Friday, January 16, 2015

We Are On A Mission or Two or Three or Four


Today is my father's 89th birthday. Happy Birthday Dad! It is quite the feat to get this far in life. Congratulations.

Spent a good deal of time in the morning hanging out in the dog run at the RV park. Miko was sort of like a therapy dog. There were several dogs in there who were very timid and afraid and Miko helped them get a little more control over their emotions. There was one 4 month old German Shepard puppy who was shaking and trembling anytime a dog or person even came close. Miko just sort of played near her but ignored her. The GSD eventually got a little more comfortable. Miko then went and sat down within a couple of feet of her which set her off again. Miko just sat there until eventually the puppy stopped shaking and actually started looking around instead of focusing on Big Bad Miko.

Back at the RV, I put NPR on the radio (because I want Miko to be even more brilliant) and left for San Antonio. It is about a half hour drive to get into town. San Antonio has a crazy freeway system. It is multi layer – you are driving along and there is another freeway 18 feet over your head for miles.

Today was the day to go to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park which contains four missions. These missions were all built in the 1700s and while they were all laid out in a similar fashion, each was different in their own way. Each mission had a church (which is still a working Catholic church) on the edge of a large courtyard. The walls of the courtyard contained living quarters for the Coahuiltecan Indians which the Friars gathered under their protection. They fed them and taught them Christianity and also wiped out 70% of them by exposing them to disease. There were granaries, schools and workshops all contained within the walls. Mission San Jose was the biggest mission and the one that had been restored the most. Mission Espada was the smallest. Near Mission Espada was the Espada Aqueduct. This is the only Aqueduct that was built in the Americas. I've always wondered about the Roman Aqueducts – how they worked, what they did. By looking at the Espada Aqueduct, I could see how they moved water over valleys. Mission Concepcion had a lot of wall frescos that had been uncovered.

Mission San Juan Altar:

 
Mission San Juan altar:
 
Notice how I seem to tilt each picture to the right. Now in the next picture, I got it situated correctly, but Jesus himself was tilted. Can't win for trying.
Mission Espada altar:


Mission Concepcion altar:


Mission Concepcion Exterior:


Mission Concepcion was the most beautiful mission while Mission San Jose was the most interesting It was probably more interesting because it was more completely restored and it had a lot more info boards talking about what I was seeing.

Got home and it was 70 degrees and sunny. I quickly got my lawn chair and sunglasses out and sat down to bask in the sun. Just at that moment, my two ex-pat friends from Minnesota showed up. Lou and Davey. They had gotten into the park around noon, had a nap and then wandered over. It was so nice to see them – they are warm, fuzzy friends. They are in San Antonio visiting friends and family. I think we are all going to caravan down to Big Bend together and just hang out. Lou and Davey are always a good time and even if they weren't – they always have good snacks and good wine.

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