1984.

Sante Fe Luminarias

* * *

Thanksgiving Day, 1984 I flew from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, New Mexico and stayed at El Paradero Bed and Breakfast.  It seemed like 0-dark-hundred when the alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. to drive from Irvine to LAX for a 7:00 a.m. flight.

By the time I landed in Albuquerque, wrestled suitcases off the carousel, rented a car and drove seventy or so miles north to Santa Fe, it was early afternoon.  After checking in and exploring El Paradero a little, it felt as if I had entered a very different place.  It felt considerably drier and I felt sleepy at the high altitude.  Still, I was excited about experiencing whatever Santa Fe’s treasures might be.

* * *

El Paradero Bed and Breakfast

* * *

The people at El Paradero prepared a New Mexico-style Thanksgiving supper with turkey and all kinds of trimmings. The stuffing had tiny bits of different peppers, pine nuts and other tasty morsels I didn’t recognize. The B&B owners told me about New Mexico’s blend of cultures and how that impacts food tastes.

* * *

Thanksgiving Sante Fe Scallops

* * *

* * *

After an incredible meal, some of the guests and I took a walk and the cold, dry air felt wonderful.  There were a few dry snowflakes falling as we walked past some shop windows with antiques from Mexico, Native American sterling and turquoise jewelry and pottery.  Businesses were closed and the streets were quiet, almost hushed.

* * *

* * *

* * *

The next night a group of us took a drive around Santa Fe and I saw luminarias or farolitos for the first time in person rather than photographs. It was magical and I laughed out loud with delight at the beautiful candle-lit adobe buildings all over town.  Everywhere I looked, there were various sizes and types of bags filled with sand and a lit candle.  I had never seen anything like it before.

* * *

* * *

“The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.” – Ann Voskamp

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