[Ed: I wrote this post on the plane from Albuquerque to Denver, but I forgot to post it to my blog, so I've backdated the post as such. Don't worry, you didn't miss it, somehow. LL]
I am on my flight from Albuquerque to Denver en route to Baltimore to see my family. I don't think I've ever been to New Mexico before; if I have, it was only driving through it with very limited stops. I stopped here this time so that I could meet Jamie's family and check out the area. Sadly, I didn't get to to Angel Fire where Jamie actually grew up because it's quite a drive from Albuquerque, but I did get to meet his family and we went to Santa Fe for an evening... It was all really pretty cool!
Santa Fe was especially interesting for me because a lot of the buildings in the old part of town are some serious adobe constructions. (adobe being characterized by thick brick walls covered with plaster.) It was really beautiful.
There are also some really beautiful churches as well. I didnt get to see it, but we did walk to a chapel were there is a fantastical all-wood spiral staircase. I was told by a local that, as the story goes: The nuns who reside in the chapel could not construct the staircase on their own, nor did they have wood to do so. It is said, one night, that a poor beggar man arrived at the chapel, begging for a place to live and food to eat in return for any work he might provide them. They showed him the chapel and told him of their plans for a spiral staircase. He closed himself into the chapel, only stopping to eat and to sleep.
During this time the nuns never saw him working, but after some weeks, the man came to them and told them his work was finished and it was time for him to leave. And so, he left as they marveled at the incredible craftsmanship of the staircase he had built. The wooden spiral staircase is many feet in height, and has no apparent means of support. It has not nails or pegs or other visible means of holding it together.
The woman who relayed the story even suggested that some scientists had attempted to analyze the DNA of the wood used to build the staircase, but were unable to determine the type that was used. It matched none of the locally available wood at the time, nor did it match any of the sizable suite of samples they had already collected. Architects were brought in to determine the method of construction and means of support. They could not unravel the puzzle any more than the scientists. The nuns say the mysterious man who built their staircase is none other than St. Joseph, father of Jesus Christ. She also said that just standing in the presence of the staircase gives one a holy feeling; that one is standing in the presence of nothing short of a miracle.
I heard this story a couple of days after I came back from Santa Fe. Too bad I wasn't able to see it.
On a more amusing and happy note, earlier today I got to have a silly string fight with Jamie and his little nephew. I am completely covered in silly string even after we spent a good 10 minutes trying to shake it off me before we went to the airport.
Now I fully understand why my mom absolutely despised the stuff.
Hoping there's nothing in this stuff that could be considered a bomb-making material,