July Road Notes, Day 1

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July 5, 2021, Moriarty- I am in a more relaxed frame of mind, this time around-as compared to the “get there and get it done” mindset of May’s out and back. Departure out of Home Base was fairly early: 7 a.m., and I did have one Baha’i Zoom meeting this afternoon, but my flow was fairly even-between 65 and 80, most of the way (A few construction zones called for 45-55, but no workers were on the highways today, as it was a Monday Make-up, for Sunday’s Independence Day.)

I made a coffee stop at a Maverik, in Dewey, AZ, about 40 minutes into the drive. This is of note only because a poor soul, just trying to get a cup of joe, found the lid on his cup didn’t quite fit-the third time in a row, he told me, that this has happened. We agreed that he probably was not the only one to whom it occurred. I wished him a better day, and was glad that the lid on my cup was sealed.

I kept an eye on the roadsides, in an area between Camp Verde and Winslow where wildfire had wreaked havoc, in late June. There was a burn scar on the ground cover, in several spots, but no tree singeing. The road between there and Gallup was serene and, as mentioned earlier, no construction work. Going through Albuquerque was also no big deal-save that, when a Jeepster decided he wanted to “tandem race” me, on the Duke City’s east side along I-40, a state patrolman in an unmarked car flashed him to move over one lane-then looked over at me and told me to get behind his car-no pull-over, no citation, no warning-just “get out of the passing lane”. As I was essentially minding my own business, when the Jeepster became Jerkster, the officer’s command was easy enough to follow. They both left the freeway, at the next exit, and I continued over the mountain, to this eastern suburb.

I had stayed at Sunrise Motel, once before, under a previous owner. The current management is on a strict pandemic protocol: Phoned check-in, outdoor document reading and signing-with a six foot distance-though masks are not required outside, and key to be left in the room at check-out. The room is the same as before, complete with a rubber duck by the bathtub-as well as a plug that fits the drain (less common than one might think, in the days of drought and cutting costs).

Tomorrow, I head over through Texas-to my family in Grapevine.

Breaking A Small Logjam

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June 13, 2021- Every so often, I find myself with nothing to say, at a given moment. On a quiet routine day, such as today, rest takes priority, especially with one very active, at times frenetic week gone and a slightly quieter one ahead. Indeed, a Christian friend, at breakfast this morning, extolled the virtues of not working on the Sabbath of one’s Faith. We Baha’is are, unofficially, given Friday as a day of rest, yet statutes and the present course of the wider society make that sometimes problematic. Still, when I am tired, I take the time to rest.

Nonetheless, life goes on and commentary with it. A small fire broke out today in Cornville, about an hour northeast of here. I may pull a shift, or two, this week, at any shelter that opens in consequence to that fire. There are other matters to which I must attend-some maintenance on the Elantra, a few meetings to host and to attend, and the long overdue resolution of a personal health issue. Fires, and other social emergencies are never convenient, nor are most personal matters. Somehow, action is required on each one-and so on I go, along with anyone else who can make the time.

As for an ongoing flow of conversation, as to why the Federal and state governments move so slowly, if at all, on matters of concern to Joe Citizen, I give you the fact that each person in said governments has to deal with the same logjams of overwork and scheduling rest. There is a conflict in perception, between those who ARE rested and ready for action and those who are running on fumes. Some of us are just slow moving, overly meticulous (Obsessive Compulsive) and prone to overthinking. Others, myself included, take action on matters that present themselves, in as expeditious a manner as possible-giving deferred attention to things that are synchronous to what has our attention at the moment. (For example, a barrage of Instant Messages coming at a time when I am engaged in helping feed two dozen people.)

Each of us is important. None of us is as important as we sometimes want the world to think.

Heat of A False Summer

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October 15, 2020, Valle, AZ-

Mid-October used to be called “Indian Summer”, owing to the hot weather that seemed to just hang on, for days on end, even though it’d been Autumn for almost a month, and the leaves had mostly changed colour and fallen.

With our language showing more sensitivity, these days, perhaps “False Summer” would be a better phrase. “Aug-tober” may be a bit excessive, as we do see cooler temps, during the second half of the month.

My schedule has shown signs of heating up- a full week of work awaits, next week. A wildfire, south of Prescott, may or may not lead to my spending the weekend helping in a Red Cross shelter. In a couple of weeks, I am slated for jury duty-during Election Day and its aftermath. It’s a good thing that my ballot is filled out and safely inside the County Recorder’s office.

I am here, in this small roadside village, for an overnight stay before hiking the second of northern Arizona’s Red Mountains. This one will be an easy hike, and a geological wonderland to explore.

Valle’s lone motel is comfortable and has an engaging, cordial staff. The restaurant has one floor person (server and cashier) and one cook, yet they manage to get food ordered and to table-or take-out counter, in less time than some far better staffed establishements. The desk clerk is a back-up server. This is what a community dedicated to serving travelers does, when decisions made by higher-ups lead to staffing shortages.

President Trump is said to be headed to Prescott on Monday. I will be working at a school, while he’s there. Hope it is a safe event for everyone involved-as I hope for each event, between now and the inauguration of whoever wins on November 3.