Friday, September 21, 2012

Arizona: Part One

Wednesday, September 12
This was the day I left Missouri, the last time I would see it, or anybody in it, for at least two years. That morning my younger brother and I went to our neighbors house before school so I could say goodbye to them. They live in the same house we used to rent right after our house burned down so its kinda funny to see other people using the house. When we got there only the mom and the oldest daughter was awake but news quickly spread that we were here so the other children got up. The oldest girl was wearing regular clothes, a skirt and a T-shirt. We talked a lot and we got to help milk their cow. I am not very good at that, I've done it maybe about four times. It made my arms and wrists sore so I didn't do it very long. After we milked the cow we headed back inside and they got ready for school. The girls became Mennonites when they put on their dresses and caps. They are not really but they go to the Mennonite school. We left at breakfast and carried out a gallon of milk with us.

The rest of that morning was very busy and fast. We left the house late and rushed over to our friends winery so I could say goodbye. They were busy with the big tanks in the wine room when we got there but stopped their work when we came in. We didn't have much time so it was quick. When that was over I hopped into the truck with Dad and Mom took my brother and sister home again.

Dad and I stopped to get some lunch at MacDonald's, the drive in was very slow so Dad went inside and that was even slower. Now we were really rushed. We still had to stop at PetSmart to get a different carrier for Dixie for the airplane, the one we had was too small. By the time we were done at MacDonald's Mom had caught up with us, and she had gone back home which took an extra twenty minutes.... yeah we were cutting it close. We finally got to PetSmart where we met with my aunt and grandmother. Dad ran inside to get the other carrier and Mom and I stayed in the parking lot and visited. Dad was back out in a jiffy so we said goodbye. My aunt gave me with some lip gloss and they both sent me off with a hug.

When we got to the airport I had my suitcase, my carry-on and Dixie. Mom had to get into my suitcase to put something in and when she tried to open it the zipper broke. There was some blue paint on the zipper, Dad had jammed it past that part when we left the house and now when Mom was trying to open the bag it broke when she came to the paint.

So now there was a problem.

We rushed inside. Mom pushed the stroller and carried Dixie. I had the small suitcase and Dad carried the broken one. Dad managed to find some tape somewhere, it had an airlines logo on it and was red, and wrapped tape all around my bag. We checked it and it went as cargo.

I was a little nervous going through security. I didn't want to be "randomly" selected to be searched, plus the whole thing is an infringement on our rights (What happened to warrants?) so I was in a bad mood going through. Well, I was close to being a random because the guy behind me got beeped when he went through the scanner. "Oh, we got another random." A TSA agent called out loudly. The man was big and burly. He looked thoroughly disgusted with the whole situation. I had a feeling that if this was a couple hundred years ago and these guys tried to pull this on him, he would have gave them all the thrashing they deserved. For my safety my foot. Give me security of my person, papers, and property please. Yeah, this whole security thing gets me riled up. Moving on...

I just barely made it in time on the plane, I was hardly in my seat before it went out onto the runway. From Missouri to Texas was a comfortable flight. I had the outside seat of a row of three. The middle was empty so I put my dog on the floor there. Next to the window was a young Japanese man with a bottle of pink Gatorade. He was evidently a little sick to be on the plane because he took some pills, and squeezed his eyes shut during take off. When the flight attendants came through with drinks and snacks he asked for ginger ale and tried to sleep the rest of the flight.

It was a little weird in the Dallas airport. I have been there before but that was years ago when I was little and when Mom held onto my hand real tight. Seeing this place again just gave me a strange feeling. When I got off the plane I asked a lady at the counter how to get to my next plane. She read my ticket and then gave me directions to the right place. I had to get on one of those trains. I huffed through the doorway and set Dixie down. Oh my arms were aching. Big windows were on the side and I could watch the airport breezing on by. Once I got to the right gate I was able to settle down a little. There was a lady dark skinned, dark hair, who also had a dog. A little chiwawah. She used the same kind of carrier Dixie was in. We talked a little and she was hoping to have a seat close to mine but we didn't. We didn't wait long before it was time for boarding again.

I was at gate A22, it is blurry but its the only one I have.

From Texas to Arizona was not comfortable. I was in the middle seat between one very loud man, and the other I don't remember. I had drifted off to sleep when I was woken up by the loud man calling to his friends a few rows back, "Hey --------, it looks like they got the >insert name of a medical device< out!" I sat up from my slumped position and looked around. Ahead of me very much scrunched together, was a knot of people. There were some wiry looking things running down to the seat where a person must have been. I could not tell who it was. Soon a flight attendant with red hair went to the microphone and over the intercom I heard her say, "We do have a medical situation going on right now and if their are any nurses or doctors among the passengers on board please come up and help. Everyone else I'd like to ask to remain in their seat." Soon I saw a middle aged blond woman get up behind me and cram in among the knot of people. Passengers stayed in their seats and various people came and went from the little crowd.

"Oh, now they got the saline drip going.", was shouted next to my right ear.

I watched and prayed.

The red-head got back on the intercom. "We do have a medical situation going on here but we've contacted the paramedics and they will meet us on the ground as soon as we get into Phoenix. I'd like to ask that all passengers remain in their seats until we have him taken off the plane and we get the situation under control. Again, please remain in your seats until the patient is off the plane. Thank you for your co-operation."

A view from the window. The loud man graciously leaned back and sucked his tummy in while I took this picture. ;)

Aha, so it is a man. It didn't take much longer to get into the airport. I am sure we cut in line because this was the fastest taxiing I've ever been through. We landed fast and got into the gate fast. As we were coming in the red-head reminded every to stay in their seats. I looked out the window across the isle. A red ambulance was waiting. As soon as we had stopped and the door was open a black lady in a navy blue came in. She asked a few questions, wrote some things down on a paper, and the man was helped out. He was an older man, over weight, with white hair,  bald in the middle but had hair on the sides of his head.

We were soon given the okay to get off.

When I went to the baggage claim it didn't take long to spot my suitcase. There is it was with the red and white tape all over it. People were laughing and pointing to it. They probably thought it was pretty funny when I was the one the picked it up. I would have laughed too if I saw myself. :) A black man with a luggage cart was standing behind me. He noticed I was having trouble with my bags and offered to help. He loaded them onto the cart and followed me to door one where some friends from the church out here were waiting to pick me up. After giving me a hug and asking how I was doing Mr. L------- helped the man unload the luggage into the back of the car. Dixie stayed in her carrier and was put in the back seat with his two boys, twins.

We talked (of course) and headed over to Quick Trip where we would meet my brother, Z-----. Not long after we had pulled in I saw his car pull into the parking lot. Big smile. I got out of the car to meet him. He had a cowboy hat on and was completely covered in black. He had just gotten off work, he works with our cousin doing asphalting in The Valley. As the space between my brother and I closed I was a little apprehensive of hugging that big mess of black; but like a good sister that hasn't seen her brother in eight and a half months, I decided I'd hug him anyways. He smiled big and looked a little mischievous. He picked me off my feet and gave me a huge hug. Oh boy, I hope this stuff doesn't get on my clothes. ;) But I was happy to see him.

Z------ took us out for a snack at Jack in the Box and from there we went our separate ways. The L--------- went home and my brother and I went to Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill for dinner. It's kinda like Chipotle.

hehe, I wonder what he will think about this picture. ;)
After dinner we went home to Grandpa L-----'s place and listened to Generations Radio before I crashed and slept like a log.

Thursday, September 13

The first thing I did in the morning was to take in the food situation. Not much. There was packaged food in the pantry that had been there over a decade, instant mashed potato packages, soup mixes, bags of chips, and about five different cake mixes. Use that sentence as a description of the entire pantry and you'll know what kind of food I'm talking about. I can't cook with that. I called Mom to help figure out what we should by and then when Z----- got up I took him grocery shopping. We went to the bank first so he could deposit his paycheck. When we got back we put the groceries away and got ready for a trip to the lake. I packed a lunch and soon enough we got back out to the car. It wouldn't start. The connection to the battery was lose and there were no tools a Grandpas house. Z----had to get on his bike and go down the block to Auto Zone. When he got back and tightened it the car started right up. I brought our lunch back out and we went to the lake.
That blurry spot is a water drop. I wasn't nervous to take my camera into the water because its water proof and it had a floaty so it wouldn't sink if I dropped it.

Canyon Lake is not too far from where Grandpa lives so it wasn't a super long drive. When we got there we found a parking spot and headed down to the water. The first place we went down was all ready occupied. A hippy was down there listening to some music, no shirt, white skin, bushy brown beard, and was busy panning for gold. Z------ and I went to another part of the lake and had fun swimming. At first I didn't get in fast enough. My brother pushed me. The water was very pretty, green and not too cold. We didn't swim very long before we had lunch and then we got back in. I was scared to go down to the bottom because I couldn't see it and it might be slimy and something might pinch me. hehe ;) Z----- went to the bottom and told me it was just a bunch of rocks, eventually he convinced me to do it. It was deep and further than I thought it was going to be, but, nothing pinched me and it wasn't slimy.

This is a one way bridge. Z----- had jumped off of it last time he was there but didn't do it this time.

This picture makes me smile. :)

After we had enough of swimming we headed over to the Goldfield Mining Town and got ice cream cones and sarsparilla at the ice cream shop.

Z----- got chocolate chip and I got butter pecan.
We ate our cones on the deck outside. We listened to Generations Radio every night I was there. Also I am pretty sure that we watched Smokey and the Bandit that morning.

Friday, September 14

This morning we watched Smokey and the Bandit 2. Then we had lunch and got ready to go hiking.

This is where we are headed.
It was a long walk across the plain.

Getting closer
Take note of the light green grassy patch behind my head right below the side of the mountain.

We found this on the way.
In the grassy patch this is what we found:

The next few pictures is what we found on the other side of this boulder.

This is a weird picture....
Now here are some pictures when we really started the climb.

It was very damp underneath that rock but there was no water at the surface.

We're starting to leave the grassy area now.

That is higher than it looks. Z----- tried to climb it, probably would have made it but he wasn't willing to risk it this high up.

"I'm on the edge..." ;)  We made it to the very top.
Zach was tired and didn't even go to look over the edge.
I don't blame him though, he's already done this before and with his job he's always doing so much work anyways. And our water bottles didn't melt fast enough. We were very thirsty!

It was pretty flat up there on the top. Lots of scrub. We lay down on the rocks for a while and just soaked up the sun. It was nice weather that day and when you get far enough up you're climbing in the shadow of the mountain so its pretty cool.

Climbing back down the mountain was fast.

Here's the plain we walked across.
And now we're done. :)

We climbed right next to the leftmost side of the steep part. When we were at the top I sat on the very edge on the left.

Saturday, September 15

Z------ had to work that day, he left even before I got up. I ate my breakfast, pancakes, eggs, and a banana, and read my Bible on the table outside by the pool. With Z----- gone at work I had the whole day to myself. I decided to do some cleaning. It took me quite a while. Phew. I also called my friend and we talked for two and a half hours. I had been planning on cleaning Z-----'s bathroom, (it was needing some cleaning in a baaad way) but he got home earlier than I expected so I didn't. I also made some bread... which came out terrible. It probably had something to do with the very old white flour I was using. Especially when I'm used to freshly ground at home whole wheat flour. And some apple strudel muffins. Those were good. :)

Sunday, September 16

I made french toast for breakfast that morning. We watched a spy movie and then part of an episode of Doomsday Preppers. Sunday service is at one thirty because the church has to use someone else's building so they have to wait till the afternoon when they're finished with it. Pepper jack grilled cheese sandwiches with onion and sprouts was for lunch. Yum. :) We went to church early so I would have time to practise piano before the service. I played piano for them when we were there last winter and so I was doing it again this Sunday. The sermon was about obedience, using 1 Samuel chapter 15 as the text. After church we had fun talking.

When we left the church we headed over to the L-----------'s house. (The same ones who had picked me up at the airport.) We had dinner there and stayed very late. Lots of talking, lots of laughing. Here are some pictures. :)

Making pink lemonade.


The artichokes were taking too long to cook so we just skipped them for the night. That made the youngest daughter happy, she doesn't like artichokes. We had enchiladas, re-fried beans, and strawberry lemonade for dinner. A coffee mousse and pineapple upside down cake was for desert.

The girls, S-------, and I walked the dog, Regi, around the neighborhood.

I wasn't wearing any shoes so when I was walking through this I stepped on a cactus. It didn't hurt as bad as I'd thought it would. I just picked it out and I was good to go.

We stopped at the park for a while.

Regi really like eating the grass.

When we got back and after we had desert the girls and I went upstairs to their room and talked about anything you can think of. Z----- stayed downstairs with the parents and talked. The twins were sent to bed so after they had brushed their teeth they came in and gave us hugs and said goodnight. At nine o'clock my brother and I left.

The girls and I take a picture before we leave.
The L---------'s let me take one of their suitcases because I told them about mine being broken. They wanted to be sure I was able to get my things back on my return ride on the airplane.

Monday, September 16

Z------ went to work early that morning. I got up to send him off and to say goodbye. I was leaving to go to my other grandparents in Casa Grande for a few days. I'll write about my time there in the next post. I went back to bed and then got up at a more reasonable hour and then spent rest of the morning packing my things. My grandparents came and picked me up at lunch time.

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