© Another Day in the Country
First of all, Happy Birthday to all the little towns that have been celebrating their 125th. Ramona had theirs on the Fourth of July. Tampa celebrated their 125th just this last weekend.
My sister and I joined in the fun, dressing up in our “old-fashioned” costumes. Jess thought up this one, “Still hoofin’ it after all these years,” as she trotted her way down Ramona’s parade route this summer. It worked for Tampa, too, so I doubled the fun.
I think I’ve already told you that a couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 75th birthday. It was a grand day! Saturday, as I was trotting down Tampa’s main drag, I had to laugh. Who would have thought that at 75 I’d be riding a stick horse in a parade? Pretty good way to celebrate! Even the rain, especially the rain, was something to celebrate.
We’d just gotten back from a long-awaited trip to Santa Fe on Friday night. Our friend Kay has been trying to get us to do this for years and finally we just up and went.
What a great time we had drinking in the atmosphere. My creative cup was pretty empty and I came home with it full and overflowing.
On its own, Santa Fe is a beautiful town. Someone, a long time ago, made it a city policy to keep the pueblo, adobe style homes. What wonderful foresight! Thanks to their wise eyes looking into the future, everything fits in Santa Fe. You don’t go down the street and see subdivisions, houses from the 20s (now being remodeled) or houses from the 40s (looking like slums) or high rises. It all looks like it has always been there, shades of brown.
Maybe it’s because it is a very old town — the oldest in the U.S. they tell me. Maybe it is because of the lovely high desert scenery with layers of mountains every which way you look; but this is a town filled with creativity. We arrived on the weekend of Indian Market ,which features hundreds and hundreds of Indian crafts. A wonder to behold! How many pieces of pottery can people have in their collection? Evidently lots because some of the artists were sold out the minute the fair opened. How many different kinds of designs can you work with silver and turquoise? Hundreds! And, each one is just a little different style. There was so much beauty in the air that I’m sure my eyes were dilated. And, smiles, smiles, smiles, everywhere.
Everywhere you look in Santa Fe, the arts are celebrated; from shop after shop, gallery after gallery, to their outdoor Opera. I am still amazed and enchanted by that town. It is definitely my kind of place. I fit there in the midst of their blaze of color. In their clean air, I could breathe again. What a wonderful way to celebrate.
The first night I was there I was reading all kinds of literature provided in the lovely condo where we stayed. “Look at this!” I called to Jess, “There’s a center for holistic medicine which offers yoga workshops and,” all this abundance took my breath away, readily available in one place — and it’s not a big town by the measurement of cities in this country — about 10,000 more people than Salina. All this art, culture, amazing food — like an oasis in the desert.
I drank it all in. We sampled a little bit of everything hot and spicy. We walked from gallery to gallery through woven rugs, sculptures, fantastic paintings, modern art, museums of all kinds (with the Indian Museum being my absolute favorite) until the shops closed and we just looked in the windows — marveling at the wonder of it all. It’s not like I don’t see art in Marion County, I do. It was the enormity of the display, the celebration of the creative process in Santa Fe. And what a way to celebrate.
Here, it seems we’re surviving and snarking at one another in the process. Our artists can be so easily forgotten, ignored, unappreciated. In Santa Fe, I was reminded that the creative spirit is our life blood. Without it we are dull, disgusting, down-in-the-mouth, and disgruntled. We need to be celebrating every creative whim, daring to dream and gathering together as a community to add our enthusiasm to all things beautiful. I know for sure that they are doing just that at Butler of Marion — adding all kinds of interesting classes for you to explore at odd hours, for the fun of it! Check it out!
It’s another day in the country, our country, and fresh home from Santa Fe and thousands of new and interesting flavors on our tongue, we were hungry for Saturday dinner. “Let’s go over to Durham and have some of Leonard’s mashed potatoes,” we said with one accord. So we did! We asked him if we could tie up our stick horses at the post outside. He said, “Sure, why not?” What a way to celebrate!