Guest post – Visiting Arizona

This is a guest post from my mom about her time “west of the Mississippi” with us in the sunny southwest.  She came for a week with my sister, Brenda and my nephew, Tyler.  It was the first time for all of them to experience the desert!

My adventure started on Feb 13 as I met with my first fear and that is of flying.  I was so lonesome for my family in Arizona, that I decided afraid or not I was going to go.  My flight out was such a pleasant suprise!  What a difference bigger planes make for comfort and lack of turbulance.  We arrived safe and sound, and we were early so we were waiting for Jennifer, James and Valentine…when I heard a voice call my name and I turned and my granddaughter was standing there on her own.  A first for me to see her stand and walk on her own.  What a joyful reunion we had!

The following morning was Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to do something nice so I fried some bacon for my son in law.  Then my next fear appeared…FIRE!!  I have a gas stove theirs is electric and I thought I turned the knob to “off” and didn’t!  When James said something smells, I went back to the kitchen and as I got to the stove the grease caught on fire.  It was a very scary experience and with the help of my oldest daughter, Brenda and James they got it out!  (Smother a grease fire – don’t use water!) Gosh, though, the house filled with smoke – windows open and ceiling fans on.  We ended up all going for a ride since it was Valentine’s naptime and we didn’t want her smelling the smoke.  We came home and it was much better, but I was humiliated to think that could happen.  I have cooked for over 40 years and have never had that happen.

One day of the trip, the family, along with the pet dog, loaded up the van and we drove to the San Pedro River to hike.  It was so interesting to walk along the pathways and to see the river flow north – I never realized a river could do that.  I enjoyed seeing the cactus, trees,  and how dry a lot of the river bed was and how in other parts the water flowed.

We decided one day to take a ride and climb a mountain at Montezuma Pass and Coronado Peak.  I was so excited as I saw the mountains but couldn’t fathem ever being on top of one.  I also have another fear – height!  I thought “I can do this!”  Well..I thought I could.  It began with the car ride up this winding narrow gravel road, and on the one side was mountain edge and the other – nothing – a total drop off!  I moved over so far over in my seat that I think I was almost sitting on my daughter’s lap!  We got to the top and the fear eased until James parked the car and it rolled forward.   I flipped with fright!  I thought we were going to fall off the edge!  Once I had regained my composure, I thought I could make the 20 minute hike to the top, but I got only about 20 steps and I started to hyperventilate, my knees got weak, and I could see the drop-off so I had to go back down. I did get to see the mountains in Mexico though and the border wall, and it was an awesome sight!  On our ride down, James was taking us a different way as he knew how scared I was and this way didn’t have the big drop-offs.  We saw free range cattle, a deer that lept in front of the car and some birds which we believe were buzzards.  After a good 15-20 minute drive, the road was flooded so we had to turn around and go back the same way we had come up.  Needless to say, by the time I was back to flat land I was totally exhausted.  Even facing my fear of heights, it was an adventure I wouldn’t give up for the world.

One day Jennifer, Valentine, Brenda, Tyler and myself took a ride to a quaint town called Bisbee.  It was unique and something I had never seen before.  Our ride there was scenic with the mountain views and the houses built in the side of those big peaks.  I truly beleive they only have so many square feet to work with as it seems they are jetting out of the mountain and have no yard and only a house with steps coming down.  I would really love to go back there someday, it is the type of town you could sit on a bench and just watch the people.  They are friendly and kind there also and the shops are awesome to stroll through.  We got to see a mine that was started in the late 1890’s and I can’t imagine how those settlers could do the work that needed to be done and as I looked at the mine that is no longer active.  I wondered how hard it had to be for the men in the summer heat and how many men lost their lives there trying to support their families.   From there we drove to Tombstone, which is an old western town complete with gun fights, a petting zoo, horse drawn carriage rides, and tons of western shops.  The people there are also very friendly, and I met a man from Michigan who left the big city in 1978 and ended up there and never left – never feeling the urge to go back.

My vacation with my family is something I will never forget!  We never had one drop of rain while we were there and the temps were in the upper 60’s.  It was a welcome change from snow and highs of 20’s and 30’s.   I loved watching the sun come up over the mountain every morning, and it became  so bright you that you couldn’t watch it for too long as it hurt your eyes.

But the highlight of my time there was celebrating Valentine’s birthday!!

She learned new words-“COOL” was my favorite, “good girl” was another and she also taught me to sign, which I loved.  Leaving on Saturday was so bittersweet, I had so many emotions..I was so sad to leave my family there, but was also getting lonesome for my family at home, I haven’t had so many emotions all at once and they were so hard to deal with.  There were alot of tears, but I know they will be home in May so I am now counting down those days.   It was time to face my fear of flying again, but as I was in the air I recalled the good week I had and how the plane rides were really worth it.

I’m so glad that my mom got to spend time in AZ with us and especially for Valentine’s birthday.  We had a busy but fun-filled week of adventures, and I hope you enjoyed reading about them.

Thanks Mom for the post! =)


  1. Denise Lancake Said:

    Thanks for sharing. I recently visited AZ for the first time and share your sentiments exactly…most notably the trip up the mountain by car. I’m totally convinced, Marcia, that leaning as close to the door as possible is the only thing that kept us on the road…lol. I’m so glad you had a great visit. Next time, take an extra week and head north. Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon are well worth the trip!!

  2. Denise ~ Thanks for the comment! My mom had mentioned that you had been here recently.
    I wish we would’ve had more time to take them north because you are right – Sedona, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon are great places. I blogged about them in September. 🙂
    Take care!

  3. childsplay Said:

    how fun! They’re a really great family, aren’t they?!

    Can’t wait to see your dreds!

    • Yes, they really are. I am glad you also got a chance to meet them. I am excited to hear about your time on the road.

      I will share dread pictures soon. I can’t wait to see Sara’s perspective. 🙂

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