Nana on the Road

We bought our house in AZ in 2010, after Jen called us and said, “We’re nuts if we let this buyers’ market pass us by one more day. We need to go together and buy a house, like, NOW.

And so we did. At first, Bill and I would just come for a few weeks at a time in the fall and winter, traveling back and forth between our Denver home and our AZ home. Five or six years or so ago, we took the plunge and started spending most of the winter in AZ. We live here from Christmas day until the first week or so in May. Jen, of course, still works hard for her money, but comes when she is able to take time off of work.

This was the ninth winter that we were able to escape the cold and snow of Colorado. Some years the winters in Denver have been mild, but often there is a whole lot of cold and snow. This winter fell into the latter category. In the way that only a mother can do, our daughter-in-law Jll volunteered her kids as our designated snow shovelers. There was so much snow this winter in Colorado that I suspect the kids felt like they should move ito our house. I owe them BIG TIME.

And while all of this snow and cold and scraping and shoveling was happening in Denver, Bill and I — joined on a couple of occasions by Jen — have been having a grand old time in the desert. It’s a lot of fun to be able to spend time with my sister Bec and my brother Dave and their children and grandchildren. Being with our AZ family helps me to not miss our kids and grandkids quite so much.

As you read this blog post, Bill and I will be on the road or nearly so. This year we’re heading north to visit Antelope Canyon, AZ. We will then travel through Utah, turn right in Moab and head through the mountains to the green green grass of home.

This year we checked off some boxes. I was finally able to see the elusive wild horses…..

We saw our first real-life herd of javelinas, which are ugly-looking (and fairly mean-spirited) peccary, that look like wild boars but crabbier. I had to brake quickly for a herd that was crossing the road near my niece Maggie’s house.

In years past, we have had mockingbirds build nests in the tree that was in our front yard — the tree that gave Bill fits because all it did was create detritus that required never-ending cleaning. That tree, I’m happy to report, was cut down in the fall. I’m not sure what the mockingbirds thought, but we got our bird fix anyway. We have watched Mr. and Mrs. Cactus Wren build a nest in our back-yard palm tree…..

Not only that, but we have had a daily (sometimes twice-daily) visit from Mr. Roadrunner…..

Not a real photo.

We haven’t seen him for a while, but I gather that’s good news for the lizards we see and for the Cactus Wren eggs, because FOOD CHAIN.

What we do see daily and often are quails, those funny little birds that run across our back fence like they’re late for an important meeting. I guess they’re good to eat, but I couldn’t possibly shoot the adorable little things, even if we do live in the Wild Wild West and I owned a gun.

We ate poke and tamales and pho and pierogis and my favorite burgers EVER — Fuddruckers. We dined on the wonderful Italian subs from Guidos that require many napkins and a shower afterwards.

All in all, as usual, we had a wonderful time in the desert. But it will nice to be back in Denver, just in time to enjoy our beautiful back yard. Unless it snows again.

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