Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sledding and Fishing

18 Feb 2012: Dylan (age 14) and his friend Marcus (age 16)
waiting in front of our church stake building.

Two hours ago I dropped my son Dylan off at the church to join the annual youth sledding activity.  Once a year the kids head up to "the old ski run," which I assume is near Sunrise Ski Resort on the nearby Apache reservation, and they spend about 6 hours sledding and snowboarding.  Dylan isn't much into sledding, but he's a gifted snowboarder.

Dylan is inside the backseat window of the black truck on the left.

I expected to be going along to help drive a car full of kids to their destination, but when I arrived I found 5 men ready and rarin' to go with 5 big trucks all warmed up and engines running.  Not another adult female in sight.

Dylan waits with two more friends, McKay and Spencer, to take off.
I asked them if their moms ever embarrass them the way I do Dylan.
They both replied very sarcastically, "Noooo, never."

Not too many female youth in sight either.  Below is a shot of the lone, brave 4 girls who joined the trip (with about 20 guys).

Three of my Beehives: Marissa, Julianne, and Amelia; and Melanie, a Mia Maid.

I didn't realize that there was no parking near the old ski run.  I was surprised to see three snowcats on trailers, ready to be hauled along with the youth.  When I asked Dylan about it, he replied, "Well, how did you think they get us all back in to the slopes?"  (I love how teens can't figure out why we adults aren't as smart as they are!)

A member of our bishopric, Brother Berges, prepares to haul kids and snowcats.

Grant Berges, first counselor in our ward bishopric, assured me that they had enough room for the kids, so I could go home, which I gladly did.  Yes, there are a few things I can use the extra time to take care of today, such as this week's shopping, but I particularly enjoy having a nice, quiet house to myself for a few hours now and then.

You see, my hubby is gone on his own grand adventure today.  He and Robert Holden are off boating and fishing at Roosevelt Lake for the day.  They actually left at 4:30 this morning.  Not being a morning person or a fisherman, I think that's nuts!  I did, however, rouse myself enough to kiss Ed good-bye.  He was really looking forward to this trip! 

I found this cool map online.  They were planning to fish the east end
where the Salt River feeds the lake, the area called "Schoolhouse."
Supposedly that's where the fish are really biting right now.

I think it's a 2-hour drive south-southwest to Roosevelt Lake, where the elevation is lower, the temperature is warmer, and the terrain is desert.  I've camped there a few times in the past when I was married to my first husband, Mark, another avid fisherman.  It's not my favorite lake.  I prefer mountain lakes, with trees and shade and cooler temperatures.   

An aerial view of the lake and Roosevelt Dam.

I learned some things while researching for this post today.  For instance, Roosevelt Lake is the oldest artificial reservoir in Arizona.  It was created when Roosevelt Dam was built, from 1904 to 1911.  When filled to capacity (it was 90% full in 2005, the fullest it has ever been thus far), the lake covers 21,500 acres, making it the largest lake that is wholly inside Arizona (not sharing shoreline with any other state). 

From the dam, the river winds on down to feed Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, and Saguaro Lake before it reaches the Phoenix area.  I have spent time at each of those lakes and tubed down various parts of the river, back when I was younger, fitter, and more daring.  It was at Canyon Lake that I was stung by a scorpion while night-fishing with Mark and a friend.  Gadzooks, what a memory! 

So here's hoping for a day filled with soaring jumps and daring flips (but no broken limbs) for my son, and a boat filled with big fish, relaxation, and good talk (but no heat stroke) for my husband and Robert!  I can't wait to hear about all of their adventures tonight!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

...and How I Spent the Centennial

Arizona's big Centennial Celebration was held over the weekend in the Phoenix area.  Today, it was school as usual.  Or at least it started that way.  An unexpected snowstorm blew in a little after 6 a.m. (after the school buses were already on the road) and it got worse as the day wore on.

Finally, at 1:15 they announced that school was closing early and everyone should carefully drive home as soon as possible.  I packed up my stuff and headed out to the parking lot 2 hours earlier than usual.

As I was sweeping the heavy, wet snow off my car's windows, I heard a loud "ka-pow!" behind me.  I turned around to see that two trucks had collided on the highway that runs through town and past the school, not too far from where I stood.  I grabbed my camera and took the above shot while the two vehicles were still slowly sliding to a standstill on the icy road.  

Luckily, no one seemed to be hurt and the damage appeared to fall in the category of "fender-bender."  Because they were blocking one of the southbound lanes, it made a mess of traffic.  The police were just arriving as I drove away.  And, trust me, I drove very, very carefully all the way home.

An Arizona Century

The Grand Canyon

Exactly 100 years ago today, Arizona became the 48th state of the United States of America.  That's right, on Valentine's Day 1912. 

When I moved to Arizona almost 32 years ago, in March 1980, I was less than thrilled.  I loved my native state of California and I felt nothing could compare to it in beauty.  Arizona seemed so stark and barren, so inhospitable.

I only knew a small taste of Arizona at that time.  Over the years, I have come to know the contrasting forms of magnificence found throughout my adopted state, and that is what I celebrate today: the beauty of Arizona, our home.

Monument Valley

Havasu Falls

Organ Pipe National Monument

The red rock of Sedona

Lake Powell

The Petrified Forest

Oak Creek Canyon

The Painted Desert

Meteor Crater

A rainbow over the desert (with petroglyphs)

Montezuma Castle

Sunset over the desert

And, of course, my beloved White Mountains, our home.

Arizona is known as "The Grand Canyon State."  As you can see, she is that, and much, much more.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Out of the Box

This chalk drawing was done at Knotts Berry Farm in late 1973 or early 1974.
That's my former fiance Paul Gutierrez and me.  He was 22 and I was 19 at the time.
I heard he was killed in a car accident several years after we broke up.

You know how "they" say that you should throw out a box of stuff you haven't looked inside for 5 years or more?  I think that would be a big mistake.  Just look what I would have missed out on!

2 Apr 1977: This picture of my 22-year-old face was made from hundreds of little
typed letters, numbers, and symbols.  I got it during a Las Vegas trip with my best buddy, Peggi.

Back in September 2010, a few months after Ed and I got married, we had a big yard sale.  Besides selling a lot of duplicate furniture from our merged lives, we cleaned out the rafters of one of the sheds on our property and pulled down several boxes I hadn't seen in more than a decade.  What a blast from the past that was!

I made these two little pillows in 1970 or 1971. I had two little neighbor children
in Fresno, California--Murray Anne Border and Louis Apsey--draw pictures for me,
which I then embroidered onto the pillows.  Sure brings back memories!
Funny to think those two little kids are in their 40s now!

I found a lot of funky old clothes I used to wear in the 1980s.  Most of them I trashed, but I hung a few back in my closet because they had so many memories attached to them.  When I lose some weight and can fit in them again, I may model them and share them on my blog!

My old Seminary binder, circa 1968-1972.  The old worksheets inside
didn't trigger too many flashbacks, probably because in California
we had early morning Seminary (aka "Cemetery") at 6:30 a.m.
and I am NOT a morning person (aka "brain dead"). 
But it was fun seeing all the things I'd scribbled on the outside of the binder,
like "Carl + Mary" or "Mary loves Joe."  Oh, the memories--ouch!

So my recommendation is, go ahead, open that box and enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beehives Are Beautiful!

18 Jan 2012: Beehives are beautiful!

Since July, I've had the pleasure of working with the 12- and 13-year-old girls in our church youth group.  They are called Beehives, and they are beautiful young ladies.

Two weeks ago, one of our Beehives--who has been taking Karate lessons for years--volunteered to teach some karate moves to the rest of the group.  Wow, did they have a great time.

It really came to life after the camera came out!  At their insistence, I took at least 50 shots of the girls as they showed off their best moves and worked hard to be caught on-camera with gravity-defying leaps.  They did an awesome job!

The High School Musical pose.

Oh, to have all that youthful energy again!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Timing Is Everything

The boys' bedroom-turned-den.  Well, almost.

I haven't played the piano in years.  Even when I did, I didn't sight-read very well.  I never took lessons, but I taught myself to play well enough that I memorized many songs and hymns.  Even Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.  I'm not sure I can play anything anymore, though, after  more than 22 years without a piano in my home.

Getting it onto the porch was a big job!

Over the years we were offered a couple of pianos, including the one I learned to play on in my teens.  There was never enough room in our tiny--I mean, cozy--little house, so I always had to say regretfully, "No, thanks."  My mother did give us an electric piano a few years before she passed away, and my children used it a lot, but for me it just didn't have the same beautiful sound and feel as a real piano.

Evan, Dylan, Derek, and Chris move it carefully through the kitchen.

And so I resigned myself to never owning a piano.  Until a few weeks ago, when my son-in-law Chris told me his sister was getting rid of the piano that originally belonged to his maternal grandmother, and asked me if we wanted it.  My first thought was the usual, "There's no room for it in my house."

Almost there!

Then I remembered: Jacob is on his mission in California, Sarah got married and moved out, and a month ago we began moving Dylan out of his bedroom and into Sarah's old room so we could turn his and Jacob's old bedroom into a den.  All of a sudden I have wall space!

So I said gratefully, "Yes, we'll take it!" Last Saturday Ed lined up a bunch of friends to help us move it in, right to the place I'd cleared for it.

28 Jan 2012: Our new piano in our soon-to-be den!
Chris's grandmother used to give piano lessons on this piano.
(The quilted bench cover was her creation.)  Then the piano was passed on
to Chris's mom, and then to Chris's younger sister Lori, and then, finally, to us!

Both the new den and Dylan's new bedroom are a mess as we've been making the exchange of furniture and other items.  The den needs a new paint job badly, and eventually we'll be looking to buy a couch, cheap.  I haven't had the energy or the time to tackle it all at once, but little by little I expect we'll have both rooms all done and organized by Spring Break.

As for the piano, no, my fingers simply don't work the way they used to.  It will take a lot of practice, if I can fit it into my schedule.  What is truly awesome is the fact that my husband plays the piano!  I didn't even know that fact about him until we'd been married for almost 2 months.  He took many years of piano lessons as a child and, although he's a bit rusty, he still sight-reads music very well.  He's looking forward to brushing up his skills.

And I'm looking forward to a home filled with beautiful music!