can see. I hope she continues to "follow her bliss" for many, many years to come. She is working on her health, diet and exercise which are keys to all these activities.

She was at the airport in Albuquerque to meet me and my 3-hr.late flight from Denver. "Micro Bursts" and "Wind Sheers" kept us on the tarmack and refueling all that time in no A/C...lots of fun. Fortunately we weren't too late to commute back to S.F. for the Opera that started at 9:P.M. Wow! She was able to get tickets to a series of summer concerts that sells out early every year. She has "connections". We had wonderful seats and marvelled at the lavish production of "Turandot", a Puccini opera of an Asian Folk Fable. I'm always interested in the staging, props, scenery, costumes and they were fabulous, bright colors, backlit, moveable sets. The theater itself is still open on the sides but sheltered and enclosed for most of the audience...still that awesome backdrop to the west of S.F.'s magnificent skyscape/sunset. What was new for me also was that the on-going libretto was electronically flashed in front of each and every seat in large print could understand what was going on (spoken) in the arias in Eng. or Espanol. There was little need for opera glasses which my sister thoughtfully brought. The tale reminded me of a couple of our fairy tales ie. Three riddles to solve to marry the "ice princess" failing meant decapitation of the hapless suitor(s) There were at least 4 heads spiked high up on stage. Then one wise suitor solves the riddles and she refuses to marry him. He counters with "rumplestiltskin's" guess my name and you're off the hook. She has the whole kingdom out looking for his name and finds a "secret lover" who knows but is willing to kill herself on stage in order not to reveal his name. He relents and melts the ice princess with his name "Love" and they profess profound love etc. at least 20 feet apart from each other, stage left and right...that's opera for ya. Lots of marching on and off stage in highly costumed processions singing loudly. The 2nd and 3rd act end with standing O's for the well-known aria...(can't remember the Italian name) but everyone, including me, recognized it and thrilled to its pathos.

The real surprise of the visit was the pre-concert "dress rehearsal" of the Desert Chorale's Summer Concert starter "Great Cathedral" Music. We went the scenic way up to Los Alamos to hear this exquisite group. Believe me, it was 2+ hours of "heaven" for me, or what I think "heaven" will be like. A processional gregorian chant of such purity and precision,their voice timbre/tones were perfectly matched. My favorite of many was a song I have sung with MMC. "Maria Stella" I had all I could do to not singing along...that high pitched trio in the middle sent "chills". Linda Mack has this new version of the Chorale well in hand as its director...You can tell that they love her too and she is easy to sing for.

We went shopping in the Plaza for the grandchildren and wife. Had lots of fun doing that. I was mostly successful in my finds, with my sister's help. Couldn't find the signature S.F. tile trivet I wanted. We also hit two Indian Casinos and dropped some "coin". They made me appreciate our own casinos in Cabazon and the desert. I tried to show my sister how to play some "table games", lost at craps but won at 3-card poker.

My sister showed me where she walks in "Frenchie's Park" and we walked a "meditation labrynth" made of adobe and straw...a first for me. Three times around the park makes a mile and I enjoyed doing it twice. My sister picked some wonderful restaurants to sample, including "Body" a raw food purveyor, "Jinga" with a Chinese/New Mexican cuisine and, best of all her own gourmet meal with pita pockets and blue artichokes. We had alot of fun with her friend playing "Cranium"...she usual. I helped her water her front landscape on her designated day: Tues. before 10AM. I took pictures of her, her friend and her home...lots of our mom's favorite keepsakes...including our old chiming clock. Ah what memories we share! She paid for my shuttle trip back to the airport and I had uneventful return flights with many other "sardines". A tail-wind brought us in 15 mins. early to the Palm Spings "blast furnace" 115 degrees! I was so happy to see my beautiful wife waiting for me. What a trip! What a lucky guy I am. Bob


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