Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).

05 July 2006

Since I never wrote about santa fe heres the long drawn out story of what i did there:

Well we made it to santa fe fine. Left the house around 9am Saturday not the 8pm Friday like originally suggested. Too bad, would have liked to catch Saturday Novina Mass at Rosario. We ate at the mcdonalds in Childress, and for once a mcdonalds in a town beginning with a c didn’t screw up our orders. We timed it just perfectly, the boy scout pack had just gotten their order and the 2 bus church group arrived just after we got ours. The drive was uneventful, made it in just over 10 hours. We had a bit of rain in Clines Corners which made things a bit exciting since all of our stuff was in the bed but after some artful rearranging both inside and outside truck we made it through without getting anything important too wet. When we got to the house it was around dinner time so after unloading we ate guess what- beans, chilie, and tortillas. The even better news was that the dog has finally decided I am friend not foe and so there were no wounds or bloodshed on my part, always a plus. The next day began at the ungodly hour of 4:34 when my grandpa knocked on our door. Nothing like Novina Masses to get you up and going bright and early. Our alarm still had 5 more minutes so Maria and I went back to sleep for a few seconds before deciding it really was time to get up. Breakfast round 1 of rice crispies and we were ready to go by 4:49. So I went back to sleep until 5:15 when it was time to leave so we could be sure of getting a good parking spot. Basicly my grandpa plans all schedules around parking spots. He has what we call the get away spots. These are the ones you can pull into and out of and are as close to wherever the goal is as possible. These spots must be parked in at all costs even if it means arriving an hour early. Mass started at 6, so we got there with plenty of time to spare although my Aunt Celine had already beaten us there. She had staked out a spot on the side pews, the one she had been sitting in for 7 days a year for who knows how long.

Before I get any further I guess I should describe the Novina Mass. Santa Fe was founded in 1608 by a bunch of my ancestors, which has a few major pluses- 1st whenever they hang out the coat of arms of all the original families I’m related to most of them, 2nd- I’m related to everyone in Santa Fe whose family has been around for more than 50 years. This can be a plus or a minus since that’s a lot of relatives to keep track of but believe me family gatherings are really good times. How many families have their own drinking song? 3rd- my history is the cities history which is defiantly really cool. Enough about my family for now. So Santa Fe was settled and the Friars started converting the Indians. Well after awhile they rebelled and drove us all out. Led by Don Diego DeVargas the Spaniards reclaimed the city and in the process he made a promise to La Conquistadora (statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, oldest in the new world) that if she let us reclaim our city he would hold a Novina for her. A Novina is a series of 9 Masses said for something. Well we reclaimed our city and the Novinas began. The Novina always starts with a Procession from the Cathedral in the Plaza to the chapel at the Rosario Cemetery carrying La Conquistadora. People from all over the Dioceses participate in the procession, theres a lot of singing and rosaries said and that sort of thing. Also the Fiesta Queen and her court are there (a local woman who is chosen to be at all the functions of the city dressed up in really fancy white dresses), along with people dressed up as all the big players in the early history- Conquistadors, Friars, and representatives of the various pueblos. Then every day for the week there is Mass at 6 at the Rosario Chapel. There is apparently an afternoon Mass for those not crazy enough to get up that early but since I’ve never been to one of those I don’t know what if anything is different. Every day La Conquistadora is dressed up in a different dress and they are always absolutely beautiful. The gowns are made by parishioners in the various parishes, and my relatives have made a few in the past. The church is fairly small and only has seats lining the edges. These are unofficially reserved for the elderly although some young people sit in them. How they can survive the glares shot at them by everyone else is beyond me. These seats are basically inherited and if you go regularly enough you recognize people in your area. Even if you don’t have a seat you tend to have a spot you always stand in usually by your elderly relatives. For example for as long as I can remember we stand about ¾ of the way back on the right side as you enter the church. So do my cousins and usually the aunts (collective term for my grandma’s sisters) are seated in this area. So when we entered the church yesterday there was no question where we were headed. As I mentioned 2 of the aunts were already seated and my grandpa sat with them. Me and Maria took our places and within 10 minuets it was already getting crowded. Some of my cousins appeared followed by the last aunt and her husband who sat on the other side of the aisle. Mass started at 6 and was pretty normal. It wasn’t as crowded as usual, normally your packed in like sardines but that’s probably because its Sunday so most people were going to their home parishes. After church we filed out and talked to the relatives for awhile. I made arrangements with Aunt Celine to set up some malaise traps on her place later in the day then we left.
The morning was spent taking naps and eating breakfast round 2 which was eggs, bacon, and waffles at the Flying Tortilla. Then we went up to Aunt Celine’s house in Tesuque. After first finding my uncle who was replacing a doorknob in their other house and saying hi to my cousin Diego who turned 21 today it was time to get my traps up. Maria, Aunt Celine, and me went down the path to the Little Tesuque River which runs by their house. I set the 1st trap along a path with them watching me, then they went back to the house while I found a place for the 2nd trap. I decided on the small clearing where they use to dump junked cars. It looks like a great spot, small clearing in the woods within a stones throw of the river and right by a stream. I’ll have to post a picture soon since the set up is something else. Some of my lines are tied onto a tree growing up through the cars door and one is tied onto what looks like part of the engine. By the time I was done setting up the 2nd trap there were already some bugs in the 1st one. I went back to the house without getting attacked by the bear that was apparently seen down there the day before. Hopefully it hadn’t talked to any of the bears out in the Great Smokey Mountains which have learned that if the pulled the heads off of the malaise traps they got not only a meal of bugs but 500 mL of alcohol. I’m trapping into brine so I can fly home with them so no chance drunk bears running around Tesuque, just really thirsty ones. Much to Aunt Celines dismay we left without eating lunch and went back to Santa Fe. On the way down we stopped at the National Cemetery to visit my grandma’s grave. No mixed drinks for her this time though. Maybe next time I’m in town. Grandpa picked up Lottaburger, a New Mexico fast food specialty for lunch. We left the house for Procession at about 1500. We got one of the most highly sought after parking spots- at the bank right across from Rosario. On the way to the chapel we stopped at grandma Catanach’s grave (my great grandma) and then just hung around the chapel. Relatives didn’t start appearing until shortly before the procession started at 1600 and even then we only talked Aunt Celine. Me and Maria tracked down Fr. Mark, a friend of the family who was looking for his congregation which had apparently decided not to come. Typical Albuquerque people. The procession was uneventful for the most part. We walked with Christo Rey since they’re near the front of the line and grandpa wanted to get to the Cathedral near the front. We were between 2 groups of rosary sayers which were going on in 2 different languages which made things interesting. The singers were not near by so that was kinda sad. We were almost to the plaza when it started to hail on us. Not the golfball size hail we had one crazy night in college station, but still when your walking any hail sucks. Guess La Conquistadora really didn’t want to go home this year. We were met at the cathedral by my aunt patty and her toy poodle puppy. It was cute but too tiny for my tastes. We waited for Aunt Celine and then Aunt Patty dropped us off at our cars, went back to the house and cooked dinner, then went back to Albuquerque since it was past the dogs naptime. We watched the Yankee game and ate dinner. Both were quite good, i love it when the Yankees kill whoever there playing then it was time to go to bed so we could catch the last Novena Mass.
My last day in santa fe was spent going to the last Mass, eating a ton of pizzia (i think i ate 3/4 of a pizza), taking down my malaise traps (some cool looking leafhoppers inside), and watching fireworks with my cousins and other relatives. I left for van horn around 2230 nm time and got to van horn about 6. Good times for sure.

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