Our campgrounds lately have been in remote desert settings, rather than in urban areas, which suits us just fine. One day, My Lovely Bride asked me to go to the store. On the list was “air freshener”. At the time, we were camped downwind of an equestrian trail ride facility. As I opened the coach door to go to the car, I took a whiff of a pungent aroma and said, “Darling, would you like to try a new scent, perhaps Eau de Horse Stable? She was less than amused…
It’s been a busy 10 days or so since I last sat down to blog. Suzanne has had several events, including her S.O.A.R! workshop at Unity of Mesa, sponsored by the International Association for Near Death Experiences (IANDS). It was a big success…
…with much credit going to Brenda Baker, who not only manned the book table, allowing Your Faithful Correspondent to take a hike and also to care for our trusty canines, Rudy and Gretchen, but who also kept MLB in very good humor. Brenda can be relied upon to provide many memorable moments of mirth!
Thanks also to Rev. Mark Fisk of Unity of Mesa, whose hospitality was much appreciated.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious BBQ rib feast that Brenda put on at her beautiful home in Glendale. Brenda’s friends Linda and Cindy are on her left and right, and Lynette from Tulsa at MLB’s right. You will note the unusual table manners of three of the ladies present; they are spoofing around with their rib bones… Brenda was kind enough to make enough ribs and creme Brulee for a platoon of Marines, which provided lunch and dinner for several days for Suzanne and myself. She even loaned us her propane torch (the size of a WWII Army flamethrower) to singe the top of the desserts. (I was worried about the Arizona Highway Patrol arresting me for transporting hazardous materials in my car.)
Speaking of potential run-ins with the law, we almost had a disaster when we drove to our next social event, a dinner with friends in Scottsdale. As we were leaving the coach, I hung our garbage bag on the car’s bike rack, planning to drop it in a dumpster at the campground entrance. However, I was distracted by My Lovely Bride (that makes it her fault, right?), and somehow forgot to stop and drop it in the bin… imagine my surprise when we pulled up at our hosts’ lovely home 50 miles and an hour later and found our trash still hanging from the bike rack. Not an eggshell, soda can or paper towel was missing, which says something for the strength of plastic bags, if not for my situational awareness… at least none of our friends noticed our car looking a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies!
But they would have at least been understanding and forgiving. Lynn and Jeff Hollahan were our hosts, and had also invited Elizabeth and Cyril Boisson over. These two couples are delightful and much fun to be around. We had met them at the bench dedication ceremony mentioned in the previous blog post. The ladies immersed themselves in spiritual topics while the guys talked cars, boats, golf, wine, etc. Jeff is a Morgan Stanley financial adviser and Cyril an art expert who sets up major art exhibits around the world. He had just returned from China (or was it Mexico City?), and I wondered how his travels didn’t destroy his sleep cycle. We had a great time with fabulous wine, delicious food and stimulating conversation. The evening was all the more special when the children that all three couples have on the other side made their presence known with beautiful evidence that Suzanne could not have known. Hi Morgan, Devon, and Susan!
Lynn and Jeff had graciously invited Rudy and Gretchen to a play date with their dog Kirby, and the puppies all seemed to get along well. Rudy was seemingly fixated on the good smells emanating from Lynn’s kitchen; he lay down next to a metal Dachshund door stop, staring through the closed door into The Place Where Food Comes From, and I guessed that he and the doorstop were sharing canine culinary experiences…
On our last day in the Phoenix area, I went for a hike while Suzanne gave a reading. I came across this old saguaro cactus “stump”, with its framework of woody ribs showing. Indians used these ribs for the walls of their homes, and to make long poles for collecting fruit from the tops of the saguaro.
My last hike was on the Go-John Trail, and the most interesting geologic formation was at Gunsight Pass. This unusual rock formation looks just like the open iron sights of an old rifle.
Finally, I have to comment on some unusual interactions of apparently inanimate objects. Suzanne had been given a bronze Buddha by Elizabeth Boisson, in honor of Suzanne’s interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump. Suzanne treasures this small figurine, and has him placed on a shelf right next to her chair in our dining room. She commented about that little Buddha being quite representative of her spirituality; I agreed; then she pointed at my solar-powered girlfriend, and surprised me by saying, “Ty, I think Hula Babe also represents your spirituality, in a slightly different way.” (I wasn’t sure whether to be insulted or complimented.) But I got her back a few minutes later when I said, “Sweetheart, it looks like Buddha may have been corrupted by Hula Babe…” He was sitting there calmly in his namaste pose, apparently mesmerized, right in front of that saucy Hawaiian girl wiggling her hips and bust. (Note: it could be that he was in the true state of nirvana, which refers to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion and delusion have been finally extinguished. But I don’t think so…..)