Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Miraculous Staircase of Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico


 Amid our walking tour of downtown Santa Fe, we detoured to take in Loretto Chapel. The last time we were here, I foolishly left my camera in the car. This time, I made sure I had it.


Loretto Chapel is famous for its circular stairway which is believed by many to have been constructed by St. Joseph, himself. Regardless of the validity of the claim, there is no disputing that the stairway is a marvel, not only for its time, but even now.


According to legend, the architect and builder of the chapel both overlooked the access to the choir loft until the chapel was nearly complete. None of the options to correct this were acceptable to the nuns who had commissioned the chapel, so they began a novena to St. Joseph, asking for a solution to this problem.


On the final day of the novena, a mysterious stranger appeared out of the desert and built the beautiful staircase, then disappeared without even collecting his pay.


The 1998 movie, "The Staircase", starring Barbara Hershey and William L. Peterson offers an entertaining version of this legend and is available through the chapel gift shop, as well as other retailers.



The Miraculous Staircase, now over 130 years old, has been closed off for many years. The wear and tear of so many tourists ascending and descending its steps would surely destroy it if it wasn’t.


Fanciful windmills grace the gardens of the chapel, while the sandstone and volcanic rock of its construction allow the beautiful stained glass windows to stand out. The interior of the chapel is simple and serene. Although the Blessed Sacrament is no longer housed here, it retains an atmosphere of holiness. Voices are hushed and photographers are almost stealthy.

Sitting still in the quiet of the chapel, I relax and breathe in the prayers of those holy women who, less than 50 years ago, still knelt here, received the sacraments and instructed the daughters of Santa Fe in the joy of the Catholic faith. I wonder what it would have been like to be privileged to climb that staircase and sing in the choir. I believe, whoever he was, the hand of God worked through the hands of the man who built the Staircase.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico


One of our favorite day trips from our current location in Southern Colorado, is historic downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. While we haven't yet partaken of the Opera, we have enjoyed ogling the classic southwestern adobe architecture. 


     


Browsing upscale boutiques, then crossing the street to explore quirky shops filled with folkart and local handcrafts.



Loretto Chapel needs its own post, there are just too many pictures and details to include here.




     


A stroll past the park reveals a stone turtle and a checkerboard, ready to play.


The Deck at 221 looked interesting, with sculpted horses, rearing with pride. Maybe next trip we'll sit up there under the umbrellas, sipping iced tea or espresso and watching the action below.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Winter and our Coats are at Home!


Winter has rolled in to Colorado and my winter clothes are all in Arizona. We have the heater on in the trailer day and night. We're not moving on for another few weeks - What to do? 


To tell the truth, we did keep a few winter items with us "just in case". Not that I seriously thought we would need them. My problem this entire last year. I kept out 1 pair of long johns, my London Fog raincoat with liner and a fleece sweater. I have several summer scarves that can serve for neck warmers and one pair of glove-liner gloves. We also kept the boy's down jacket.


Since we're living in the trailer, we have most of our clothes in the closet. We each keep one suitcase under the bed and that is wear we kept the coats - until 2 weeks ago. Now we are very glad to have them. Even though we will be spending most of the winter in warmer climes, we will be back for a few weeks. So next stop at the Arizona stix and brix, we'll be picking up some more long johns, a couple winter hats, gloves, scarves and snow boots! Where will we put them when we don't need them? In the suitcases, of course. If we decide to take air or rail transport and need our suitcases, we will just leave the extras in the trailer closet.


And when we're in winter weather and don't need the summer clothes? You've got it - we'll keep the suitcases packed.

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