Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spoiled?: Maybe, but thankful to be.

We went to Taos Tuesday and came back Wednesday. Before we left we heard from the #3 son that he was having hand surgery. He'd gotten a thistle in his finger. It got infected and the poison was moving toward his palm. A person can lose his hand, his arm and his life if the infection isn't stopped. It's done and he's doing just fine.

Back to Taos. We and our friends, the Buck's, had read Blood and Thunder. It's the story of Kit Carson, the southwest expansion and New Mexico history. It's excellent reading, keeps your interest all the time. Kit lived in Taos when he wasn't riding back and forth across the continent on his mule. While we were in Taos we visited his home and the home of Governor Bent. Bent was killed by Indians who thought he was responsible for the deaths of some braves. They shot arrows into his face and scalped him alive.

We visited Taos Pueblo, too.
Taos Pueblo is set in the foothills of the largest peaks in NM. Among the smaller, one story adobes is a multi-storied adobe building that has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. On the half million acres of Pueblo land stands a burned out adobe church where the Indians went for shelter from Mexicans thinking they would be safe. The Mexicans burned it to the ground.

Yesterday we visited the Martinez hacienda outside of Taos. This was the largest home we'd seen. Severino Martin (later changed to Martinez) brought his family to the northern boundry of the Spanish empire in 1804 and opened a trading post on what was the final terminus for the Camino Real. The Royal Road went from Mexico City to New Mexico. He enlarged it several times. It was built around two courtyards. Many rooms could only be entered from the inside walkway around the courtyard.

Why am I writing about all this? My brother wrote a blog yesterday about everything he's thankful for, and seeing these places made me thankful.

Josefa Carson, Kit's third wife, bore seven children. He already had one daughter by his first wife. Josefa lived in Taos and most of that time it was without her husband. Kit traveled from one side of the continent to another and wasn't at home as much as he wished (from what we read.) I'm thankful I only had two children and had a husband around all that time. Just a note about Josefa and Kit: She died giving birth their last child in 1868 and a month later, to the day, Kit died.

Seeing the homes, the adobes that had to be re-adobed twice a year to keep them from falling down, made me thankful I live in a home that doesn't require that much upkeep.

None of these places had bathrooms, and boy, do I love having good bathrooms! Information about Martinez said the people never bathed and most people had lice. I know that in England the people didn't bathe either and wore long sleeves and high collars to hide the sores on their bodies from not washing.

Maybe we're spoiled, but I like it that way. I'm thankful for air conditioning and heat in my home, for showers and bathrooms and the ability to get clean. I'm thankful for doctors and surgeons who know what to do about raging infections. I'm thankful we don't have to wear clothes (most of the time) to hide sores on our bodies. I'm thankful we don't have lice and if we did, we could get rid of them. I'm thankful for microwaves and electric ovens and cook tops, for washing machines and dryers, for electric lights and telephones (even when it's someone asking for money), grocery stores and computers. I'm thankful we are able to travel comfortably in a vehicle on paved highways or fly across the ocean. I like living in the age of television and computers and electricity and busi-ness all around me. Because of all these conveniences I can talk to my family every day--even when they live hundreds of miles from me.

I wouldn't call this being spoiled. I call this a good life, and I thank God for every minute of it.

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