Saturday, February 16, 2019

Focusing On What's Important

January 23-31, 2019
Desert Center-Banning-Valencia, California

We're very happy to move on from Tucson. So happy in fact that I drive all the way to Desert Center, California. 325 miles is a long day for us, but it's a familiar drive and not one that requires additional exploration this time.

In Desert Center we hook up at one friend's house and cross the street to visit with another. It's a perfect place for us to regroup after our little medical drama.

We are so blessed that this view is still available to us after all these years.
Bill and I grew up in this area, went to Eagle Mountain High School. Not surprising our mascot was the Eagle. Still, we didn't know that just to the south there is an amazing natural stone eagle. Recently discovered, we're anxious to take the Jeep out to find it.

It doesn't disappoint!

The Stone Eagle

Kevin on the rock raptor.

The weather is perfect and the desert very green.

The headgate of the pumping station in the distance.

The fiery blooms of the Ocotillo are everywhere.

The Weeping Woman in repose - the camera is tilted in this shot.

Vast views with a peek of the solar farm.

Lupine blooms cover the hills.

Nothing other than a post office remains open in the ghost town of Desert Center.

Many of us have memories of milk shakes and burgers, of first jobs, of the stories of travelers passing through.

Each year a little more is gone.

The past fades but in our memories.
We spend the day playing in the desert with Kevin, while Bridgette is off to Mexico with a couple neighbors. I make a pot of taco soup, and we spend the evening visiting with these dear friends.

Winston keeps us entertained with his antics. What a character! No, of course I don't remember a photo of the humans :-))
At the last minute we decide to add a stop in Banning to see some of our other high school friends. As it turns out, it is a very serendipitous change of plans. So important to take the time to see people you love whenever you have the opportunity.

Tommy, Shirlene, Maggie, Bill, Stacy, Jodee and Eric - thanks for the photo Jimmy!

Dear friends, lots of laughs.
Saturday is a perfect SoCal day of blue skies, mild temps and no wind. A beautiful drive that takes us to our family! Jeff moved back to Seattle in December, but the other five sons, two and a half daughter-in-laws (one wedding pending), and three grandsons all live in Santa Clarita.

Snow on San Gorgonio and non-spinning wind turbines.
We set up at Valencia Travel Village for a few weeks (we'll extend like always), and before long Ezra has come to play!! Oh how we've missed this little boy who is as excited to see us as we are him. Nothing better!

Ezra Michael

Glad the park has this playground. We spend a lot of time here!

He's getting so tall.
We get together with the boys, get our eye appointments out of the way, and spend more time with Ezra over the next several days. 

Richie, Bill and Gabbie
Simple joy.

These two!

Can you see me?
Nothing like a medical hiccup to remind us what's most important. Having this time to spend with family and good friends has been wonderful. In February we still have more grandsons to see; a Super Bowl party to attend; more doctor, vet and dentist appointments; friends and extended family to visit; and a maintenance checkup for the rig. Life goes on.


  1. I like your 'Rock Raptor', hope the name sticks. We have an Eagle Rock near Warner Springs although it has the wings spread, your Raptor has more facial features. Ezra sure seems to have missed Bill!

    1. I think it should be the name too :-))

      That boy really loves his PopPop!!

  2. Love that you found a beautiful Stone Eagle as the real mascot for the area. The desert is so beautiful and green. Glad the lupine were blooming for you. People aren't as important as that cute dog, Winston. Of course, the white fluffy dog didn't make the post!! The photos of Ezra are great. His personality really comes through. Enjoy your special family time:)

    1. Winston is a riot and has come a long way around people and dogs since they first got him. How could I forget the fluffy one??

  3. "So important to take the time to see people you love whenever you have the opportunity." So true, enjoy your time with those you love. We're sad to not be in the desert this winter, with all the rain going on the blooms are going to be spectacular.

    1. The rain keeps coming and the snow pack is wonderful so we are looking forward to a spectacular bloom in the desert next month. Wish you were here!

  4. It looks so warm and sunny there--we are envious! So glad you guys are where you need to be at this time in your life but we did miss seeing you!

    1. The desert was nice and warm, but we've had so much rain and cold since we got to Valencia! If you're still in AZ in March, we plan to be back in your area after the 7th!

  5. That stone eagle is so cool! And the blooming fields of lupine in the desert are gorgeous.
    It's so wonderful that you're reconnecting with family and friends—you never seem to pass up the opportunity to see those you love. :-) Those photos of Ezra and Bill are especially adorable.

    1. We both wish we had taken the opportunity more before we hit the road, but we're making up for it now :-))) Those two guys are beyond silliness!

  6. Ugggh...even FB is letting me down, as I missed this post. Love the Ezra/PopPop pics!

    1. I might have forgotten to post this one on FB :-( Glad you found it - in case you needed a big Ezra fix!

  7. Family First <3 Those photos of Bill and Ezra are adorable :-) Enjoy your family time!

    1. You know with two grandsons of your own - they're the best!

  8. Great rock shapes, the eagle is fabulous. Nice to see the desert looking so green and full of flowers. I love to see you spending time with family.