Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Addendum to Sabbath Hike . . .

If you click here on Shower Wisdom, posted by husband Sherwin, you will see the saga of our hike to Fort Bowie.  It was a lovely day but I had one encounter there that was mine alone that I found most interesting.

While Sherwin wandered up and around all the ruins one more time to make sure he got all the photos he wanted I looked for details near the ranger station.  All the other hikers who we had seen were disappearing over the edge making their way down but I noticed two men in uniform wandering about where I was.  They came close to me and I am not particularly shy so I asked if they were rangers.

They were close enough, by then, for me to see they were Border Patrol.  I smiled at the notion that they would have work to do there.  We were about 80 miles north of the border at this point and I wondered aloud what they would find in these hills.

Both men were very friendly, answering all my nosey questions about their work.  Apparently the illegals like to hide out in these hills, making there way into civilization easily.

After telling them where we were from, about our winter home in Vail, they told me that a number of their agents live in Vail.  When I said that must make Vail a very safe place for us to be they just smiled.  They did acknowledge that Vail has a low crime rate.

One of the soldiers/guards pointed out the inadvisability of the location of Ft. Bowie.  He mentioned that militarily it was in a very unsafe spot.  The hills around made ambush a constant threat, considering the fort was there to get the Apaches under some sort of control.  Times do change.

It was a lovely chat.

Now we were getting to the end of the day with the sun sinking quickly.  We were ready to get down the hill but it looked like they were there for the night.  Sherwin came back and we started to scoot down the hill, wanting to get down before it became too dusky.

This truck was at the trailhead when we returned from the hike to get into our car to return home. But as we drove away we met another truck coming up.  We are never far away from That Border.

Stay safe and be well!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This Will Make You Smile . . . or Maybe Cry

I am ashamed to say my cello is at home with the strings loosened and the bridge sitting on my desk...think it is time to look for a new teacher.

"However mean your life is, 
meet it and live it."  
- Henry David Thoreau

The Attack on Sabino Canyon . . .

There is a Photo Club here at Del Webb so of course I had to take a look at what they do and where they go.  Tuesday, this past week, was Photo Shoot Day so off we went to one of my very favourite walks/hikes here in the area, Sabino Canyon, to shoot to our hearts content.

The flora of this desert area does not cease to amaze me...

We took the shuttle to the top of the canyon and then walked down, some of us part way, some all the way and some not at all...

My favourites include the Saguaro.  I did find out that I have to buy a 50-75 year specimen before it will start to send out arms...hmmm...

Happy to see these bright little faces along the edge of the trail coming down.

The hillsides are beginning to green up some...

And then there are those who stay green all year...

Spring break is going full throttle here in AZ so lots of kids around.  I love to see the kids come down to the pool where I exercise every day.  It doesn't seem right to live in a neighbourhood where there are no kids...lots of dogs but no kids.

Many of you have seen my earlier photos from Sabino where I have shown huge amounts of water crossing the bridges...this is the only one flooding so far this year.

Do not allow appearances deceive you...this is not at all a friendly plant.  It does look soft and fluffy though, doesn't it?

When you come to visit I will take you for a walk in this canyon...

Be well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Take Me Out To The Ballgame . . .

Thursday, March 21, the first full day of official spring saw us at a Spring Training Game between the LA Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.  When first asked if he wanted tickets at Pickleball one morning, Sherwin says, "Where are the Cubs from?"  He will probably always be remembered as the guy who doesn't know his teams!!

Every spring we are here I ask...what about a Spring Training Game?   Something about it has lured me every year but I was always asking too late.  Not this year.  Sherwin came home from Pickleball and said he had an opportunity to buy 2 tickets to this game but turned it down.

"Turned it down?"

Next day he came home with two tickets!  And it was fun.  Fun to watch the people react to the game, react to the people around them.  And it was fun to be with Rita Jean and Al and Gene and Jeanne and a few others we have met here.

In the above photo on the near left you can see Rita Jean and Al already in their seats next to ours...

We got there early enough to be able to watch the Cubs warm up...

And we took a serious look around...

Had to take a snap of this Hermisillo shirt as a nod to the years of travelling through Hermisillo, MX.  Some days I feel a little too close to the border.

Interesting logo on the back of the beer vendor...

Over to the left the Dodgers were warming up with some good stretches...

And, of course, we stood for the national anthem.  This is a strong military town so uniforms are a common sight around town.

Play ball !!!!

This is our group photo...Jeanne (in the front row to the left) gave my camera to another fan and he got us all.  There we are smack in the middle of the group eating our nachos!  Eight of us there are from Del Webb, Rancho del Lago.

For a while I entertained myself snapping photos of the action.  We had great seats so I had a perfect location for snapping!

We cheered and hollered and did our part in advancing the joy of the day...

But then, right in front of me I noticed this hat!  Oh, Shelby would like that!!  The wife saw me closing in on her husband's head and we chatted a bit about U of O!  I promise I did not mention Smith Family Books in Eugene...loved that place.  Every time we visited Shelby you could find the three of us down in the store, each off in our little corner finding a treasure or two!

But back to the game...it was a nearly a sold out venue.  11,300 seats possible - 11,136 bought up for that game.  There were only two Spring Training Games in Tucson this year...they have been moving them all up to the Phoenix area.

Every time we go to an event of this nature we are again amazed at the cost of the food but that didn't seem to deter any of us...we enjoyed the offerings they had.  We did bring in our own water bottles.  Even though it was overcast with grey skies it was warm!

I enjoyed getting closeups of many of the Dodgers because their dugout was just to our left. We were cheering out little hearts out for their team!!!!

And there were the Cubs...did you know they have not won a World Series since the 1907-08 season?  And some call them an Iconic Team?  Is it because we are now 105 years later and still no major win?

My eyes started to wander over the surrounding area...liked these flags on the hospital next door.

And the game played on...stay with me, we are nearly done.  I was pleased with my snaps of the day...

Wonder what the catcher is saying to the pitcher as they head off the field...

Eye wandering again...Wonder what this cow was actually doing or selling...his shirt is asking us to 'Eat More Chicken'...

And we are ready to go home...two tired but happy 'fans'.  Oh, by the way, the Dodgers won 5-4.

Tell me about your first day of Spring...what brought you joy on the 21st?

God bless and be well.

Monday, March 18, 2013

To Start Our Week . . .

"Reach high, 
for stars lie hidden in your soul.  
Dream deep, 
for every dream precedes the goal."
- P. V. Starr

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thankful For Simple Joys!

Just the simple change in my exercise routine has given me a lot of joy this week.  When I first came down I had my hair cut short because I was going to spend a lot of time in the pool. Well...you heard all about our chilly, snowy winter so the idea lost much of its appeal in actuality.

Last weekend I looked at the forecast for the new week and Tah! Dah! we were in for some warm days.  So I headed for the pool...

The pool is 75' long and the local authorities say if I swam 72 lengths I would have about a mile.  So I walked/jogged/ran for all I was worth (well, maybe not that much) every day and I love it!!!

It was easy to lose count so I got a little lap counter and hit the button after every 2 lengths...then I can think 'deep thoughts' and unravel those 'deep thoughts' as I run.  No more having to remember what number I am on.

I do come into a certain amount of teasing from the locals who watch from the hot tub but it feels so good.  I used to love jogging so this gives me the same lift without the severe pressure on my right ankle.

For some reason I did think I would no longer feel pain in my ankle if I did this...not true but it isn't worse and I am getting a thorough workout!

For this I am most thankful.

What happened in your week that makes you thankful?  Something big or little?  It can be something ever so simple, right under your nose to be loved/enjoyed/treasured.

God bless you all and be well.

Friday, March 15, 2013

String Theory?

Last month I took an online writing class and one of the 'prompts' from the teacher said:

"String theory:  What the hell is it?  I'm hoping you don't know much more than I do (and I know very little).  I want you to explain what string theory is.  Except you must do it without -- and this is important -- looking it up.  Make up what you want it to be.  This can be in any format you choose.  Poem, essay, narrative, fifth-grade book report, whatever.

If you know all about string theory, then write about transubstantiation.  If you're well versed in both topics, you are beyond hope."

String Theory:  A Poem

The last time
string caught my eye
was on a chicken
roasted to perfection
to hold the bird tightly
Can't have a bird falling apart
under duress,
you know.

My theory is
I need some string
when I'm feeling stress
to hold me tight
to hold me together
to hold me
to calm me.

My theory is
the world needs some string
to hold it together.
That would be
one mighty ball of string.

Bigger than any I have seen.
Stronger than,
mightier than,
Now what/Who
could do that?

The assignment each day was to write for 15 minutes, put down your pen and walk away.  No editing, no changing...just do the 'prompt'.

Well, after finishing that I had to google up 'string theory'.   I was surprised and delighted to find this TED talk on YouTube.  Please, please take the few minutes to watch and listen.  It is astounding and delightful.

For me this was a thoughtful, well-presented explanation.  Absolutely beautiful!

Have a lovely day.
God bless and be well.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Intro to Pickleball 101

Since we arrived in Tucson last November, Sherwin has been playing pickleball most weekdays...only if it is cold, raining or snowing do they not play.  He loves the game and is always looking for someone to stretch his skills.

This past week Sherwin had the opportunity to compete in his first tournament which was held at Palm Creek in Casa Grande, AZ.

Early Thursday morning we headed out so we would be at Palm Creek before 8 am for the first round for Sherwin and John Apgar, his partner.

We hadn't realized how far it would be so when we arrived Sherwin jumped out to go register while I parked the car and brought in the water bottles and the all-important camera.

In no time at all the boys were ready for Match One!

Sherwin always gives his full heart to whatever he tackles...

If you knew Sherwin's Dad, you would see FA in that side shot!

Let the games begin!!  (May the odds be ever in your favour, Sherwin!!)

These are the first set of opponents for the day...one fellow from Oregon and the other from Ontario, Canada.

This was also a good experience for me where I could watch an entire game and learn about scoring and strategy...as a bystander.

It was fun to watch to great shots...

And the action of my favourite player!

The photo above shows our guys against their second set of opponents...both from Minneapolis.  I thought the second set were pretty old guys and our fellows would whoop them but alas and alack...it was not to be.  These old guys kept Sherwin and John running and the old guys did the whooping!

The highlight of the day turned out to be the opportunity for Sherwin to meet Mark Friedenberg, the author of this book.

Mark was gracious about having his photo taken with Sherwin and was happy to sign the book.

Take note of the inscription...Sherwin's dream is to be a champion...thinks it will be the best $10.00 he ever spent if that actually happens!!!

Before we left we watched Mark and his partner play a match.  15-8 for Mark's team...he does know what he is talking about!

We were both very impressed with Palm Creek.  It is a well laid out RV and mobile home park with a beautiful golf course running through the middle.  The community is large...and 350 of their residents belong to the pickleball club.  We were told that over 50% of them are from Canada!  They did sing the Canadian national anthem before the American.

This community has devoted space for 24 pickleball courts with plans for expansion.  These people are truly into pickleball.  Some of the champions spend up to 6 hours a day playing and practicing the game.  And for these games champions came from all over the USA.  It was amazing to see.

They have a few sunken courts where I could get a good shot but in retrospect I wish I had shot a small video for you so you could have heard all the pickleballs being hit back and forth during a match.  It had a distinctive sound.

Sherwin was disappointed in his games but it was good practice and he will return, I am sure.

God of Amazing Grace . . .

Highly Recommended Reading:

This book hasn't been on my bedside table long and I am no where near finished but it has already been such a blessing to me that I have to share this title with you.

"Although my memory is fading, 
I remember two things very clearly.  
I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Saviour."
- John Newton, Amazing Grace

If the quote above from Mr. Newton resonates with you, read this book.  You will love it, I promise. At the very least your heart will be touched.

Be well.