I haven’t blogged in a long while – over a month in fact. That’s long even for me. but in my defense, it’s been another busy month. My day-job is intense and family life is getting hectic. There’s much to share and I will leave out some things so let me first enumerate.
After my mother and Uncle Dale left, we hosted an Ayyam-i-Ha party here at our house. Some of the local children were adorable and it’s good to see younger folks joining the Baha’i community here in this retirement/farm town. Work, as I said, got heavy and I flew to San Jose, CA for a business meeting and made a couple day trips up to Scottsdale as well. We gave up on training Gracie – the Visla, Hungarian hunting dog. I think she was mentally damaged by abuse and starvation. We gave her to the guy who trains dope-sniffing dogs at the prison in Eloy, AZ. He gave up on her too and gave her to a family with young energetic kids who can apparently keep up with dog’s nervous energy. win-win.
Deb and I went to the annual civil war re-enactment at Picacho Peak Park in early March. Yes, I was surprised too, to learn that the civil war actually reached this far to the West. The re-enactment was not of the skirmish that occurred there, but rather of a much larger battle that happened at Glorietta Pass in New Mexico. Re-enacting the Picacho skirmish would only use about 20 actors and last only about 10 minutes, so the last big western campaign seemed like a more exciting choice. We met some fine folks there who consider themselves “living historians” (which beats the alternative I guess). Some had their facts straight, others seemed to have a rosy view of what the war was all about (guess what color uniform THEY wore).
My dear bride convinced me it was a good idea to invite her nephew, Merrell, to come visit us on his spring break, so I set about the task of arranging flights etc. Turns out, Merrell, who is 18, is about to graduate High School in Alabama as first in his class – of 14. That’s right only 14 in the senior class at the Camp Hill school. The town will decide soon whether or not there will even BE a school there after this year. He arrived in Arizona (courtesy my Southwest airlines frequent flyer coupons) around the 15th and we ran him ragged, visiting spots here in Arizona that a young kid from Alabama might never get to see. He and Deb did most of the travelling in the first part of the week, but I took Friday off in order to put in an extraordinary “bus-man’s holiday” myself. Merrell and I went to the top of Mt. Lemon down in Tucson (in my car), stopping at Windy Point to climb the rocks and take photos. (That’s when I began to understand how much I have aged recently.) We drove out to Old Tucson Studios, just to see the place (we were exhausted) before driving through the Saguaro National Park on our way back north to Casa Grande. Merrell was amazed at the environmental difference between the top of Mt. Lemon (which is like the Colorado Rockies) and the cactus-covered desert of the valley floor – and all in such a relatively short distance. On Naw Ruz day (the Baha’i new year 21 March), Deb, Merrell and I drove about 150 miles southeast to Tombstone to see the town that made Wyatt Earp famous. What a tourist trap. But it was a must-do for Arizona anyway. The most educational aspect was touring the old Cochise County courthouse there – now a state park. Too bad Arizona is so broke, that they will close it indefinitely at the end of the month. From Tombstone we drove over to Fort Huachuca (pronounced “Wah -Choo-Kah”) in Sierra Vista, AZ. That was the home of the 9th and 10th Calvary, better known as the “Buffalo Soldiers”. There’s a museum at the fort that features some interesting displays and artifacts from the late 1800’s. I tell you what: those were some incredibly tough soldiers. Merrell flew home on the 23rd. I think it was with mixed emotions. Part of him wanted to never go back, but part of him is anxious to get his diploma and start college at Morehouse in Atlanta this fall. (Merrell applied to 16 colleges and was accepted by all 16.)
Oh, did I not mention the Fast? Yes, I was fasting during daylight hours from March 2 through the 20th, as Baha’is do each year. But this year, I actually GAINED weight – overcompensation at both breakfast and dinner. I knew better, but ate like a fool anyway.
And while I’m on a Baha’i theme, let me add that the local cluster of Baha’i Communities just got designated as an “A” cluster which means now, we’re tasked with conducting an intensive campaign to provide spiritual education classes to the general population, and hopefully, bring new members to the Faith. We launched ourselves into this just a week ago. My problem is that I have “found” a number of people who already believe in the Baha’i teachings, and want to join the Baha’i Faith, but they don’t live in this area! While that’s no problem for me, it doesn’t help the local community grow at all.
Just when I thought I was going to get some rest, with all relatives and the hyper-active dog now gone, Deb comes home with a new puppy. It’s another pit-bull-something mix, a female, and only about 2 months old. This one is quite trainable, so I agreed (what was I thinking?). I already need a new screen door. The current one has been ripped and chewed.