July 7, 2016: Debbie and Mary, together again!
So here we are, at the end of the first full week of July. I've been so focused on the summertime deep-cleaning of my house, now that I feel fairly healthy again, that I haven't thought much about blogging. Still, there is life outside housework, and I've enjoyed the little moments and events that are the best reasons for living.
For instance, today my good friend Debbie and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Indian Pine Restaurant in the Hon-Dah Casino, located on the nearby Fort Apache Reservation. The food was plentiful, but the company was even better! Since Debbie, a fellow educator, lives in the Valley most of the year and only resides in Show Low from about May to September (now that she's retired, lucky!), we always have so much to catch up on during our luncheons that we now have to get together at least twice every summer to get it all in!
My brother Jeff and his wife Dana put on yet another outstanding 4th of July
cookout and fireworks watch this week, this time at their new house.
And, of course, this was the week of Independence Day. My brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Dana, have always hosted a barbecue get-together at the big house they built back in 1997-98, which just happened to be right across the field from Show Low High School, where the big community fireworks extravaganza is held. At the end of a fun afternoon of grilling, eating, visiting, and slurping down luscious homemade ice cream, we'd have front-row seats while sitting in their driveway.
I got a few decent shots of the fireworks.
This year was a little bit different because Jeff and Dana decided it was time to downsize. Nine of their thirteen children are now living on their own, leaving just the four youngest still at home. So at the end of June the family left behind the huge house and moved into a slightly smaller one. They didn't go too far. Their new home is just a couple of doors down and across the street, so we still had pretty good views of the colorful fireworks, as I tried to capture in the photos below.
The really astounding part is that they spent a whole week getting moved into their new place and still had the energy and generosity to invite a mob of family and friends to join them for their celebration of the Fourth!
July 1, 2016: Mark is on the job!
On the first day of July, I drove my new son-in-law Jake to work at the WorldMark Resort in Pinetop around 2:45, and then I headed right back down the mountain toward Show Low to pick Mark up from his job at Denny's. I usually wait for him to call before I go after him, but I figured the timing was exactly right to get me there just as he got off work. He usually gets done by around 3:00, and I got there right at 2:59. Then I sat and waited for the next hour...
Heading into the 4th of July weekend, when our little resort towns explode with tourists and bumper-to-bumper traffic, Denny's kept Mark busy from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. getting everything ready for the crowds. Although he is officially a dishwasher, Mark helps with everything from busing tables to taking out the trash. It just so happened that I arrived as he was standing outside the back door of the restaurant, breaking down dozens of cardboard boxes and carting them to the dumpster (as seen in the above photo), so I got to watch him bust his butt on the job. I saw him haul about ten large trash cans to the dumpster, then go inside the large, open backdoor and lift boxes onto shelves. Then he disappeared for a while before coming back for the big mop bucket and haul it off--to mop something, I'm sure.
I could have been all impatient as that hour passed, and I admit I did think wistfully of all the other things I could have been getting done, but I felt it was a blessing to see him doing what he works so hard at each day despite the constant and severe back pain he endures. And the voyeuristic aspect was kind of fun, too. Even though I was parked in plain view, Mark never noticed me as I snapped pictures from my car. Washing dishes may not be a glamorous job, but it's honest, necessary labor and Mark is valued by his employers for his diligence and dependability. In fact, they just gave him another raise this week. I'm very proud of him.
Now, this is a sexy car!
Mark and I also went to see the movie Independence Day: Resurgence. It was an awesome film! As we headed toward the theater entrance, we passed this Corvette and I just had to take a picture. My son Dylan is always telling me about various cars on the road, "Look at that car, mom! It's so sexy!" I'm afraid I don't get the connection between vehicles and the word "sexy." Except Corvettes. Corvettes are definitely sexy.
When I'm a best-selling author, I will own a Corvette, just for fun.
I've loved them since I was about fourteen years old...sigh.