Thursday, December 11, 2008

You know it's winter when...

How on earth do you know when it's winter in Tucson?!! That's a tricky question, really. While some people are dressing in sweaters and jackets (the ones who have lived here a long time), others (like me) are still wearing shorts and sandals on most days! The daytime temperatures are still creeping into the 70's during the day light hours, and tickling the 30's after dark. The Christmas decorations are going up around town, but there are still flowers (Oleander, Bougainvillea, Pansies, Petunias, etc.) blooming. How's a person to know??? This picture illustrates a sure sign of "winter is here, Christmas is approaching soon!

This is a statue of Padre Eusebio Kino, a very famous Catholic Priest who is credited with exploring the area of northern Mexico and Arizona. He was the first to discover that Baja California was not an island, and brought Christianity to the Native American tribes in the desert southwest. You can read his biographical information by clicking here. Padre Kino started (built by Native Americans) the San Xavier Mission, a very ornate and beautiful church that is still standing, still celebrating Mass, and still very much a vital part of the desert community in which it serves. Dean and I visited the San Xavier Mission in 2007. I was struck by the ornate beauty of the architecture and am hoping for another visit soon, to see the decorations for the holiday season! Padre Kino is also memorialized in Tucson with one of the major roadways being named Kino Parkway, and the statue (from the picture) being located at the entrance to Kino Parkway. And so, as we see in the first picture, Christmas can't be far off when we see that Padre Kino's trusty steed is wearing Santa hats on his ears!

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