Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Ties, Part II

Not less than a week after Nick and Claire's visit, we got hit up again! This past Thursday, a large, blue Buick Le Saber named Obama pulled into our driveway and out piled the geriatric circus, consisting of my folks and their two 12-year-oldish dogs.

The visit was pleasant and even relaxing. Between the meals we cooked and the couple we had out on the town, we ate well...a must for any visit/vacation. The first full day was spent doing Los Alamos things like a visit to the good free museum, some geo-caching, and a visit to a popular donut shop. Also insert old-man-nap-time.

Day two consisted of a half day trip down to Santa Fe for some lunch and a little walking tour of historic downtown. A favorite stop was Loretto Chapel, home of the Miraculous Staircase, as pictured here:

The staircase is miraculous for two reasons. The first of these reasons is that its construction is structurally impossible. If you look closely in the photo, there is no supporting pillar running up the center of the spiral as you would find in other similar looking staircases. TV's Unsolved Mysteries even did a show segment on it! The other miracle is the circumstance under which the staircase was built. The architecht died before total completion, leaving no plans for access to the choir loft. There was not room for a traditional staircase and the nuns of the chapel were not comfortable with a ladder scenario. After much prayer, a stranger arrived, wanting to build them a staircase. Asking for total privacy, he locked himself in the chapel for 3 months with primative tools to begin construction. Upon completion, he vanished.

The staircase was orginially built with no handrails. Can you imagine what a frightening ascent this must have been for the nuns? My dad made the comment that this staircase may have been a cause of the dwindling number of sisters in this convent in the early 1900s. Good point, Dad!

For the record, day 2 also had old-man-nap-time.

In the morning of each of the two full days of their visit, my parents joined us for brief walks into the canyon behind our house. Those of you familiar with their health conditions, both past and present, will understand what a miracle this is, in and of itself! Below is a picture of my parents on such an excursion:

On one of these walks, our dog, Sierra, found two attached leg bones of a large animal. I told her that if she could carry them home, she could keep them. With much gusto and effort, she did just that!

On Sunday after church and lunch, the geriatric circus piled back into Obama and headed back down the mountain to spend an evening with Nick and Claire in Albuquerque before starting the trek back to Tucson the next morning. We'll see them in our neck of the woods again in early June for another visit, this time including taking in a show of Cirque du Soleil:Alegria. Insert excitement here: ____________!!!!!

Next blog post topic: Leni's job.

Keep It Real!

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