February 23, 2023- The toddler was unequivocal in her expression, as toddlers can be. She wanted one specific item, and only that item-and what was Daddy doing with it, anyway? (He was keeping it safe from being scratched or broken, but minor details get lost in the shuffle.) Once she got the binky, all was right with the Universe.

A good many of us are transactional in our relationships, wanting one thing and only that one thing, from a friend or family member. This is the root of many a conflict, as I, for instance, may not value your binky, the way you do. I may not prioritize sitting by the window, waiting to be called for one reason or another. I also may not prioritize getting in the car and driving back to the place from which I just came, because I missed seeing someone, due to a change in their schedule. What I do prioritize is what helps those who have been marginalized, what brings people together, especially those who have historically been set against one another-even if that separation is due to the egotism of one or another-or both. I prioritize clear communication and the well-being of both individuals and people as a group. I have learned to prioritize my own needs, as well, since if I am incapacitated, I can’t help anyone.

Rant over. The day actually went well, even though an old friend was not available, due to circumstances that were made clear to me, after I got back to Home Base. The snow, en route, was light and did not affect traffic at all. There was some sort of mishap, between Casa Grande and Phoenix, going in the opposite direction on I-10. Traffic heading south appeared to be backed up for nearly six miles. Our traffic pattern was slow, but not backed up, and it took about fifty minutes to go from the southeast corner (Sun Lakes) to the northwest (Anthem) part of Metro Phoenix.

Earlier, I found a delightful little cafe in Patagonia, where I enjoyed coffee and a simple bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. Common Grounds was the site of the family encounter mentioned above, and is a relaxed place, with flexible ordering from the menu. A few others were able to get customized breakfasts, while I was there-and the food is of good quality.

Once checked out of Stage Stop Hotel, I drove to Nogales- taking in Primeria Alta Historical Museum, which offers balanced exhibits on the effects of Mexican history on border towns, the impact of the Buffalo Soldiers camp on life in Nogales and a special tribute to the women of Nogales and their impact. Charles Mingus, the great jazz musician and spiritualist, was born and raised in Nogales, and Mexican rhythms flow through his work, just as Blues and Gospel do. There is also an exhibit on the rancher, Pete Kitchen, and his evolved relationship with the Apaches, particularly with Cochise and his son, Chise.

Pimeria Alta Historical Museum, Nogales

The ties with Mexico are duly celebrated, of course, and in no better form than a triptych of Mexican history by Salvador Corona, who took up painting after retiring from his career as a matador. He covers the time before Spanish conquest, the meeting of Moctezuma and Cortez and the days of Spanish rule.

“Pre-Conquest”, by Salvador Corona
“Moctezuma Meets Cortez”, by Salvador Corona
“Colonial Era”, by Salvador Corona

The life and achievements of Father Eusebio Kino, who founded several Missions, in what is now Sonora, as well as in Arizona, is covered at length here as well. He is best known for having established the Mission at San Xavier del Wac, southwest of Tucson.

Now my transactions are done for the day, and I sit here at Home Base, having driven pretty much nonstop, but at a leisurely pace, from Nogales. We’ll see what, if anything, this storm system brings over the weekend.

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