Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's Time: My Stay in Arizona

I promised I'd post more about the trip home. School happens and promises get pushed back. If I had a teacher around telling me I had to publish my blog entry by Monday or I'd be docked points, it would get done. I promise.

Pre-script: This one's a long one. Take it in chunks if you have to.

Now, where were we? Arizona. Ah, yeah. Beautiful, lovely state.
This account may or may not play out chronologically. I'm just gonna spill the highlights and let you all just bask in it.

I slept in what my Mom calls "outer darkness". This may sound terribly wrong, but I'm quite comfortable in outer darkness. It's a small comfy bed, tucked out of the way, far enough away from the electronic hourly chime of the living room clock that would normally wake me up every hour throughout the night. That clock reminds me of irrigation turn -wake up! It's time to check water ---again!
I grew up in the basement, and I feel at home there.

It was easy to turn in early and wake up early since my body was used to daylight savings. So 11 pm felt like midnight, 7 am felt like 8.

Day 1, I began painting the inside of one of my Grandma's rental trailers. It always feels more like home when I've got projects to do. I really do love it. Nothing gets you reacquainted with home like getting your hands dirty. Joseph City is one of those timeless little places that you can come back to and feel like you never left and, at the same time, feeling like you never want to leave it again.

The next day, I missed out on branding calves. But I was over painting. Had I known about branding, I would've gone. But they had a good crew anyway, especially since my sister was home for the weekend and helping. Who knew a girl could be such a darn good ranch hand? Come to think of it, she's such a darn good, well ...anything that she tries.

I got to see and hold my new little niece and play with the other nieces and Trent. And Sparky. I also got to see my newest little cousin Karlee and stand in on her blessing. This was the highlight of my highlights. Not that the rest of y'all are second rate -if you know these kids, you understand perfectly. They keep me laughing/amazed/smiling. They're so dang fun. And smarter than you'd ever guess.

Fossil hunting. I'm such a nerd sometimes. The painted desert / badlands / petrified forest that surrounds my hometown is known as the Chinle Formation. It's full of older fossils (Mississippian/Pennsylvanian chert clasts included in the fluvial deposits) of shells, sponges, and crinoid stem fragments. The Triassic fossils include some beautiful petrified wood (the stuff is everywhere you look) and bone fragments (mostly the crocodile-like Phytosaur). Each time I'm home, I get all excited about exploring in the Chinle. This time, I went out fossil collecting about four times. Twice on my own, once with Jim, and once with Jim plus Julie, Justin, Derron, Cat, Nick, Annelie, and Sparky. The wind that Monday was brutal enough to close down the Interstate. But the fossil-lovers were undaunted in their quest. Nick is really developing a keen eye when it comes to fossils. His dad isn't too shabby either. We had a lot of fun, got sand blown into our eyes/ears/hair/everything.

It felt good to be back inside the cab of Justin's Jeep, safe from the wind. On the ride home, the promise of gummy bears compelled us to really step on it ...and to play the Gummy Bear song on Justin's system. I agree with Sparky: "That's a silly song".

Saturday night, I went to see the High School's production of My Fair Lady. That is such a dang-clever play, and the casting was spot-on for this play. I am slightly biased, as my cousins were in the cast. Jason was cast as 'enry 'iggins. I was ..."dashed". Jason was phenomenal. Justin and Annelie were so fun to watch too.
It was so fun to watch. Though the crowd was sparse, I couldn't help but let the boisterous laughs roll. Being at the play brought back some great memories of my high school days. Times to cherish, for sure.

I happened to catch a ride down to Mesa with my Aunt Cheryl. I got to see some friends: Spenser, Stormy, and Perla.We grabbed dinner at Red Robin off of Stapley and watched Date Night. It was fun. I stayed at Mike and Brittany's place in Queen Creek. That was fun. I love their place and it's situated on the edge of the undeveloped desert-mountain region, full of neat geology and beautiful desert life. I haven't been able to see them much since we both left Flagstaff. So staying with them was great.

Confession: I am not really a dog person. I'm just not. Over the years, I've formed the opinion that some dogs are fun to play with, but not to own. But my Brother and his wife have two dogs (Rarri and Kaci) that really won me over. They're Italian greyhounds. They're small, energetic, don't bark, and are super smart.
Rarri is a little too energetic for his own good, but he's still fun. Kaci is my favorite. She's such a good dog. She really warmed up to me, and just before I left to come back up to Idaho, she got to where she would follow me around the house, wait til I sat down, and jump up on my lap. I felt so loved.

On the ride back to Joseph City with Mike and Brittany, we decided to make a random stop at Tonto Natural Bridge. They felt like it was a shame that the Geologist had never been there. It was incredible. Such a good idea to stop.

Kimmy's reception. This really was the perfect weekend to be home. I mean, all the events seemed to line up perfectly. Family came to be there for Kimmy's reception. I got to be there for it and see everyone. Thanks again to those who contributed generously to the "Bring Him Home" fund. :) Grandma's "reception center" backyard was dressed up in lights and trinkets. It was fun to see all the adults mingle while the little ones got to run free in sunday best, (the flower-girl and ring-bearer in their very best) care-free and full of sugar from the candy carousel.

I've left out lots of little fun details, but this isn't a novel (though it's almost as long). I'll wrap it up.

I love Arizona. I love my hometown. I love it because it's the soil I was raised in. The spirit of my ancestors lingers there and lives on in the hearts of the people. It's where I'm from, it's where I want to be. It's where I belong. It's home.

1 comment:

Cat said...

Great Post Steven! We loved having you home. Just today when I pulled off of the interstate at the Love's exit, Seth pointed to the dirt road that we took that windy monday & said, "Mom, that's where we went to get rocks, I road in the jeep". Hope you get to come home again soon, it's always fun & we look forward to seeing you.