December 31, 2014, Prescott- When I returned to North America, on 6/29/14, I had the pleasure of a long and varied conversation with a fascinating young lady from Montreal, who is a baker by trade. The flight back was thus energizing, rather than draining.
July- I spent the first week of July visiting family in the Boston area. My brother, SIL and I took in a Red Sox game on July 2, which was as marvelous an experience as the team itself was awful, in its play. Fenway Park and the surrounding area are old enough to be somewhat a cross, to me, between old Europe and the modern U.S. Our fireworks, two days later, were rained out, but some local youths tried anyway- so we had some sky colours. Going back to Phoenix was an experience. I ended up staying overnight in Charlotte, as the plane out of Boston was delayed for six hours, due to some problem in Miami, of all places. At least this way, I didn’t get to Phoenix at 1:30 A.M., so the Universe was looking out for me, in an oblique way.
August- The interment of my father-in-law’s remains, in Arlington National Cemetery, brought me back to the East Coast, at the beginning of the month, for four days. This was the least a grateful nation could do for him. I also visited several war-related places on the National Mall, and the 9/11 Memorial west of the Pentagon.
In a rustic camp, west of Prescott, a group of us formed a well-running team, serving Slow Food Prescott’s 50-Mile Dinner,consisting entirely of ingredients from within a fifty-mile radius of our town.
September- In the middle of the month, I drove from Prescott to Salt Lake City, for an annual convention. Staying in a cheap, Baha’i-owned motel and scrimping where I could, got me through this time, and still I got a lot out of the convention itself. Driving all the way back home, in one fell swoop, though, is probably something I would prefer to avoid in the future.
October- There is very little I won’t do for my son, the only responsibility I really still have, outside of self-care. When he called, in July, and said I was on the list to take part in the ship’s return cruise, from Honolulu to San Diego, I got the paper work done, made flight arrangements to Honolulu, and enjoyed 1 1/2 days in that exquisite city. Waikiki, Iolani Palace and Pearl Harbor were each every bit as fascinating as others had said. The cruise itself was 6 1/2 days, and I learned much about day-to-day shipboard life and about the many hues of blue and aquamarine that are visible from the deck. After a short few days in San Diego and Crystal Cove State Beach, I drove home, exhausted and just wanting to be in Prescott again.
November- The month was quiet, until Thanksgiving weekend. I went back to San Diego, enjoyed the holiday with Aram and a friend, in Julian, and celebrated my 64th, in low-key fashion, visiting La Jolla and enjoying a Korean lunch.
December- Western New Mexico was where Penny and I first met, 34 years ago, in the Pueblo of Zuni. I had a salubrious visit to some of our old favourite spots: El Morro National Monument, with ancient Puebloan ruins and petroglyphs/inscriptions of several time periods and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with its myriad sandhill cranes and raptors. The town of Truth or Consequences, named for a 1940’s and ’50’s radio/TV show, was a lovely revelation. Its Old Town, centered around the original hot springs resorts, kept me fascinated to the point where my original plan, of visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings, was put off until another date. Paying respects to the Apache chief Cochise was accomplished, as was Christmas Eve and Day with some friends who had moved to the Tucson area, from Oklahoma. The 30th annual Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference was a fitting end to this most filling of years. We got eight inches of snow, on New Year’s Eve. I rang in the new, by watching Prescott’s midnight fireworks, from my front porch.