We are stuck in Santa Fe. What was meant to be a stop over has turned into an extended visit. Our tow vehicle needs a new transmission (maybe our fault? it was well within towing limits!) and this will take through Friday, at least. And cost several million billion dollars. There are worse places to be stuck - including Las Vegas, New Mexico, which is where our car trouble began, so I'm glad we made it all the way here.
Santa Fe is weird and brown and hot and enjoyable. We visited the Plaza on Tuesday and saw Saint Francis Cathedral (a basilica), which is beautiful and very old. The reliquary in the oldest part of the church, built in the 1600s, had some amazing things, and the oldest statue in the US of the Virgin Mary is housed here. She has a profound and cool title that I can't quite remember and should probably Google - something like "Our Lady who Conquers through Love". The southwestern religious art made me want to draw - but of course I haven't any time - and Santa Fe is brimming with inspiration for the visual artist. It's heavy in the dusty air.
Southwestern art is usually invisible to me. If I notice it at all, it's because I'm seated near it in a restaurant. It's hotel lobby kind of art. It's from Kirklands. Not here. One of my artist friends mentioned that here it is in proper context and is beautiful, and apt. The Stations of the Cross in St. Francis Cathedral were refreshing and accessible, unlike the clean white carved ones I always see, and tonight during a delightful dinner at Tomasinas, I sat across from a bright painting of a round-ish, jolly Fransican-Ish Jesus that was really wonderful. These are the colors of my own faith, bright and real, smudgey and imperfect, capturing something of Christ, knowing the impossibility of a perfect representation. This is the town of St. Francis, who is one of my heavenly posse, and I'm okay to be stuck here.
Jane keeps saying, "why we stuck in Santa Fe? Where is ours car?"
The Airstream is feeling cozy tonight. The girls were painting one another's nails and Lilly was braiding my hair while Jacob and Henry read. Ever since I read Roald Dahl's Danny, Champion of the World (one of my most favorite books ever) as a young girl, I've imagined that living in a gypsy caravan would be the best life. This feels like that life tonight.
Except for when Henry bumped past me as he was trying to get a drink and asked, "why is your bottom so big?" I responded that it seemed to me a sort of normal size for a bottom, and he said, "hmm... no. Its actually bigger than my WHOLE head." And he... measured. And it was.
Please keep in mind that Henry is very tiny, even for his age, and I'm pretty sure he must have a very small head. Probably abnormally small. Probably I should have a doctor take a look.
We are worn out from running around a super neat playground (Railway Park) and from an afternoon at the Santa Fe Climbing Gym. The kids are bound to break my anxious heart by being mountain climbers. Even Jane was up the toddler wall in no time. We followed up climbing with an enormous and authentic New Mexican dinner at Tomasinas, because we may be fittish, but we sure as heck don't want to look it. Sopapillas for all, though my kids called them beignets and wondered why they didn't bring powdered sugar.
Tomorrow, maybe, I'll tell you about our mid-pass mountain rescue, where a real cowboy tows our Yukon and our Airstream. It was entirely too exciting and needed to steep a few days to brew into a funny story.