Janus, 2013


I had a fine day today, November 28, 2013.  Along with my son, I hiked a segment of trail in the Cuyamaca section of Anza-Borrego State Park, in the Laguna Mountains, northeast of San Diego.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a simple, but well-crafted meal at Julian Cafe, in the town of Julian, where my late wife worked for a year, just prior to our wedding.  It’s always a pleasure to visit Julian, and it was a way to include Penny’s spirit in our observance of my 63rd birthday.  Growing up, my parents were always glad that I enjoyed turkey, as there were several times that my birthday fell on T-day.  Today was the latest of those.  Finally, Aram and I went to a showing of “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”.  It hit the spot, and all its targets, for sure.  I liked this episode better than the first, and will be glad to see the next two installments.

Now, to revisit the reasons I am grateful, this Thanksgiving.  I was able to successfully divest of a house in Phoenix, thanks to Matt Deuitch,  I resolved several dental issues, thanks to Kamran Ruintan and his team.  I enjoyed an earlier visit to San Diego, as well as this present one, thanks to my son, Aram, and his naval command.  I had lovely visits across several states, beginning at the home of my Colorado in-laws, David and Mindy Kosak, and ending with a short, but reassuring visit with another friend. Along the way, Mitchell Silas, Derek and Sima Cockshut, Jim Graeve and Summer Rae, John Glaze, Wes Hardin, Christina  Fullmer, Sandra Liz, Beth and David Glick, Nataly Loveless, Tom D. Stevens, my in-laws in New Jersey, and my family members in Massachusetts and Philadelphia provided me with emotional support and hospitality.  My uncle, George Boivin, reinforced my sense of self, towards the end of my journey in September.  I have had consistent emotional support from my Baha’i friends and fellow American Legionnaires in Prescott.  I am grateful to have made so many friends in social media, including my newest good friend in Prescott.  Most of all, I am grateful for having grown so much emotionally this past year.

The year ahead is sure to present more challenges and opportunities.  I will, most immediately, attend seasonal gatherings in December, and the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, in Phoenix.  I am a hiking enthusiast, and segments of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, the McDowell Mountains, near Scottsdale, and trails in Cave Creek, will be on tap for the winter months, as will hikes in the Prescott area with friends, both old and new.  I have tentative plans to spend three weeks in France and the Benelux region, later in 2014.  These may be postponed until another year, if I am assessed a hefty tax bill, relative to the short sale of my Phoenix house, last February.  It won’t matter, because I would have Plan B, a month’s hike of the Colorado Trail, as my backup. A move, from my current residence, to another home in Prescott, later in the spring, is also likely, for the sake of the well-being of my family-at-large.

My 2014 will continue the building of my character, my relationships and my overall life.  If it’s as fruitful as the past two years have been, I will be triply blessed.  My gratitude remains, regardless.

From Home to Home, and Back: Days 33 – 34: Journey’s End


I always seem to return to Arizona, from points east and northeast, by way of Colorado.  My uncle lives there, as do Penny’s next-oldest sister and her husband, several of her other relatives, and an honest, loyal friend.  Then, there’s the Blind Chef.

I went back to the Denver area on September 25-26, specifically to check on my uncle and give a bag of gifts to my friend and her family.  Both were in view of the floods that ravaged the west side of the Front Range, while I was back on the East Coast.  I also had to reassure my friend that I was in a good place, emotionally.

I first took care of seeing to it that my Uncle George was okay.  He was, and he wondered if I was okay.  After dispensing sage advice about widowhood, he headed back to his place, and I took care of my car, overdue for a good service.  The next day, I went up to Fort Collins, and found a town well-along in recovery from its waterborne travails of early September.



A brief meeting with my friend, surprisingly, left me in a calm, well-balanced frame of mind and emotional state.  I drove down to south Denver, stayed in a rough and tumble motel, and, the next morning, met the Blind Chef, fresh from his having whipped up some chicken chili.


We amused the noon day group at the corner Winchell’s, and, after an hour’s worth of bantering about social media and the joys of cooking, I was off again towards home.  One stop intervened between me and Cortez:  Mike’s Coffee Bar, in Walsenburg, CO.  This, of course, made up for the lack of wifi at the Winchell’s, earlier.


I arrived in Cortez about 8 PM, and easily convinced myself that AZ would be better off without me for one more night.  A good night’s sleep always makes for a better homecoming, anyways.  On September 27, 2013, at 12:45 PM,  I pulled into my garage in Prescott, and this year’s marathon came to an end.

The Holding Pattern


I made a new friend, or so I think, not long ago.  I have a steadfast conviction that I am a loyal friend, and not pushy- though some have challenged me on that last point, over the last six months.  I also have a tendency to commit to service to my friends. I have made such an internal commitment to this new friend.  

The difficulty is that this person seems to have no need for my friendship, and so messages are unanswered and phone calls go straight to voice mail- which also goes unanswered, for several days at least.   I will not go to someone’s house uninvited- chalk that one up to my New England upbringing.  “Never go visiting without calling first!”

So it has gone, for the past three weeks.  I remain this person’s friend, in my mind and heart, but the one-way street develops pot holes very fast.  The holding pattern, as I sit here at home, on a Saturday night, dealing with this First World problem, has gotten old.  I will bake the squashes that are now in the oven.  I will try to get tech support, so that I may watch my DVD’s on television again, for the first time since I moved to Prescott.  I will resist the urge to hit the road again, for an extended period, with the mindset that at least while wandering, I can justify my failure to connect with someone in a meaningful way.  I will not go to a restaurant and occupy a dinner table for one- I leave that for Mr. Bitter.

I’m here if my friend needs me- all she need do is call or text.  In the meantime, I am keeping my First World problem at bay, by making other friends, as the occasion arises, and staying productive with work, acts of service, and enjoying our natural surroundings.  Life goes on.