Thursday, April 02, 2015

Comings and goings in February and March 2015

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying. Bertrand Russell 

Pancho Villa State Park
Lucky me! I happen to be at this New Mexico location in early February when the Pink Store hosted its annual 'customer appreciation' party. The place starts hopping at about 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. Featuring free food and free drinks – and interesting entertainment. There was seating in the large restaurant area and in the huge outdoor patio. I heard various attendance numbers, but it was several hundred.

Two friends tracked me down while at PVSP: Newell a co-volunteer at McDowell Mountain Regional Park and Jeff a co-volunteer at City of Rocks State Park.

Most days I spent 2-3 hours work raking up dead cactus. In appreciation for our dead cactus and weed work, Managing Ranger John Read took three of us to lunch. It was time to head toward home. I turned in my tools and the key to the John Deere Gator in mid February.

Traveling home via Tucson and Tempe
First stop was at friend Ann Martin's home a bit south and east of Tucson. Then on to my brother Ed's home in Tempe where I parked Jeremiah at the front curb. Ed and Debbie prepared a lovely meal for local family and we celebrated baby sister Alice's birthday.

Then out of the Valley of the Sun and up the hill to home in Prescott Valley. I quickly reloaded Jeremiah, had a wonderful massage, lunch with sisters Elaine and Susan – and then headed west to North San Diego County.

North San Diego County – Lots of 'memory-lane' time, friends

There are moments in life that fade from memory so quickly they are gone almost before they are over. Then there are those that stick, the ones we carry with us through the years like precious parcels of clarity stitched close to our hearts, becoming part of who we are. –John Grogan, author

Husband Rick, children Ricky and Susie and I moved to Del Mar, California in 1975; I lived in the area for many years, making lots of friends there.

While spending time with friend Irene, we went to San Diego's Safari Park (formerly known as Wild Animal Park), drove to Valley Center to see the 'smallest post office' (see photo) and had lunch at the Yellow Deli (delicious food). Also visiting time was happily spent with friends Annette, Norma, Renee and Pat and Russ Vollman.

Lilac Post Office
I camped at the Vista Elks Lodge for several nights. The Lodge has Bingo once a week and I popped in to observe. Wow! This is a serious thing – a far cry from when I played Bingo using buttons to mark numbers called.

And of course I had sweet time with my Son Rick and his wife Dianne. Granddaughter Danielle, who is a hair dresser, gave me a super haircut.

The thrill of the Los Angeles Marathon
And then the biggest event – going to Los Angeles to be there for the Marathon – specifically because granddaughter Melody and her guy David would be running in this event! They joined 26,000 others for this major marathon! I went with granddaughter Christine.

Our vantage point was at the 30K (about 18 miles) point. What a thrill to watch Melody run by! And a bigger thrill to get the text message saying she had completed the event! David finished also.

Briefly back home – reloading again
When I left home and headed to New Mexico, I knew I wouldn't be back until late summer or so. I am now at Navajo Lake State Park to volunteer for a month. At the end of April, I will meet my sister Linda in Albuquerque and we will set out on a May trip to visit family and friends in the midwest.

Navajo Lake State Park
Even though I have earned my lifetime camping pass for New Mexico State Parks, I realized that I missed volunteering – helping the rangers and the campers. So I've made myself available to parks who find themselves short of help. When the ranger at Navajo Lake called a month or so ago, I gladly said I could help.

In every season, there is a reason to rejoice and an opportunity to do good. The challenge for each of us every day is to find something to rejoice about and some good to do—and then to do both. —Julie Ackerman Link