Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sun City, Arizona

I have safely arrived at Kit and Ken’s where I will be staying for the next little while while I explore Arizona

Kit was my best friend through middle and high school. She was also my brother Dick’s first wife, and mother to 4 of his children. We have a lot to catch up on, and I’m getting a kick out of telling Michelle about her Mom’s teenage antics. It’s payback of a sort. We always were up to something, but I always got the blame cause Kit was such a sweet, quiet child. Yet she thought up at least half of our adventures!

I took Madame in to have the tire fixed, and an oil change – 3000 miles already on this trip!!! She has a small oil leak. First since I’ve had her. I’ll have to keep a close watch on that.

I spent an evening with Michelle and Gaow, my brother Dick’s second wife and widow. I had thought she had returned to Thailand, but no, and we had a delicious authentic Thai dinner. White rice, fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, eggplant with pork and vegetables with pork, and also, of course, pic nom pa – hot sauce for the rice. I have never developed a taste for eggplant, so I asked Gaow if that was indeed eggplant, and she replied, “You try!!!!” “yes, Mom” I replied meekly. Gaow is the same age as Michelle, her step-daughter, and my Brooke.

Michelle and Brooke are “nearly identical twins”, born 6 months apart, from different parents!!!, They are so much alike, that watching Michelle talk, I could have been watching Brooke. They are so much alike, in looks, mannerisms, and personalities. True Benson genes.

Michelle teaches high school art. I saw her classroom and met her class, and saw their projects. She really has come up with some clever ideas for projects, and the students interpretations are amazing.

When I was in England, I could find anywhere in London, as long as it was on the “Circle Line”. Well, now, in Phoenix, I can find anywhere as long as it is on Bell Rd. I had errands to run today, I needed embroidery thread, Laundry soap, oil, a phone, and fuses for my car, and I totally succeeded in getting everything without getting lost – thanks to Jack - and nearly all stops on Bell Rd.

When I got home, Ken and I figured out the inverter, then he supervised while I changed fuses. The inverter works great. Ken is very impressed with it - you know, the boys and their toys.

I got the phone to see if it would work with MajicJack. It does, I think the phone I was using was so old, it didn’t know how to work with modern technology. I called Betsy in Virginia Beach, and the sound quality was great. Now, whenever I am connected to the internet, I’ll be able to make free long distance phone calls, and save my cell phone minutes.

It seems like everyone in this area has a golf cart. And why not? They are street legal on any street with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Kit drives one to and from work. Ken says she drives it at warp speed, too.

Tip for travelers: Do not get a DUI in Arizona. My great niece got one – first offense. $15,000 and 30 days in jail!!!

The “other” members of this household are Zoopa – a Senegal Parrot, who screeches so loud at times, that I always jump., and two talented Shih Tzus, Christi and Zui. Ken plays the piano, and when he plays songs the dogs like, they sing along with him!!! They are so cute – their faces look like models for the Wookies in Star Wars!!!

In the backyard there is a bird feeder hanging on a tree. I watched the pigeons the other day. Some would fly up, grab some seed, then fly back to the ground. One, though, more creative than the others, would fly up to the corner of the feeder and flap his wings – which made the feeder turn round and round. His own private carousel.

We just returned from supper. I was given a choice between Mexican, Steak or Seafood. The Ladies know what I chose…… Mexican. We had fresh, homemade guacamole. How do I know it was fresh and homemade you may ask……. Because it was made right at our table. Wow was it ever good!!!

Travel Tip. I know I told you about the rest areas in Texas being so far apart. In Arizona, from the New Mexico line to Phoenix, about 250 miles, there are 3 rest areas……… BUT – 2 of them are closed. So, no big gulps in Arizona either.

Wild Life: Here in the neighborhood are Jackrabbits, Desert Cottontails and Coyotes. At nite if a siren sounds in the distance you can hear their yipping. They are bold rascals, too. A neighbor pulled into her garage and was carrying groceries into the house, when a coyote came into the garage, jumped into her car through an open window, grabbed her small dog, and made off with it. So, ‘ware the coyotes.

Until Next Time!

Bear Hugs

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