Tuesday, June 19, 2012


To continue our absolutely non-sequential and non-essential and non-logical series of posts -- we've moved!

As  the Old Man (our daughters' occasional name for their Beloved Father} approached his annual birthday -- yes, I still recognize one each year and count myself fortunate to have gotten there -- we noticed that my Driver License was about to expire -- on my birthday. What a wonderful present! And Suzy's license was to expire six months later.

To renew our Driver Licenses in our legal domicile, the State of Oregon, would have required a hasty trip across I-10 into that morass called Southern California, then a quick segue onto I-5 for approximately 900 miles to get to Salem, Oregon. And of course then, there's the return trip, assuming we pass the eye and other tests! That's going to be about a 3000 mile round trip. In the motorhome, twenty driving days, at least as many recovery days along the way. By car, ten driving days, ten motel nights, thirty restaurant meals. Nooo-o-o-o--o--o---o!

So we decided now is the time to switch to being Arizona residents. Suzy had done some research, of course; biggest question was the cost. Every one we had talked to told us that vehicle license fees would be well above Oregon's, and we found that to be true. But first, how about getting Driver Licenses in Arizona? We had to drive all the way to Sierra Vista, about 30 miles (but we had to go there anyway for other things), took a number in the MVD office and waited our turn. We needed to take an eye test, with our glasses. They found out we could each see, so they took $10 each and told us to wait to have our pictures taken. Then they issued our licenses, good for five years. That easy!

In the meantime, we have now settled into what could be called "summer normal" for our park. Only 93 leaseholders (out of of 297) are still here, along with 13 "guests" (folks who are renting a site). The monsoon season officially began on Friday, June 15, with a caution from forecasters that the rain doesn't necessarily begin right away. In fact, it waited until Saturday, June 16! Nothing since, thank goodness, because we have a major erosion project underway in the park that was supposed to be finished before the monsoon rains hit. The rain won the race!
Cleaning out the old wash that has flooded a few times in the past.
It's a BIG job!
Getting set to build a "plunge pool" to receive the water coming down from the properties behind us.
They moved out mountains of dirt, and brought in mountains of boulders.
The first course of boulders in place.
In the usual "summer normal" around here,  not much is going on. The kitchen is closed down from April till maybe late September, we don't bring in entertainment. We call it the "unseason." This year is different. One of our leaseholders, a former restaurant manager, has taken it upon himself (with help from his friends) to prepare and serve a series of meals once or twice a week. The few of us in the park have responded with enthusiasm to offers of such treats as breakfast omelets, grilled chicken breast, tacos, roast pork loin, and other delicacies. And on occasional Saturday evenings, we have live music for listening or dancing up at the clubhouse.

Summer time has brought out the wild life for sure!
This is "Our Family" of Gambel Quail, the ones born on our back porch. Seven youngsters have survived this far.
Black throated sparrow.
House finch
Don't know this fellow's name, but a few of them call our site home.
Silver Cardinal getting a bite of a peanut cake.
And of course, you've already met our Gila Monster and the Drill Sergeant!
The Gila Monster on the prowl.
Things are quiet during the heat of the day (we've been running right around 100 degrees most days) but the early morning and late evening walkers still come around, and some folks, including us, will drive the park in our golf carts in the evening. Other evenings may find us just sitting out in our yard, enjoying a quiet time in ... Our Life on Wheels!

Let us wrap up on a somber note. We recently learned that our grand nephew Stefan LeRoy stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. Ten in his platoon were injured, one has since died. Stefan had both legs amputated, one at the knee, one just below, and other injuries. He is presently at Walter Reed in Bethesda, MD, and some of the others in his platoon are there as well. Stefan is looking forward to a new set of wheels this week so he can move around on his own steam. Messages of support and encouragement can be sent to him and his parents through Caring Bridge.


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  2. Our hearts are very heavy at the news of your grand nephew...That last paragraph took my breathe away...Prayers going out to you and his family...and all of those who serve. What a life changing event...We keep you in our thoughts..and I will definitely get on Caring Bridge...Keep the faith..

  3. I am SO sorry to hear about your nephew, but thank God he's alive. My oldest son is in Afghanistan, and should be home for Thanksgiving. I know and understand the nightmare of worry, and I will be thinking of you and your family.

  4. That does look like a huge job!

    I love the wildlife photos. Wonderful!

    Your place looks awesome. So homey!

    Our prayers go out to Stefan and all those in the military. I was so glad you wrote about his new set wheels. You make it sound like he is being positive about his situation which I find wonderful. He only needs to lean on our Dear Lord for comfort, healing and peace.

  5. So glad that your avian family is still there!

    The place looks so nice and inviting.

    I wish Caring Bridge allowed more words. How does one say "thank you for your service and we will continue to pray for you" in such a limited number of characters? I am waaayy too wordy for that, but after four tries, I did it. What a sacrifice for such a young person.

  6. So sorry to hear about Stefan and our prayers will be with him. How long will he be at Walter Reed Hospital and the DC area? We get down there a few times a year and if possible could drop in and see him.

    1. I am also of the old school and when I read Walter Reed I thought it was in Washington DC because I had been past it.

      However,the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), formerly known as the National Naval Medical Center and colloquially referred to as the Bethesda Naval Hospital replaced Walter Reed in 2011. So now it is still known as Walter Reed (colloquially) but it is in Baltimore.

  7. Prayers for your great nephew and the entire family.

  8. It sounds like you guys are settled in for the hot summer, and everything is going well.

    I'm so sorry for Stefan and will send up some prayers that his recovery and rehabilitation will be smooth. He's a hero, for sure.

    I'll also visit Caring Bridge and leave a message. :)

  9. Thank you for telling us about Stefan. What a courageous young man.

    I can't believe there are that many of you sticking around for the summer. Our park was down to 11 when we left. But the wildlife probably loves the peace and quiet.

  10. Reading along about Arizona I was brought up short by your last paragraph. As a grandmother of two boys who served in Iraq for multiple tours, I abhor the awful injuries that are happening in these new kinds of wars. So sad for you and for your grand nephew, but like many others, he will hopefully rise to the call with courage and perseverance. Ugly and awful. Heart breaking. Prayers all around.

  11. That's so sad to hear about your nephew, Stefan. I wish all the best to him in his recovery. I just hate it when these young guys get hurt so badly. Stefan is certainly one of the best of the best!

    It was a very nice blog, Jerry, but after reading about Stefan anything else I could say seems so inconsequential.

  12. I'm so sorry about what happened to Stefan and the others in his platoon. I thank them all for their service to our country. I hope they will all receive rehabilitation which will help them cope with their injuries.

    Jerry and Suzy, it's Oregon's loss and Arizona's gain this summer! Enjoy the rest of your "summer normal" and hang on tight turning the monsoon rains!

  13. So, so, sorry to hear about your grand nephew. Wishing him the best through his recovery process.

  14. Jerry and Suzy. Nearly every time I visit my local VA I see these injured soldiers, sailors, and marines. Although I have explicit views regarding our existing war efforts I keep them voiceless. I struggle to remember that in nearly all cases, these young Americans are doing what they love to do (serving their country). While I rarely speak to them personally (my words seem not worthy), I do thank them (and now Stefan and his platoon mates) silently for wearing the uniform of our still blessed country and for allowing the rest of us to live relatively free from worry.

    Hopefully you will give us an update on Stefan from time to time.

    John and Ellen

  15. So sad to hear the news about Stefan. What a brave young man he must be. Prayers for you and the other family members who are so deeply affected by this event. We thank God every day for our troops, but it rarely reaches us on a personal level.

  16. Liked the nature photos & am glad the Quail family is doing well. All the best to Stefan & I bet you will see a remarkable young man emerge out of all this trauma.

  17. OOO, u got some scary neighbors in your yard, always love those quail. How is Suzy doing? I am at 90#. Still don't feel like eating, have to force myself... But otherwise seem to be doing well. Enjoyed your 'catch up' and that all is going well..

  18. Sorry to hear about your grand-nephew. God Bless our troops. Prayers.

  19. I am so sadden to hear about your grand nephew ~ Prayers are going out for your nephew and the entire family. Loved your birdie and wildlife photos and your post other then that news....

  20. Jerry and Suzy, I am soooo sorry to hear the news about Stefan. Please tell him thank you so very much for doing the job he does! Prayers and good wishes for him.

    Donna nana.donnad@yahoo.com

  21. That last paragraph sure took the wind out of my sails. Please thank Stefan for me. Our soldiers put so much on the line when they commit to serve. I truly hope he has a short and strong recovery.


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