Sunday, January 27, 2013

MORE TENTS ARE UP AND U HAULS ARE IN

     As I drove along the highway today I spotted more tents up, especially the huge, white one at 22nd Street and I-10. Several U Hauls were parked in front. I couldn't see what they were unloading, but the 22nd Street tent usually has fossils and many gems. Mysterious goods. 
     A friend who works security for the show has been busy already keeping careful watch on several people who have started setting up at the Kino Sports Center where the ballgames are played. This is a new name change now from T.E.P. (Tucson Electric Park). Last year there were several new food vendor's with a better selection of eating healthier. I hope they keep some of them. It is difficult to find healthy, hot food at a reasonable price. I hope the vendor with the organic apples comes back.        
     There is also a small RV park adjacent to the Kino Sports Center whereby people drive their RV's into a designated spot, put out a canopy, and sell in the shade. Mostly retired elderly from around the country with some fascinating stories of how they collected whatever rock or gem they have for sale. They go to swap meets all over and find just the right color or brilliance in the gems they display.
      This was where I spent most of my gem show time the last two years and will again this year. I have been fortunate to know someone with a great interest in meteorites so I will again be helping set up and run the booth. The last two years we had problems with the tents blowing away during heavy wind and rain storms. It was very mean out there a number of times even for the usual calm weather Tucson is famous for. I am excited about seeing what our new tent will look like and how fast we can open and close the sides when windy.
      Last week was spent sorting and labeling, getting paperwork ready, and packing boxes to bring over for this weekend's opening. Anxious to see thousands of people descend on Tucson in a few days.
     

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GEM SHOW COMING TO TUCSON

      I got so excited as I drove the Expressway this week because some tents have gone up to signal the start of the annual gem show here in Tucson.
     Hundreds of merchants prepare for weeks to set up attractive displays for the thousands of customers who descend on our happy city in the middle of nowhere. It is very unusual that so many could gravitate here, rather than anywhere else.
      First the magazines start to arrive in the mail. Colorful photos of geodes, necklaces, and precious stones adorn the pages. All lure the wanting buyers to reserved rooms in busy hotels. Maps and floor plans are laid out in each brochure.
      Next we see the U Hauls driving into town. We know they carry hidden goods: Persian rugs, Moroccan fossils, or African tribal masks. Those huge trucks have hidden destinations for just a little while. Soon we will see them unload all their carefully wrapped insides.
      Later we spot the sellers toting their suitcases around the hotel lobbies and walkways. More hidden goodies for sale. A quick jot into a room, a quick business transition, a quick sale of gems leads to a duo-happy exchange.
      During the next few weeks, I'll take a break from my Small White Hearts blog to share the gem show and the exciting events it brings to our town. 
 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

WE THREE KINGS' TRADITIONS


      Three Wise Men or Kings from the East, were a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition.
      This year my good friends Jesus and Janice Hernandez gave me a cake called a Rosc√≥n de Reyes. It is a ring-shaped, bought cake that contained four small figurines of the Baby Jesus. The one who gets the figurine holds a party next year. I found out the tradition is popular in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico.
        Traditions identify a variety of different names for the Magi. In the Western Christian church they have been commonly known as: Melchior, a Persian scholar or king; Gaspar, an Indian scholar or king; and Balthazar, an Arabian scholar or king
      The Gospel of Matthew is the only one to mention the Magi, stating that they came "from the east" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews." Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three. What amazes me is they prostrated themselves in front of a Child Jesus. That means in all their finery, they got down on the floor, on foreheads, and worshipped. They were honored to do this as they knew who He was.
     A Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, according to tradition, contains the bones of the Three Wise Men. Reputedly they were first discovered by Saint Helena on her famous pilgrimage to Palestine and the Holy Lands. She took the remains to the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; they were later moved to Milan (some sources say by the city's bishop, Eustorgius I before being sent to their current resting place by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I in AD 1164. The Milanese celebrate their part in the tradition by holding a medieval costume parade every 6 January. (Thanks to Wikipedia)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A CHALLENGING RESOLUTION

       Since it is 2013, here's a poem for the New Year. Jesus says, "My Children, how dearly I love you. I embrace you in My Arms – the outstretched arms that reached out to you from the Cross. I embrace you with My Love: the love that frees confused souls.
       "I embrace you with My Power: the power that enables you to do My Will. Make this a new year in Me, a new year in Christ. A new year in reaching out to others, and a new year in shining forth the freedom others may experience.
        "Exemplify Me. Focus your lives around me. Speak My Word. I will embrace you in those all-encompassing arms for I cherish you.  I am gladdened by your time alone with Me."
         I challenge you, my friends, to find that peaceful, quiet time to recognize what your future holds if you simply look for Him in all you do. My daughters and I are making resolutions to leave all of the challenges of last year behind us and to look with God's eyes to the brightness of the future. We vow to make good decisions and take responsibility for our actions. You can, too.