04.06.09

Vacation in Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Vacations at 7:28 pm by Grandma O

     It is past time to get busy about my blogging. I haven’t been able to get into a consistent habit on doing it yet. I would like to make entries twice a week or more. Of course this time I have the excuse of being gone for two weeks. Oh how hard it will be to go back to work tomorrow! I could get to like this retirement type stuff.
     First of all, we traveled on Tuesday, March 24th by Alaska Airlines with confirmed seating so we didn’t have to worry about the standby stuff with Delta. Then the Redoubt Volcano, which had been threatening to blow for weeks, decided to go just a day and a half before we were leaving. We had to wait an extra 4 hours in Anchorage before our plane left. We had been going to have a 5 hour layover in Seattle originally so we had no problem getting on the leg to Phoenix. The volcano continued blowing on and off the whole time we were gone so we had the opportunity to be nervous on whether we would be kept from flying home into Anchorage. But we had no significant delays on that end.
     Molly got laid off of her job at Pegasus because of the volcano so it has been real bummer for her. I guess the cargo planes from China couldn’t come in from the west. She will probably be called back in again but she isn’t sure if that’s what she wants. There are lots of possibilities for her and her bid for hours for Delta comes up on the 15th of April. Benny made it back safely from his month in Hawaii helping with the new Target store in Honolulu. He came closer to being delayed by the volcano than we did.
     The first couple of days in Arizona, we just sat around being bums and not doing very much. We stayed at my younger sister Kayleen’s house and I went shopping a little with her and we had dinner at her oldest son, Brett & wife Lisa’s house. But the problem with doing nothing is there is nothing to write about it! I think I started to get bored for the first time in years which is exactly what I wanted. There were no time pressures of any kind! It was so great. I even read a couple of books. We visited briefly with my older sister, Loreece, but she was getting ready to leave for California to get a tooth worked on by her oldest son the Dentist. On Friday night, we went to a barbeque restaurant with Dan’s sister, Dianna and her husband Stuart, their married daughters and husbands, Elizabeth & Jeremy and Amy and Ryan, Dan’s brother, Joe and wife Mickey and their son, Brian and wife Janna. We didn’t get much chance to talk to Brian which disappointed him—we were at a really huge table and they were at the other end—but we sat across from Joe and Mickey. Dan was really happy to visit with Joe since he is 75 years old and having some health issues.
     On Saturday, March 28th, we went over to Buckeye on the other side of Phoenix and visited Dan’s sister Dixie. While we were there, we went over to her ex-husband Johnny’s house. The kids were having a 70th birthday party for him and we wanted to see the kids and grandkids. The current wife was highly uncomfortable about it but we just acted normal and friendly and she finally warmed up a little. We only stayed for a little while before going back to Dixie’s and taking her out for dinner. Jimmy, the youngest son, had volunteered to take us over Phoenix at night in his small plane but we declined. It was already pretty late before we made it back to Gilbert that night.
     When we returned, Mark had taken Kayleen back to the hospital where she stayed until the day before we returned home, the following Thursday. It was sort of strange to stay there when she wasn’t home but we took some out of town trips the next week so we weren’t there much anyway. Their church was at 8:00 and we didn’t make it out early enough, but I went alone to the combined R.S. and Priesthood, since Brett was teaching it. Kayleen had a flare-up of the MRSA which she had about a month before and spent a week in the hospital. It has been a real different experience to have JoBeth, my boss up here in Alaska have that and then my sister thousands of miles away have it too.
     On Sunday afternoon, March 29th, we spent several hours at the Buckhorn Mineral Wells visiting Aunt Alice, who is 102 years old. She is pretty spry and very lucid considering her age. At one point she wanted me to put our names on an envelope like she wanted to have it to mail us something. We had Dianna with us and we all laughed later when I said I had my hopes up that the rich aunt was thinking of sending us a check. Aunt Alice only had two children, a son who never married and a daughter who is dead who only had one son. He married a woman ten years older than him with children and never had any of his own. So she sits on some multi-million dollar property with only two direct descendents. However, I couldn’t begin to add up how many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews she has, so I’m sure we wouldn’t get much even if she was generous in her will. She recently had some sort of great passion to have a named list of all the great nieces and nephews who went on missions and even wanted me to list our children and underline which ones had been missionaries. It’s kind of hard to figure her out but she is a very interesting woman who has led a very interesting life. I really am joking about her leaving us anything in her will. I just think it’s always funny when people talk about having a “rich uncle” or “rich aunt” and Dan really has one!
     On Monday, March 30th, we drove down to Florence and saw the old Courthouse, built in 1890 or 91 which is over 20 years before Arizona became a state. This is where Dan’s parents “eloped” and got married. So I took a picture of it with Dan standing in front. We then continued on our journey and headed to Safford. We stopped in Globe and had Mexican food at a place called Irene’s and I ordered a Chile Relleno. I really used to like them and I guess “hope springs eternal” because I usually order it and I’m usually disappointed. I was so surprised—I hadn’t eaten one like that in years. It was so good! Later my niece-in-law Christen married to Aaron (Kayleen’s second son) said that Globe does have the best Mexican food. We drove through the San Carlos Indian Reservation and while there were lots of grungy places and trash around, there were lots of “poor but neat” places, too, and clean laundry on clothes lines everywhere. I guess they still follow the “washing on Monday” ritual. We sort of drove through Safford, turned around and headed back. The friend that Dan wanted to see had traveled to Mesa that day so we probably crossed paths on the way. We decided we liked Buckeye better than Safford. (One of our plans was to scope out possible retirement snowbird destinations.)
     On Tuesday, March 31st, we drove to Payson. Dan was unable to see any of his relatives there either. He had tried to contact relatives in the Superior, Miami and Globe area on Sunday before we drove through on Monday, but wasn’t successful. BUT, I did visit with my old La Leche League co-hort, Dianne Williams, for a couple of hours. Oh what a major treat that was! She lives in a very beautiful home in an exclusive subdivision of VERY custom homes. It was so different from the miles of pink tile roofed adobe style houses 5 feet apart down in the Gilbert area. I must add that Kayleen’s new home is not like that at all and she lives on acreage in a custom home also. We really liked the Payson area. It was very pretty and we stopped and had a snack on a small lake that was created by reclaimed sewer water. It was in a park like setting with ducks and seagulls (?) all around and lots of other birds we didn’t recognize. Then we drove back, stopped close to the Saguaro Lake turn-off and took pictures of Saguaros! I remembered the cholla, prickly pear, ocotillo, etc. but I had plumb forgotten how many Saguaros could be in one area. They are a protected flora but there were thousands of them. Someone had mentioned that the desert was all gone. Well, we saw lots of it on the way to Safford and Payson. I would say that more farmland, which of course was desert years ago, has been lost to subdivisions in the last 25 years than old desert.
     On our way home, we stopped in Lehi to visit Dan’s Uncle Ernie and Aunt Dorothy and their daughter Judy who takes care of them. They are both almost 90 and not in very good shape. Aunt Alice is 12 years older and seems younger. Dan got a copy of the year 1947 of the diaries (journals) that his Grandma kept for many years and looked up her entries for the day he was born. He found out that the day of June 12, 1947 was the day sugar was no longer rationed. That was an interesting historical fact.
He went ahead and “borrowed” that one and one other to scan into the computer. He was hoping to finish and return them on Thursday, but we brought them home for him to finish. It is a very tedious and time consuming project. I took the photo album that I had borrowed from my mom before she died that had the years 1916-1979 on it and gave it to Kayleen to work on. I figured that Peter and Loreece aren’t as computer literate as we are but I am working full time and can’t seem to find the time to scan them. Hopefully it is a quiet “sitting down” project that will be good to keep Kayleen “resting” for awhile.
     I went to see Kayleen a couple of times in the hospital during all this traveling around. She was in good spirits and not in any major difficulty that should have required hospitalization other than the heavy duty antibiotics. After much research, she has concluded that no one, including the Doctors, knows very much about what to do with the people with this problem. She likes to research things on the computer and has been studying this a lot lately. No surprise there, since I would be doing the same thing. There were times that I felt like I knew more about my thyroid issues than the endocrinologist. Of course that’s not true, but they really concentrate on diabetics and I feel like my problem isn’t something they deal with as frequently.
     On Wednesday, April 1st, we had another laid back day and Dan tried to do some scanning on the diary he had. Dan’s cousin Gerald is now retired and has really jumped into genealogy with both feet. He is very computer literate and able to do research and has found a lot of good stuff. On Thursday, April 2nd, we returned the rental car and went out to eat with Gary & Debbie Richardson. Kayleen got home from the hospital and so I stayed up a little late to visit with her. I figured I could always catch up on my sleep later. Dan and I felt really sorry for her to be “stuck” in the hospital during our visit.
     Friday, April 3rd, Dianna and Stuart came out and picked us up and took us to the airport, stopping for a quick bite to eat on the way. We sure appreciated them coming clear out there to get us since we didn’t want to bother Kayleen and she needed to rest.
Our trip home was fairly uneventful except for Danny calling us while we waited in the Seattle airport to tell us that it appears from another ultrasound that Tanner is getting another sister. Danny can sympathize since he was the only boy with 4 sisters at one point too. Brett has 3 girls and only one boy so I guess girls run in the family.
     I guess it’s time to get to bed and get rested up for the great return to work tomorrow. Hopefully, JoBeth will be happy to see me.

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