Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Aisle 7

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is old folk’s discount day at my grocery store.  I always, simultaneously dread-and look forward to-this monthly ‘outing.’  Some time back, I made the decision to try to make grocery shopping an adventure instead of an aggravation.  I go there, expecting to have something really fun and/or interesting to happen and I’m seldom disappointed.

Today was no different.

First, I saw an elderly woman (about my age) doing that hard job of corralling shopping carts in the parking lot and returning them to the store’s entrance area.  My immediate reaction was to feel abject sympathy for her and a huge swelling of gratitude that I am not forced into such labor in order to survive.

And then, it occurred to me that perhaps she thinks it is great training for the marathon she is going to run or the mountain she intends to climb.  We never really know what the true story might be so it’s probably better not to jump to uninformed conclusions!

The next fun thing that happened-and this is a common occurrence-is that I saw a girl child who is so doggone cute it is probably illegal!  Sharing that opinion with her mom and dad, in the girl child’s hearing, was a joyful thing!

And then……………….

I carefully park my buggy to the side of aisle 7 while I search the shelves for the pickles I want.  Across the aisle, a lady stands, with her back to me searching for something on her own shopping list.  She has left her cart smack-dab in the middle of the aisle….as I usually do.  Someone comes along and asks, politely, to be allowed to move her cart.  She immediately begins the same apologies we all offer at such times….to the person asking and also to me.  I tell her not to worry that I do it all the time.  “We all do.”, I say.  “We’re all alike….sisters from the same Mother.” 

Now, I know what we usually say is ‘sisters from different mothers.’  But, I was prompted, I’m sure of it, by ‘Mother”, to say exactly those words.

The moment I said it, I knew, beyond any doubt, that my new-found café-au-lait skinned sister ‘got’ it.  Totally and completely.

We both turned into nothing more than two huge grins….and hugged.  It just seemed like the thing to do.

And we talked.  And we talked.  And we talked some more.  We talked about things deep and things frivolous as only two newly discovered sister/friends can do!

Eventually, I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi!  My name is Sharon.”
She said, “Git outta here!!!!!!!”

Yes, her name is Sharon.  There’s not a whole huge lot of us with that name.  

I know that we have to stay in touch, so I give her my SKayArt business card.  She gasps.  “You are an artist?  So am I!!!”

She paints with watercolors, is afraid of oils and wants to learn to paint with acrylics.  I paint with acrylics.  I'm terrified of watercolors and not too friendly with oils.

She’s 70.  I will be in December.

I am thinking there’s a lot of synchronicity going on here.  I’m wondering if I’ve maybe found the painting buddy I’ve been longing for.  But, there’s one final issue that I wonder about.

I am a smoker.  Yes, I know.  People who smoke are the scum of the earth and responsible for a plethora of things which ail the entire Universe.  Nevertheless, I smoke and don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon.

I gather my courage.

“I have one last question for you. And this one is big. Do you smoke?”

Guess what she said…..just guess!

I can’t wait to get together with her to paint.  And if it never happens, those MANY minutes we spent together, connecting in LOVE, sometimes jumping up and down, laughing and hugging like long lost friends….well….now that is a memory worth having!

Our shenanigans, in aisle 7 touched more than a few of our fellow shoppers.  I would like to think we were pretty much sprinkling happily-ever-after fairy dust on them all.

Again, I say............

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Trip That Almost Wasn't-Days Two and Three

It was hard to leave Sedona but there was still lots of gorgeous scenery as we made our way toward Payson, Arizona.

And, as you can plainly see, the rain was beginning again.

Yes, I should have cropped out our Arizona sunburnt and cracking dashboard of our old car.  But I didn't.  It is what it is.

And yes, I should have cropped out the reflection of my pack of smokes.  That, too, is what it is.  What I want you to see is that we are heading into even more stormy weather.  Of course.

The higher we went, the worse it got....or the better...depending on your viewpoint.  This day, my viewpoint was more inclined toward fear than joy because it was a busier highway
It rained and it rained and it rained some more...often really, REALLY hard.  It was some white-knuckle time, for sure. 
But, then, the rain stopped and out of the corner of my eye, I was able to see a pull out at this spot.
We pulled out.  We stopped.  And look what we found!!! 

I totally, completely, absolutely loved our trip...rain and all...and here's the heart-rock to prove it!



Saturday, September 14, 2013


What can you say about Sedona, Arizona?

Words fail. 

So do photographs.

Nevertheless, I will share some of both with you but I will let the pictures do most of the 'talking.'

As you can see, as we approached Sedona, it was a bit rainy and gloomy.  But, just as Hubby promised...the weather cleared when it mattered!


I like this photo so much I'm showing you the original and the cropped versions.


Smart Hubby got this next shot!

There is more to our little adventure, but I will share that with you tomorrow.
I am grateful!
P.S.  No...this isn't all the pictures I took but I am trying to keep your visits to my blog short and sweet for you instead of long and boring.  LOL

The Trip That Almost Wasn't-Part Three

Yes.  We are still on the first day of our trip.

We are just leaving Yarnell and are amazed by all the lush green hillsides and pastures.

But,of course, there are clouds in the distance.

Many clouds.
I think that's a completely different place than just outside Yarnell, but I have so many photos of distant rain clouds that it doesn't much matter.  At any given time, the road ahead of us looks pretty much like that!
However. Hubby has assured me that wherever we go, whatever we do, when we need for the rain to stop, it will.  He's certain of that.  And guess what?  He was right!
When we wanted to get out and take pictures of the beautiful scenes we could...with nary a raindrop fallin' on our heads!
The road twisted and turned as we made our way toward Prescott.
We reached the edge of town, in the beautiful pine forest, just about time to stop for the evening.  I spotted a darling little motel with a beautiful water feature in their garden.  I was tired and thought I'd take a picture of the little garden the next morning before we left.  As I was getting out of the car, I dropped my camera and broke it.
I cannot write here the things I said out loud, loudly, and certainly not the things I thought.


Day Two

After a not so great night's rest at that darling little motel (There must have been an elephant family in the room above us.), we headed out for some breakfast and waited for Best Buy to open so I could get a new camera.  NOT. IN.  THE.  BUDGET!!!
I took a photo, with my brand new camera, from the parking lot of Best Buy.  You betcha!  Raining buckets!  And in the process of learning my new photo program, I apparently deleted the photo 'cause it's nowhere to be found on my computer!
Sigh again.
Elk on top of a building in Prescott, Arizona
We like him!
We loved Prescott.  It's such a picturesque old town filled with Victorian houses and a lovely town square and courthouse.  We hope to go back.
As Hubby predicted, the sun came out just in time to enjoy this .
But soon we were back to this view from our car.

Yep.  It's raining again.
We are climbing another mountain range on our way to:
Jerome, Arizona
Jerome is an old mining town which has become a complete tourist trap,  of sorts.  But it's still charming and delightful.  I wrote about it on another blog after a very special trip with my Grandson, several years ago.
You can read about it here:

This is the main street through Jerome.  Narrow-just a tad!

A local law enforcement person was having a word with the driver of this semi.  I am reasonably certain it will cost him a  pretty penny to have mistakenly or stupidly taken this NOT truck route!
It doesn't take long to drive through Jerome and down the hill toward another adventure.  On the way, we saw this.
Rock formations began to get quite colorful as we came down the mountain. 
There's a reason for that.
Next stop:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Trip That Almost Wasn't-Day One, St. Joseph's Shrine

This is the first thing we saw when we arrived at The Shrine of St. Joseph in Yarnell, Arizona.
If you know me at all, you know I am not a religious person.  But this place touches my heart in the sweetest way and I was very concerned about it during the time of the wildfire.
To read about the shrine, go to:
These steps...and many more which are as steep but lots rougher...are the reason my calf muscles have been screaming at me for several days now.  But it was worth it.
You can see just how close the fire came.  That bush is dead looking because of the fire which came right up to the statuary.  
So close....all those trees are dead from the fire....
Looking down on one of the buildings at the shrine which was destroyed.  Just beyond this point is a little canyon chock full of houses.  I counted only three burned buildings.  They were fortunate not to have the entire area lost.
I zoomed way in to get this photo of the little Yarnell church nestled in amongst all the green after all the rain we've had in Arizona. 
I am so grateful this little town was saved. 
 I am so grateful to all the firefighters who worked so hard to protect it.
I am so grateful to The Granite Mountain Hotshots who died so that this little town, the people in it, their homes, their businesses and this special small place could survive.
May they rest in eternal peace!