Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Mystery Tour, 03/14/2011

Saints and Churches On Parade
Beautiful church on the edge of town, Cuchillo, NM
Last December, I got involved with a blog exercise that had participants doing twelve days of Saintly stories and photographs which culminated with the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th. This project was the brainstorm of my good friend Rebecca of the recuerda mi corazon blog.

Before I jumped into that project, I had never realized how many photographs I had taken of religious statues, churches and objects. On my last trip down to New Mexico and through Arizona to California, I took some photos as well.
When I got home and transferred all my stuff to iPhoto on my Mac, I found more Saint Shots and Chuches I had seen and photographed from our travels. I’d like to share them with you, mostly from a standpoint of art, but take whatever you might find interesting, if anything, and do with it what you need to.
This ramshackle dwelling sits immediately to the left of the beautiful church above in Cuchillo, NM

Personally, I don’t know what I find so interesting and why I am drawn to them, but I am. And when I see a photo op, I stop and snap away. I did no editing on any of these. All are right out of the camera, my Nikon Coolpix S8000.
I was in El Paso and visited a friend that I have shared blog adventures with for years. Her name is Border Explorer and she and her husband do good works for so many people in the border villages near El Paso, TX in Winter and back home in Iowa in Summer. We attended a Peace Vigil, held every Friday at Noon in downtown El Paso, TX.
Peace Vigil in downtown El Paso, TX
Border Explorer and Mrs. Spadoman 3rd & 4th from the left
It was quite an honor to meet old friends I’ve never met before. Above is a photo from the Peace Vigil of Mrs. Spadoman with Border Explorer and others gathering for peace. On the walk from our parking place to the Peace Vigil site, I spotted this in town church and snapped a couple of shots.
Immaculate Conception Church, El Paso, TX
I find it a shame that a church has to put wrought iron gates on it's windows

Statue of Our Lady above the doorway of the Rectory
Immaculate Conception Church, El Paso, TX

I’d spend some of my time wandering the desert areas near and around Truth Or Consequences. North of town is a series of roads that travel to some small old, mining towns. Cuchillo, not far from T or C, was somewhat run down overall, but the church stood clean and white, pure, along the road near the South end of town as you can see in the first two photographs of this post..
Then the shot of Jesus on the Crucifix affixed to the power pole in the middle of town. Probably a reminder of someone who had died there in some sort of accident.
Shrine posted high up on a telephone pole, T or C, NM
While traveling towards Arizona, we stopped in Silver City, NM. On our way was Santa Rita, a small suburb, if you will, where a huge open pit copper mine sits. On a rural highway crossroads was this Grotto and Veterans Memorial that used Our Lady of Santa Rita, adorned with red roses, as their guiding light.
Santa Rita Veterans Memorial, Santa Rita, NM
Santa Rita amidst bright red roses
In Arizona, we traveled Southwest from Prescott, where we had met other blog friends, Rebecca of recuerda mi corazon and Magical Mystery Teacher of the blog by the same name, and used a two lane highway through the small town of Yarnell. There was a sign for a Saint Joseph Shrine. That’s my namesake, I couldn’t avoid taking a look. There were a few statues there. The white alabaster St. Joseph, holding the Christ Child, and the Last Supper Table with only one guest. Maybe Mrs. Spadoman was just early showing up for dinner that day.
Saint Joseph at Shrine in Yarnell, AZ
Mrs. Spadoman had his ear when she arrived early for supper
So you see, for some reason I seem to like these images. To me, they make good photography subjects. I do snap photos of other things like Shadow Shots for a meme I’m involved in and the occasional train. I like trains, but one special blogger friend and her mate really like 'em. They make me think I really should stop and take some pictures.

So, I’ll leave you with this short one minute YouTube of a long straight flat stretch of US Highway 60 through the plains, East of Amarillo, TX.
This was on our way home. We stayed on the two lane and this particular train and I switched places, one ahead of the other, for a couple of hours. I’d go through a small town and come out behind the train. Then, I’d catch it and pass, only to fall behind again at the next town.
What I marveled at was the fact that this monster had eight locomotives pulling strong. It was traveling at 70 miles per hour. Try to listen past the wind noise for the crossing warning whistle near the end of the short video.

I was away from home for over six weeks. I have more photos to share and stories to tell, including some restaurant and coffee shop reviews. Stay Tuned.
Peace to all, and prayers sent to those suffering in Japan and surrounding areas from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. Our hearts go out to those struggling with grief and loss.


Jeannie said...

Our churches and such here seem to be less colourful. There are some truly beautiful churches - the older ones built when labour didn't cost so much I suppose - and they tend to be Presbyterian. When we had a large influx of Portuguese, we started seeing festivals for saints and such. It is fascinating.

My father loved trains too. The trains run through town at the same time as they did when I was a kid - blowing at the same places - always hits me with nostalgia.

Mel said...

Train!!!!!! LONG train--obviously carrying one heck of a load to require all those engines. Very cool.

I could spend my entire time in that area train watching and church hopping.......inbetween coffee breaks, of course.


Until I get there--which will hopefully be SOON.....I'll enjoy your shares immensely. HUGELY.
And I'll drool....LOL

rebecca said...

good morning spadoman.
this is a lovely post and your photographs beautiful. wished i ad known you were driving through i would have asked to to venture inside that very church and see that i made the large round stained glass window for their church. the priest asked for a representation of the holy spirit. when i was driving home towards a flaming sunset and thumb butte i "saw" the window. it came to me as a dove so omnipresent that its very make up was in the details of the clouds. i started designing the window that very moment and it resides in the chapel you visited.
thank you for the honor of your visit. you and barbara are true friends.

Unknown said...

have fun touring..

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Dear Spadoman, I have to pass through Yarnell frequently in my comings and goings. I'll be looking for that little shrine the next time I'm "in town." Where, exactly, is it?

Thank you for these images. There is more to them than meets the eye. (Isn't that what spirituality is all about?)

rebecca said...

i love being your good friend.

Annie Jeffries said...

If you look through enough of my blog, you will see a dominant theme emerging of holy images and churches. I understand your attraction to these holy places. I feel God is always very near, especially in places such as the cross on the power pole. Homemade shrines offer rest and quiet for a moment, especially for those who might not otherwise take the time to rest and be still.

Spadoman said...

Thanks for your visits here and all the comments.

Jeannie... You make a very good point about the labor costs associated with building churches, or any kind of new construction for that matter. I haven't noticed the Presbyterian churches. All that I have photgraphed have been Catholic, but not on purpose.
Glad to hear your Father loved trains. I don't mind staying in a motel that is right near the tracks myself.


Mel... Another train lover. Hope you get a road trip soon and are feeling better too!


Rebecca... I so wish I knew your artwork was there. The chapel wasn't open, (neither were the restrooms and Mrs. Spadoman had to go!), so I wouldn't have been able to get in, but I'll be back that way again someday and we'll look around the sight more.


Jingle Poetry... Thanks for stopping by and for the well wishes.


MMT... Sent you an e-mail with directions. Hope you're enjoying Spring Break. Spirits are handy if you ask them to be.


Annie... Thanks for stopping. I also see the Creator in works of nature and in good deeds, among other things. I have a story I'd like to tell you someday, but I couldn't find an e-mail. I have checked out your blogs.


Thanks again everyone.

Noelle Clearwater said...

Lovely Saint shots my friend. Moments of grace and meditation on your travels. Peace vigils and stands for justice on the journey. All of these are significant parts of our lives aren't they?

Spadoman said...

Thanks for stopping by Noelle. I appreciate the visit. Having friends is also a significant part of my life.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

I dig Jesus on the power pole. And the shot of the Mrs., chatting with The Man, made me laugh. I'd have to put a can of beer in front of him.



Spadoman said...

Thanks for stopping SB. l think they had some wine.


Mel said...

<-- just little ol' me checkin' up on little ol' you......


(((((((( Spadoman )))))))))

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I'm waiting (rather impatiently, I suppose) for the promised stories!

Anonymous said...

Great photos and an interesting post. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie