Friday, March 29, 2013

Another escape from cold Prescott Valley

I think I’m “allergic” to winter and have found reasons to escape the bitter cold weather at this mile-high altitude. After the first snow, I’m sure I heard Jeremiah Junior say, “Let’s get out of here; its too cold!” Being the dutiful motorhome owner, I jumped at the chance it was a trip to San Antonio (See previous blog post) and then another in southern California.

Here are highlights of my recent 1,182-mile California and Arizona trip, March 7 to 25. Having lived and worked in coastal north San Diego County, I have a wealth of friends from a variety of activities. Wanting to visit with as many as time allowed, I did a lot of ‘bed-hopping’.

First day on the road was Thursday: Mayflower County RV Park is a 5-mile scenic drive north of Blythe, California; a stone’s throw from the Colorado River. The park is peaceful and a good half-way stop for me.

Friday: Vista Elks Lodge RV Park on Friday nights – the place to be to visit with my former country-western dance friends along with dinner and dancing.

Saturday afternoon: Special event was “Tea with Eleanor (Roosevelt)” re-enactment for the local AAUW by my friend Annette.

Saturday early evening while looking for a parking place at the Oceanside Harbor, I managed to get Jeremiah Junior in a sticky situation. Huh? What? You might wonder. I turned into a parking lot that is accessed by a tunnel (which I drove numerous times when I lived in the area).
As I drove by the first time I wondered if Jeremiah would fit through – and my standard response is “Either it will or it won’t” and turned in. The next words out of my mouth was “Oh, Sh#*” as my side mirrors were scraping on the sides. I pulled the mirrors in and slowly continued forward. Then I heard more scraping and stopped. At this point Jeremiah was probably 2/3 of the way in, I figured that I would have to back out, and put Jeremiah in reverse – but did not start moving.
            “Honk, Honk” is what I next heard. And then an angel appeared at my window in the form of a nice man. He had pulled in behind me to enter the parking lot.
            “Would you like help backing up?” he asked. Of course, I was thrilled by his offer, got out and he got in. As I walked out of the tunnel I noticed the small letters that aid “8-ft wide”. Later when a friend measured my motorhome with the mirrors pulled it, it was 7-ft, 7 ½ in. Thankfully there was no real harm, just some paint scratched off the mirrors.

Saturday night: The reason I was at the harbor was to connect with friends Norma and Jack for dinner and then to attend the Christian Youth Theater super production of “Footloose”. Afterwards I spent the night at their home in Fallbrook.

Sunday and Monday: dance friend Irene welcomed me into her Escondido home for two nights. Much of my time was spent with Irene on her lovely patio, bird watching and visiting. On Monday morning I drove to the Kiwi Salon in San Marcos for an appointment with Danielle, my hairdresser granddaughter.

Tuesday and Wednesday: next stop was with long-time friends Pat and Russ who live near Lake Hodges. This oasis of avocado trees and multitudes of flowering plants made for sweet visiting time.

Thursday: This night was spent at friends LeRae and Tom at their comfortable home in Oceanside. We reminisced about years of country-western dancing and as members of the Western Steppers dance group.

Friday: After a short drive to my son’s home, also in Oceanside, I spent a relaxing evening with Rick and his wife Dianne, granddaughter Christine, grand-dog and grand-cat. Their other daughter, Danielle was unable to be there. Christine’s project was to attach glow-in-the-night stars onto the ceiling of Jeremiah.

Saturday and Sunday:  These two days were spent in the Imperial Valley east of San Diego. Friends Sandy and Norm welcomed me into their Brawley home. I met Sandy through the downtown Carlsbad (Calif) merchants group. She was a Farmers’ Insurance agent and I had a tennis pro shop along with a tennis wholesale business in the downtown area. They are hoping to drag me back into the volunteer arena by coordinating the Pioneer’s Museum’s Pioneer Days next January. Well … maybe.

Monday afternoon: After a short drive to Holtville, I spend visiting time with Richard and Judy. Judy and my first husband were step-siblings.

Monday – Wednesday: Off to Yuma for three nights at Cactus Gardens RV Park and visiting time with RV friend Carol R. I enjoyed geo-caching with Carol R. She has challenged herself to locate at least one geo-cache every day. I also played my first game of shuffle-board with other residents at this “snowbird” RV park.

Thursday and Friday: After a bunch of miles on winding blacktop and a 1+mile drive on washboard and rutted dirt roads to the Seven Springs cabin belonging to volunteer friends Essie and Richard. What a joy to be out of civilization and into a canyon filled with spring wildflowers and very vocal birds.

Saturday: Parked at my brother’s home in Tempe for Saturday night and then church with them on Sunday. I always look forward to visiting with Ed and Debbie and also for the opportunity to visit with other siblings, Alice and Margie, at Sunday noon meal; a bonus visit from nephew Andy.

By Sunday night, I was back in Prescott Valley. And two weeks to be ready to head out for my big USA adventure. I'm now knee-deep in trip preparations.

I end today's post with food-for-thought:

How important it is for us to cherish life, to take it seriously while retaining a healthy sense of humor about it, and to keep on with the business of living it. Life is an inestimable gift, an adventure, a challenge; it’s where and how we become our truly unique selves. –Malcolm Boyd