December 24, 2017, Prescott- I spent yesterday at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, in Phoenix, but elected to stay up here today, as some chores need doing, before I head out on the Greyhound journey to Spring Hill, FL, and a visit with Penny’s mom and sister. It will be odd not having a vehicle, by which to stop, visit with friends en route, or to respond to others who may live not far from them. This is, though, a journey of focus.
I have made such focus a more important part of my life, this past year. People and their feelings have been one such concern. Reorganizing my blog site, and making a more concerted effort to attend to others’ comments, as well as their own blogs, has been another.
My travels,while still extensive, going across the continent, yet again, were more devoted to family, friends, and specific purpose. I saw my son off, on his way to Korea, from San Diego, at the beginning of the year. OC, always a part of any California visit, took up the end of my temporary farewell, to the light of my life.
I can never go without a visit to a little girl and her family in the Reno-Carson City area, so that came first, in the summer. It seemed capricious to dart back to Arizona, just to deliver a bundle to people who didn’t seem to care, one way or the other, but it mattered to the sender, so I did it.
Friends and family, across the Midwest, the Northeast and Upper South, were more appreciative of my time with them. Mom always needs to know her wanderer is in a good place, physically and emotionally, so when I was in my hometown, she had the bulk of my attention, but not in as hovering a manner as previously. A side trip to Maine, also very focused, help break up any sense of hovering. So, too, did meeting one of my newborn grand-nephews.
My youngest niece and her upcoming wedding brought me to Philadelphia, so as to at least meet her fiance. Another little grand-nephew was also there, along with his big sister, whom I also had not met. There was a focus on history, in the three days that followed: Philadelphia itself, Brandywine, Antietam, Harpers Ferry and Lexington, VA. Going to Harrisonburg, perhaps my favourite western Virginia town, took me back to Artful Cafe (once known as Artful Dodger), followed by a brief visit with a friend who once lived in Prescott. People find it strange, but I don’t forget someone who treated me with a high level of kindness, even if they themselves have moved on.
It has long been past time to visit with the Indiana branch of our family, so a few hours, on point, in Jeffersonville, sent me heading west, with a sense of having completed my connection. Falls of the Ohio and downtown Paducah were side-benefits of this diversion. Finally, I was honoured to visit with a cousin, in southwest Missouri, before scooting across the plains, to home There were side benefits to that last leg: Sedan, KS, with its little ravine, called The Hollow; a kind lady running a motel and cafe in Mooreland, OK; a race against the monsoon rains, in northeast New Mexico; brief return visits to Cimarron, Taos and Rio Grande Gorge; and proving that I still can handle the delicate balance between rest and roadsmanship, on the last leg of the drive home.
I chose a journey to the past, over an emotional visit to Las Vegas, in October. It was tough going, coming back especially, but Besh Ba Gowah and Gila Cliff Dwellings made me recognize, anew, the importance of appreciating just what those who came before us gave to people, whom they had no idea were coming.
Journeys aren’t, per se, hard on me, so long as I maintain attention, pacing and focus. New friends came out of these past twelve months, though I may have lost one of the older ones. Friendships will take up my Christmas post, as seems appropriate.