Saturday, August 25, 2012

Land Travel West - Phase Three

We were blessed during our stay in central California, because it was not as hot as it could have been.  Indeed, it was still warm, but the evenings and mornings were surprisingly cool, keeping sleep within reach.  We took comfort in knowing that Jacksonville was much hotter and more humid.  (My condolences to our buds in Jacksonville.)

We stayed at Myron’s mom’s house.  She had a vision of remodeling up one of the rooms in the house and our visit gave her the reason and the timeline to do it.  Friends and family members lent a hand removing carpet, installing the wood floor and putting on the new paint.  The room was very impressive upon our arrival.

Myron spent time helping his mother with projects around the house and farm.  We would work until it was pretty warm and then we would come in the house for a late lunch, ice cream and a movie.   I got used to the routine and it made me sad to leave it. 

One of Myron’s projects was to put a security screen on the front door.  Once installed, ‘Hunter’ the dog, a greyhound/Russian wolfhound mix (ie very tall and long) could no longer let himself in or out so he came into our room to request door service.  In a sleep stupor I made a hasty agreement with Myron that if he let Hunter out, I would let Hunter back in when he was done with his one or two hour romp.  Within a few days it became apparent I got the worse end of the arrangement.  If one of the farmers with adjoining acreage was irrigating, Hunter would invariably find these muddy spots.  At 5 or 6 am, when Hunter wanted back in, clad in PJs, I would take a bowl of water and a rag to the front porch and clean Hunter up before letting him in the house.  Once in the house, Hunter wanted to play.  In this mode, Hunter can be an unmanageable amount of leg, tail and nose.  I would whisper commands in a futile attempt to keep him quiet and not wake everyone in the house.   I am glad none of this was digitally captured!

Outside this routine, we also managed a day trip to the mountains to retrieve the tent trailer, squeezed in some family visits and also did another little reunion at ‘Ed’s Drive In’ in Craig and Ciana’s backyard.

I regret that I was not more active with the camera – but I can share this snapshot of a kitty that hit the motherload when she found her way into the dog food can:

Before we knew it, it was time for our last phase of the trip.  More on that soon.

Love to all,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Land Travel West - Phase Two

Not only was it difficult to leave family in New Mexico, but there was some trepidation about leaving the cool weather.  Regardless, we strengthened our resolve and boarded SWA for a visit with so many loved ones in Phoenix, Arizona…in July.  Thankfully, God gave man the intelligence to make air conditioners.  We were pleasantly surprised that temperatures stayed below 110 degrees during our visit.

 Jen and Jody were kind enough to let us stay at their home, and their teenage daughter, Kylie, gave up her room and moved in with her 9 year old sister, Ashlynn.  Their dog, Dax, and their cats, Lyric and Melody, put up with us as well.  What a sweet and generous family, especially since we would sometimes not get home from visiting with other families until 11 pm.  They called us party animals.  Truth is, we were just trying to jam in as much family time as possible.
We got to see Irene, Julie, almost all the Mailo’s and relatives, the Benners, John and his momma, the Ojamerayes and relatives, Tony and Mary and the boys.  Plus we squeezed in several doctor visits.  Dr. Sam was pleased with our test results, except a few aspects, which we concluded were a direct result of our New Mexico overdose adventure on chili rellenos.

We were all over that valley, from Cave Creek to east Scottsdale to Apache Junction to the west side.  We got to attend church where Jody leads the music worship.  Kylie and Ashlynn also introduced us to Kinect games by X-Box.  What a blast!  I think Ashlynn was a little shaken when ‘grandma’ (me) jumped in to do cheering routines next to her.  I still claim there will be no permanent psychological damage.

The only downside to the visit was a severe lack of photographical evidence.  Grant’s hair did not even fit in the picture.  He plans to cut it when he nears the time of his interviews and college graduation.  I hope I have convinced him to donate those impressive locks, it seems long enough and would out produce at least eight of us normal women!
Jen, Jody and Ashlynn were great sports and got up at 4:30 am to see us off to the airport, Kylie was at an all night youth lockout.  It was hard to believe it was already time to head for central California.
Love to all,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Land Travel West - Phase One

Visiting family in New Mexico was Phase One of our travels out west.  It is a rare occasion that my sisters and I are all in the same place.  My nephews were there too, what a blessing.  I relish the memories of our giggle episodes.  Big meals were had, lots of apricot pies were made and pounds were gained.   

We were glad to be able to help out dad with a few items around the property, including repairing the culvert from the flash flood damage.

The cool mountain weather was an incredible relief.  The temperature on several evenings made it essential to wear long pants and a sweat shirt.  We slept under three blankets to wake up to 53 degree mornings, a far cry from Jacksonville weather!  On our walks we occasionally would see deer, mostly bucks, including a six point.  At night, the deer would come up to the house to eat apricots and the elk would raid the rain cistern off the back porch.

One of our goals in New Mexico, in addition to visiting family and helping out dad, was to eat as many chili rellenos as possible, good chili rellenos that is.  Mission accomplished!  Another goal was to climb Nogal Peak.  Unfortunately, the trail head was closed due to the Little Bear Fire and it never did re-open during our stay.   God made up for it with sunsets!

And then suddenly, our time in New Mexico was over and it was time to catch our flight to Phoenix.  More on that soon.
Love to all,