Saturday, February 4, 2012

Home safe

Mom and I made it home safely on Thursday after a bumpy flight and tentative landing in Moline. The pilot announced midway through the flight that we may detour and land in DesMoines because of the visibility (dense fog in Moline) but he decided that Moline was a go so we landed at about 7:30 p.m.

Holly, Barb & Cheryl
We had a great time in Arizona. Mom and I met up with my dad’s sister, Cheryl, on Saturday at the Cracker Barrel in Casa Grande. We had about a two hour lunch to catch up on everything. It was great to see her and I could tell she was glad to see mom and be able to talk to her in person. Back in the day when Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Paul lived in Peoria, we used to get together with them a couple times a year. Uncle Paul worked for the Pabst brewery and dad wholeheartedly supported that endeavor. As tricky as my father’s side of the family is to sort out (when I was little I was confused about him having two mothers) the days in Peoria were good times and good memories with all of my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Mom is still close with Cheryl and wants to meet up with dad’s other sisters (Debbie, Bev, Eva Marie and Patty). We haven’t seen them since Scotty was born. Mom worries about them and so I think we will be taking a few more short trips in the future.

The Arizona weather has been great. Quail Run/Creek/Ridge (now I can’t for the life of me remember what comes after Quail) where Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bernie is a gated community and everyone has a golf cart and a dog. It is a great place to walk and Aunt Ruth and mom walked in the mornings and I was able to get a couple of runs in. There is a three mile loop around the community and it makes for a nice 3 mile workout. Apparently the cattle run stray in this area – there are some warning signs out for cattle crossings – but I didn’t see any cows wandering around. Uncle Bernie told me to watch out for coyotes, snakes and these things that look like pigs called javalinas. I had to watch out for the golf carts more than anything.

Sunday was Uncle Bernie’ birthday. We went to Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bernie’s church in Sauharita, and then headed to Tubac to do some shopping. The have some great little shops there and I cleaned out one of the pottery places. For Uncle Bernie’s birthday dinner we went to Florentino’s (Mexican and Italian) and had margaritas. What really made his day were the phone calls from Miles, Camden and Zachary.

Aunt Ruth & Mom on the way to Tombstone
Monday we took the scenic route to Tombstone (over an hour away). The mountains and valleys - entire landscape – is really breathtaking. U Bernie is a great driver and pulled over a couple of times for us to get photos. In Tombstone we had lunch and then wore ourselves out shopping (again). Mom bought a couple of things and found a John Wayne photo for her friend Robert (son of Lois, her good friend who passed away a few months ago). Robert has been in the hospital and Mom has kept in touch and checked on his progress each day.

Tuesday we went to the Tucson International Gem Show and had an eyeful of beads, gems, jewelry, fossils, rough cut stones and glass artwork. We stopped at the expo center first and Aunt Ruth got us in as official “buyers” with her jewelry connections (I felt very important). By the afternoon we were forgetting it was Tuesday and decided that we had enough of the showgrounds. Uncle Bernie found a collapsible cooler and a painting that he really liked, and mom, A. Ruth and I found some good jewelry deals.

Aunt Ruth & Uncle Bernie's house
By Wednesday we were all exhausted and just stayed close to “the ranch.” Mom, Aunt Ruth and I went through all of the model homes at Quail Run/Creek/Ridge. We all decided to let ourselves dream a bit – there’s no harm in that. Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bernie’s model of home was no longer offered, but there was one that was similar. Their style is what I would prefer with a grand room area that connects to the kitchen with an eat-in area off of the kitchen. Uncle Bernie caught up with us at lunch time and we ate at the Grill restaurant that is right off of the Quail putting green and driving range of the golf course and then had a look at the swimming pool and lap pool area. Quail is a great place and great community. Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bernie have a lot of good friends there. After lunch we visited the Hearts and Hands quilt shop and of course mom and I walked out of the shop with some new projects to finish. We were all beat and just sat around that afternoon. Uncle Bernie the grill master cooked up some salmon filets and had a nice dinner at home.

Heart-shaped cactus in the yard!
Thursday arrived fast and by the time we had to get in the car to go to the airport, mom and I didn’t really want to leave. We could have easily spent another week there – but duty calls at home and mom has a doctor’s appointment coming up in a couple of weeks. But we will definitely visit Arizona again to hang out with A. Ruth and U. Bernie. There are still some things that we missed and there is definitely plenty to do.

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