One of the major events for our family each year is attending the Suzuki music camp with the grandkids in Santa Fe. I have written about this on the blog before but there it’s always a new adventure every year. The music camp is on the campus of Santa Fe College. The temperature is ideal. The only hot part of the day is between 1:00PM and 4:00PM. It’s the rainy season in Santa Fe, so the dark clouds move in about 4 in the afternoon and the temperature drops whether it rains or not. By 6 you need a light jacket to be comfortable outside. The evening and mornings are just ideal. It’s cool and the humidity is very low. I walk around the campus every morning and even enjoy the exercise.
All the buildings on the campus, like the rest of Santa Fe, are adobe and the landscape is desert. We stay in the student apartments that are somewhere between camping and a Holiday Inn Express. It’s a far cry from a five star hotel, but I like it more than any of those places. The apartment units are adobe and are built in a rectangle around a courtyard. The courtyard is a great place for the grandkids to play and have a cookout. One of our neighbors each year is a magician who is part of the faculty of the music school. He comes down to the courtyard and we all just sit around telling stories and he entertains us with terrific magic tricks and tall tales of the many places he has been. He can cut a rope into with his fingers and then completely restore it to the original length and he can tear a newspaper into shreds and immediately unfold the pieces into a totally intact paper. He is a traveling magician who performs at school assemblies all over the Southwest. He also plays the mandolin and we may go to bed while hearing him strumming on one of the songs he will play at the faculty concert. His kids play with our grandkids and one of his preschool children is well on his way to being a magician in the future.
Shakespeare said that all the worlds a stage. Our apartment is indeed a stage where we live all the experiences of the grandkids from the nervousness and high anxiety before a solo recital to the elation and pride we all feel after they have performed. There is a constant parade through our apartment to appear on our stage and relate the experiences of the day.
The week is filled with mishaps. The apartments always present interesting and challenging problems. The bathroom door locked and wouldn’t open so we had to take the lock apart to gain entrance. The garbage disposal stopped up and the air conditioning was broken in one of the units. Maintenance people are as scarce as an honest politician so we have to fix most things ourselves. The schedule for one of the grandkids was incorrect and it was a crisis to get her into the right slot for her level. Another grandkid had a piano accompanist who was like someone from another planet and in rehearsal butchered his part for her difficult piece. This problem was finally solved and her solo was performed like a seasoned professional. Meanwhile our coronaries were in major spasm until the final note was played.
With all the trials and tribulations the Santa Fe week is a major highlight of the year. The music instruction for the kids is the best to be found and it’s all in the splendor of Santa Fe. With all the turmoil I get to relax a lot and consume several books. It’s a great learning experience for everyone and almost as much fun as just staying on the porch. I’ve seen many prairie dogs but not one deer, which by itself makes the trip worthwhile.