Santa Fe #8 Discovers, Street names, Dog dreams   1 comment

As I crossed Avenida Cristobal Colon wondering if this name meant Christopher Columbus and if not what Mr. Colon did to have his name up high and almost in lights – red, yellow and green (It does mean C. Columbus). I remembered my desire to rename the streets in the small town where I raised my children. Convenience and practical names make lanes, roads, and avenues lack interest. The streets were in alphabetical order one direction and numbered the other. The town I just moved from chose the practical over the appealing, too.  Now I live on Agua Fria where more cold water would be a blessing, but I like the name. I discovered that Agua Fria Street used to be called Calle Real (Royal Street) because it was actually the end of Camino Real (Royal Road) that began in Mexico City. I drive towards downtown on the old Camino Real, today’s Agua Fria, and the street turns in front of the Santuario de Guadalupe. This old road once forded the Santa Fe River and then became the Calle Real, which led to the Santa Fe Plaza.

Avenida, Camina and Calle are found here in Santa Fe. With my google online translator, which I used once for a poem, and which thoroughly tickled a poet friend that I would even try this and who translates poems from English to Lithuanian, (my poem turned out to be accurate for the most part per a Spanish-speaking person) I will translate a few street names that I enjoy. Please excuse any incorrect translations here and blame google translator.


Camina means


1. wayfarer










12.tread down






18.home in on

19.wend one’s way

20.tumble over


You can walk down A street or Z Street in some cities or Camina Del Rey (king walk) here in Santa Fe, and you may be such a chirruper that people turn their heads to stare or you may tread and toil your way home on B Street or Cerro(hill) Gordo. Gordo means











but when you are sweating up the fat hill of Cerro Gordo you might  chuckle at the person who named the street correctly, or you may be enticed to write a story about the fat man you met on Cerro Gordo with the most alluring brown eyes who enticed you into his dusty green carro where you chirruped all the way to Tijuana until the vision of Jesus in a walnut-banana pancake caused you to rethink your life, but back in Santa Fe regardless of the street name, or anywhere else, I frequently get turned around like anytime I walk into a new building, hotel, restaurant etc, so you can imagine the extra gas I’ve used in my new locale. It’s not even a big city but that hardly matters to my backwards route-taking brain. I wonder what people who don’t get lost do with all that extra time.  I stumble on to interesting places even if I can’t find them again, or, at least, not easily find them again. I remember Rosanne Barr doing a stand-up routine about women having homing devices in their uterus.  I think she’s right. I can find a man’s shirt in a closet that he’s been through three times and doesn’t find. When a child asked me where his Matchbox Scooby-Doo van was, I told him in the bottom right side of the toy box under the rubber Tarzan  and his great-aunt said, “How did you possibly know that?” My directional instinct isn’t missing, it just spins in odd directions.

When my dog Brando disappeared the day we arrived while we were unloading the truck and I frantically looked for him out on the street, several people told me, “Don’t worry, he’ll come back. Dogs know their way home. Maybe I just need a keen sense of smell to get where I’m going.

I’ve been wondering if my dogs dream about the yard they left in Nebraska. Anyone who has lived with a dog knows they dream. Their feet move as if chasing something, they twitch, whine, and make other strange noises as they sleep, so why not a dream about running along the wooden fence in that big back yard, the fence with gaps in spots and small holes where they stop abruptly and peer through at the two dogs next door who join them in their daily race along the fence. Or do they dream of that tree that had grown just enough in the past eight years to shade a big dog who liked to lie on the grass in a cool spot, or the smaller dog who found just the right place along the opposite side of the yard against the fence in the afternoon?

This morning I took the dogs out to pee and I could tell Brando needed to do more than that, so I put them in the house to get the leashes out of the car, because he was determined to find a spot that was not on our paved parking area (he likes tall weeds, grasses or flowers).  I shut the door before going to the car and locked myself out.  I tried crawling through the window, but there was a piece of foam board that didn’t allow me to open it wide enough, so that’s a good thing for anyone trying to enter Unit J (I’ve solved my dilemma about what to call this place I now live) and if the dogs treat an intruder as they did me that means they looked at me trying to get the window open and cocked their heads in wonder. They certainly are cute. So I had to yell for sleepy Ed to let me in at 6:15 this morning, but all turned out well, Brando found the perfect weeds in the vacant lot next door. And the neighbor didn’t see me trying to crawl over our Fred Sanford junk outside and into the window in my new Goodwill PJs.

We installed a used swamp cooler yesterday. One of those easy jobs that take all day. The bearing was no good and Ed needed a special tool to get it loose and was directed to a man who directed him to another man and said “Watch out he’s grouchy, and tell him that I sent you.” That opens the doors to all kinds of imaginings. No problems there but several other things like the wrong this-piece- of-plumbing and the window didn’t open wide enough and etc. but we got it done and spent one of the few cool nights sleeping since we arrived on May 25th. The rest of the summer will be cooler in Unit J.

After the swamp cooler was running, we relaxed to some blues music for an hour at El Meson (the inn), which was beyond a nice hour. It felt like a necessary hour. My Bose purchased a few months is not working and my car radio/cd player quit. Bose is sending me a new one. I had to find Staples today to send it UPS and the Post Office for another package and I DID IT!  After a few wrong turns and that was just in the mall area. One mall turns into another. How many malls does it take to make a city happy? I’m hoping it’s the fuse on my car stereo so I’ll be listening to Roy Orbison and Lucinda Williams again soon.

There are great Native American street names here also like Cochiti, Tesuque, Nambe, Hopi, Anasazi etc.

I also discovered that the Governor from 1878 to 1881 Lew Wallace wrote “Ben Hur” and has two streets, General Wallace Drive and Ben Hur Drive.


Posted June 17, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

One response to “Santa Fe #8 Discovers, Street names, Dog dreams

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  1. Mary, a great post, as usual. It brought back so many memories of my childhood. I was raised in Sunnyvale, CA (the heart of silicon valley). The main highway through the town was named the El Camino Real, which was interpreted to mean the kings hiway. It’s the main road from San Diego to San Fransico. It’s still there and I will be traveling on it tomorrow while visiting my dad for Father’s Day.


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