Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Road Trip - Arizona II

After picking up my sister in Flagstaff, we drove my rented, bright-red Dodge Charger to Phoenix. I don't know if you are supposed to be able to pick your rental car but I generally say "I need enough power to make it up the black canyon highway" and they'll give me a car with reassurances that it will 'make it with ease'. I have learned (finally) that the people at the rental counter really don't listen, or don't care what your issues are, they just pass you down the line. This big, bulky super-duper charger had no GRIT when in competition for road with the big semis. If you travel in the western USA rent a foreign car - American cars Drink gasoline for breakfast with no reserve energy for when it is needed on the steep grades.
But back to my road trip.
I found that I have a really large family in Arizona. Oh, I knew they were there but have not spent time exploring who they are, too keeping in touch, of feeling that I belong with them. Speaking with each of the children, enjoying their enjoyment of the occasion.
I go often to visit my mother but basically stay in Prescott for the week. With Candy along - Candy who remembers everyone and all the streets where they live - urging us along, Mom and I saw my sister Nancy and her two children and their 4 children. I can imagine that Mom's great-grand children will remember the jokes, the laughter - the gathering for lunch and dinner of a family they had never met.

Mom, Candy and I drove into Phoenix proper to see my Aunt Carol - Mom's
only living sibling, and Aunt Rosa her one remaining sister-in-law. I haven't seen them since the mid 70's when I lived in Phoenix with my small children. This trip was truly a trip home. (Aren't they all beautiful?)

1 comment:

expatbrazil said...

Ahhhh Arizona. Done just about all of it over the years. A bit crowded now, but when I was a kid it was really "open spaces".

- Visited 4-corners back when John Ford filmed there. No paved roads. No tourist, only Navajos.

- Visited Page while the dam was still under-construction.

- Ran to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in a couple of hours, crawled back to the top in 8 hours. This was in March. Canyon rim snow and cold, at bottom Spring had arrived.

- Broke in Flagstaff. Slept in the car at the local A&W. Visited LDS church next day where we cashed a personal check.

-Did Peace Corps training at Arizona State Tempe. 1964

- Lived in Tucson for a few months after Vietnam going to the university. 1974

- Stayed at the White Mountain Apache reservation visiting exPeace Corps friend from Brazil who was teaching there.

- Played golf in Show-Low.

- Visiting Bisbee and listening to the old timers talk in the bar.

- And more, but what I remember the most and what was the best a kid growing up in Oklahoma was reading Arizona Highways and the anticipation of the next visit to Arizona.