It Might Be the Subway Sandwich

This winter – for the first time ever – Bill decided to bring his sports car to Arizona. Ship it, actually. It came inside a huge trailer, the last of all of the sports cars to be delivered……

Since its arrival, Bill has spent nearly every single day working on the car. Don’t ask me what he’s doing; I have no idea. I just know he’s been in the garage nearly every day for almost the whole day. Recently, he emerged – pasty white with pupils the size of dimes from being in the dark — and announced it was ready to be driven.

Since that announcement, we took the car out once. Trust me when I tell you that I am not a dream as a driving partner. I clutch the door handle even when I’m in our Hyundai Sonata, so you can imagine how relaxed I was in the Ferrari 308 that up until recently wasn’t drivable.  But I admitted to him that it was kind of  – sort of – a little – fun.

Yesterday, the sky was blue and the weather forecasters predicted temperatures in the low- to mid-80s. Want to take the car out for a drive? Bill asked me. The car, I knew, being the Ferrari. I took one look at the cerulean sky and thought, why not?.

We decided we would go to Saguaro Lake, about 15 miles or so from our house. It is a beautiful drive and the lake is lovely – sparkling like blue glass. But first we would stop at the Subway that is in our neighborhood shopping center and pick up a sandwich to eat at one of the picnic table overlooking the lake.

It really was the perfect place to take the car. The road is well-maintained, and, to my relief, the speed limit is a reasonable 45 mph. Not that he drove at the speed. If you love to drive, would you be able to stay under 45 in this car? Just sayin’….

We arrived at the lake, parked our car, and walked up to a nearby picnic table. I laid out our lunch and we watched the sea birds fly overhead and the boats race by on the lake as we ate…..

I thought about how much my mother and father would have loved eating a picnic lunch in the exact spot where we sat. I reminded Bill that the last time we had taken a picnic lunch to Saguaro Lake, we had also brought Subway sandwiches. That time our car wouldn’t start when got ready to leave, I laughingly reminded Bill. Sucked to be us that day, huh?

We finished our lunch, cleaned up our table, packed up our picnic bag and got into our car. As an aside, let me just tell you that watching two senior citizens get into a car that sits about a half-inch off the ground doesn’t make for a pretty picture. Though the car is the same one that Tom Selleck drove in Magnum P.I……

Magnum P.I. we are not. That’s a fact. But he looks pretty good, doesn’t he?…..

The other thing that differentiated us from Magnum was that our car wouldn’t start. True story: we have taken Subway sandwiches to Saguaro Lake exactly two times, and exactly two times, our car wouldn’t start afterwards.

Could it be the Subway Sandwich Curse?

To my relief, Bill diagnosed the car as being vapor locked (whatever that is), did something to the engine using my bottle of water, and the car started.

We had a wonderful day and an enormously pleasant lunch. But next time I go to Saguaro Lake for a picnic, I’m stopping at Taco Bell.

Thursday Thoughts

It’s a Boy! Or a Girl! Or Both!
Tuesday morning when I headed out by foot to Basha’s, I noticed something different about Mama Mockingbird in our tree out front. When I looked harder, I saw her, but I also saw another set of eyes. A baby mockingbird! If you look really carefully, there might be another set of eyes as well.

mother baby bird (2)

And this is when the drama begins. Mama M will feed the birds for a bit, but at some point she is going to force them to leave the nest. The cats/snakes/coyotes are eagerly awaiting that day. In the words of my son Court when asked if he wanted to go on a nature hike when he was about 7 years old, “I hate nature.”

And Here’s Why I Don’t Really Hate Nature
Bill and I went for a walk at nearby Red Mountain Park Monday morning. Red Mountain Park is lovely. There is a good-sized pond stocked with fish, and it is widely used. There is a nice playground for children. And there is a sidewalk that goes completely around the park that is 8/10ths of a mile around. Three laps nearly equal two-and-a-half miles in case you can’t do math. We saw the cutest thing ever. We saw a real Mother Goose, her beloved mate-for-life, and their goslings, somewhere in the neighborhood of eight or so. I am not Ansel Adams (though, in my defense, I’m using a crappy phone camera and not a cool and groovy camera with a fancy dancy lens), but you can kind of see the little goslings being led and followed by Mother and Father. You can see them all a bit better in the second photo. I wonder which was the female and which was the male.

geese and goslings

more geese 4.16

Now I Call This Huevos
I have mentioned before that there is a difference between the Mexican food they serve here and that which they serve in Colorado. Green chili is not a thing here. Chile verde, yes. Green chili with pork, not so much. When we were in Denver recently, we had breakfast at my favorite place for green chili in Denver – Santiago’s. They are renowned for their hot green chili. Normally, when I order a smothered burrito, I ask for half & half – half hot and half medium. Because I had been missing green chili so much, I ordered all of it hot. Oh. My. Heavens. It was H.O.T. indeed. But delicious. I ate every bite. My stomach spoke to me later and said, “Why oh why did you think this was a good idea?”

Huevos Rancheros Santiago 4.16

I have a friend visiting from Denver. To show off our beautiful area, we drove to Saguaro Lake yesterday afternoon. That is really one of my favorite drives ever. Our plan was to eat sandwiches at one of the picnic areas, and then return home. At the last minute, we decided to take the lake cruise on the Desert Belle. We were so glad we did. It was pretty and we all enjoyed it very much.

Four Peaks Saguaro Lake 4.16

I Have Croissant on My Back
As you know, I accompanied Bill Saturday when he enjoyed his NASCAR experience. As he awaited his ride, I sat amongst the other people who were watching their loved one or perhaps awaiting their own turn. There was a young man sitting with his girlfriend/wife waiting to drive one of the NASCARs. As I glanced at him, I saw the word Bagel tattooed onto his neck. I looked at it several times, all the time wondering why anyone would get the word Bagel tattooed onto their neck. Was he a baker? Did he run a Jewish deli? Did he simply like bagels so much that he wanted the word permanently placed on the neck where he could publicly declare his love of this chewy breakfast treat? Finally, I realized that the word was not Bagel; instead it was Angel.

bagel or angel PIR 4.16 (2)You won’t believe me at first, but look at the this photo and you will see that I am right.

bagel or angel PIR 4.16 (3)Now, arguably, it makes no sense to have the word Angel – or any other word, for that matter – tattooed permanently onto one’s neck, but I must admit it gave me some relief when I realized my mistake. Angel, next time you consider a tattoo, ask them not to make the curlicue on the A. And enjoy your bagel.


Best Laid Plans

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry – translated from a poem by Robert Burns

Sometime about midmorning yesterday, Bill and I began hatching a plan. The day lay glorious before us. We usually don’t go to the gym on Tuesdays. The weather was perfect – blue skies and a temperature expected to reach about 72 or so. Not an obligation between us.

“Let’s take lunch up to Saguaro Lake, and then do an easy hike along the lake,” I suggested.

There you go. The best laid plans.

We stopped at one of the ubiquitous Subways near our house to pick up sandwiches and headed out. As we were leaving the parking lot, Bill commented on the poor man in the parking lot who couldn’t get his car started. “Sucks to be him,” he said.

“Should we offer a jump?” I asked.

“Wouldn’t help him,” Bill replied. “His engine is turning over, it just won’t start. Might be his fuel pump.”

We had, of course, forgotten all about the man within five minutes as we made our way to Tonto National Park.

saguaro lake from picnic area

Saguaro Lake as seen from our picnic spot.

We drove up to Saguaro Lake, parked our car, and walked up some stairs to a lovely picnic spot overlooking the lake. As we enjoyed our sandwiches and the view, I was thinking about my mom and dad and how much they would have loved that spot. In fact, I told Bill that if Mom and Dad were alive and lived where we do, they would almost certainly have driven the 12 or 15 miles to the lake at least once a week to eat a picnic lunch.

When Mom and Dad lived in Summit County, Colorado, when the weather was warm enough they would often pack a lunch or pick up sandwiches from Mad Munchies and go to Lake Dillon to enjoy the view and the beautiful weather. Mom was a great picnicker. In fact, as Bill and I walked to our picnic table yesterday, I commented on the fact that if I were my mother, I would have remembered to bring a tablecloth to set on the cement picnic table. She loved picnics and had them nailed – down to the summer sausage and cheese.

Anyway, after we ate, we used the simply LOVELY toilet (with its lock that was apparently just for decoration and the nonexistent washing facility), and then headed back to our car to drive to the Butcher Jones trailhead, a short ways further down the road.

Bill pressed the ignition, and as you have likely figured out by now, nothing happened. The engine didn’t even turn over. See? We weren’t even as lucky as the man in the Subway parking lot. So here we were, miles from home, with a car that wouldn’t start.

I quickly begged Mom and St. Frances of Rome (the patron saint of cars, whose guardian angel allegedly lit her path with a lantern when she would travel) to pray that our car would start. Lo, and behold, start it did, though barely.

Obviously our hike was a no-go. We made it home safely, and instead of

Bill overseeing the installation of his battery. No doubt the installers appreciated his help.....

Bill overseeing the installation of his battery. No doubt the installers appreciated his help…..

spending a lovely afternoon walking alongside Saguaro Lake, we plodded around Walmart dodging electric scooters while getting a new battery installed.

Maybe Thursday will be the day we actually hike, although I’m making no plans because as the old Yiddish proverb tells us, Man plans, God laughs.