Thursday, March 26, 2020

Getting to This Day

February 14 - March 26, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

One real disadvantage to not keeping current on the blog is that when the world turns upside down you forget what you were doing during those weeks you didn't capture. 

We've been enjoying our little home on the hill, so grateful that we got settled in to the perfect location to ride out a social distancing mandate. Not difficult here :-) 

Toward the end of February we started tossing around the idea of staying put this year. It was mostly a financial consideration as we want to pay off the improvements we did to the house, and campground fees have gotten so much higher! Our routes were planned, and I had made most of our reservations through September, but nothing that couldn't be undone. We also wanted to see what summers are like here before we put anymore money into improvements we think are most important. Given that eventually we'll live here fulltime, it's probably wise to consider things that will keep us comfortable in the hotter months as well :-) 

The original plan was to hit the road in mid-April, with our annual high school reunion as our first stop. When the reunion was cancelled we decided that was a good enough sign for us that we should just stay put. 

Now of course, staying put may be what all of us are doing for longer than we'd like. 

Our back porch is still the best seat in the house.
Something we haven't done much in the last several years is little ones' birthday parties. Clyde and Sarah's (friends from my class in high school who live in nearby Safford) invited us to their newest great-grand child's second birthday. Pizza for everyone and a gazillion darling new outfits for the birthday girl. What fun!

Donnie and Anna's grand daughters came for a visit the beginning of March, and it's always fun to see them. Today they are all back from Colorado, moving here permanently just a few months earlier than planned. 

Roz and Quinn enjoying the sunshine.

Quinn has discovered posing :-)
The three of us, or sometimes just Tessa and I, spend a lot of time exploring our beautiful and historic surroundings. The weather changes everyday giving us a variety of views along the same trails.

Reminds me of my horse who would always walk between the shadows.

The Old Gleeson Jail

Such character in the remnants of the old settlement.

Surrounded by mountains, we get many layers of color and light.

Sheepshead in the distance means we're nearing home.
Sadly our friend Mike buried his son here in St George in 2016. This year he and his wife are unable to make the drive from Phoenix so Bill, Kevin and I take flowers in remembrance of his passing.

Ed Schefflin founded the town of Tombstone, and his wish was to be buried here. The monument marks his grave just outside of town. 
The San Pedro River defines much of the ecosystem we enjoy in this part of Cochise County. You can follow it's path through the desert by the mature Cottonwood Trees that line and fill the river bed. They tell the seasons with the coloring, loss and return of their leaves. 

The San Pedro House is a small visitor center and interpretive garden. The giant trees steal the show.

The trunk is the size of a Volkswagon.

Level paths meander through a variety of local flora.

Feeling very small among these amazing trees.

One cloudy day Bill suggests we finally make the drive to Cochise Stronghold on the "other side" of the Dragoon Mountains. Cochise and the Apaches have a long, often violent, history here, and the stronghold is an opportunity to walk among the spirits of that history. It turns out to be the perfect day to visit, with rain threatening and almost no one else in the park. It's my new favorite place, and I can't wait to get back to spend more time among the fabulous trees and rocks.

The first glimpse of the stronghold draws us in. 

A world of hiding places enabled Cochise and his band to escape battle and capture for many years. He is said to be buried here in an unmarked grave.

The sound of rushing water draws us down a narrow trail.

A fast flowing stream flows from Dragoon Springs.

Tessa leads us back to the Jeep, stopping for us to catch up.

Lots to see here, like a giant shark eating a boat.

And a tiny elephant peeking around the corner.

The skies open up as soon as we get back to the Jeep, and pours on us for several miles.

Green is slowly returning the desert here.

We take a new way home, the back way through Benson. Beautiful.
Other than trips to Sierra Vista to pick up groceries in the safety of a parking area with no one but the store clerk who loads the car and requires no signature, and a quick stop to pick up new glasses in an office with one other person, we are staying away from other people. Our friends have hunkered down as well.

Which gets us to this day.

Ezra and his parents are en route to spend a couple weeks with us. Getting them out of the city, and out of their small apartment with an active four year old, is something we've been working on for a couple weeks. We really want to get Jeff out of Seattle, but he is being responsible, not wanting to chance exposure to those of us at higher risk. He's safely at home with fast, unlimited Internet and a GrubHub account so he says he's fine :-)

Tucked in with a movie for the long drive to PopPop and Nawma's house.
Like so many negative things that impact our lives, for me it's the not knowing the end of the story that I'm concerned about. Living as we are now is not a terrible hardship, but not knowing how we'll be living a month from now is hell. Fortunately we don't know anyone who knows anyone infected with the virus, but we worry that could change at any time. We're still planning our September trip to Lake Powell, but we don't know if things will be better or worse by then. I believe that social distancing is the right answer for flattening the curve, but I don't know that everyone is taking the necessary steps to ensure it happens. 

We laugh at the run on toilet paper and cry at the lack of adequate supplies for our healthcare personnel. Clearly we are not prepared for a global crisis. Certainly we're all being given an opportunity to decide what's really important. 

Hopefully we'll be better to each other during and after this wake up call. Hopefully you are all safe and well and counting your blessings.

And there's always desert sunsets to appreciate....