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Change of scene

I have been working hard all week, packing boxes for the local Humane Society thrift shop. My sister suggested weekends were for fun, too, so yesterday I drove north to visit the sunflowers of Northern Arizona. These sunflowers provide  stability for me. For fifty years, they have always bloomed out on Fort Valley Road north of…

Rain

Rain in the desert is a different thing. Our monsoon season starts in July. Not like an East Indian monsoon, where the rain rains buckets at a time, but a gradual build up of high thunderclouds that eventually rain when they feel like it. A lot of stern and drang, thunder and lightning, teasing sprinkles which sometimes…

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I’m turning into my mother-in-law

Some women have a worry of turning into their mother, especially during stressful times. I have found through a quirk of fate that I think I’m turning into my mother-in-law instead! She was a simple, though intelligent woman who died many years ago, a traditional homemaker who raised a large family in the 40s and 50s and…

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West Fork, Oak Creek Canyon, R.I.P.

                      Rest in peace, West Fork, Oak Creek Canyon

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Slide Fire Arizona Smog

Charles Dickens in his novels of Victorian England used to speak of thick, foul miasma of air that stung the nose and burned the eyes. We had that here yesterday as an inversion layer crowded the smoke to the earth, grounding the air support helicopters and spotter planes. I attended a community meeting in Sedona…

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Slide Rock Arizona Fire Loss

  I’ve lived in Arizona for over 50 years, and for most of that time Oak Creek Canyon has been my haven. I rode down the switchbacks in my girlfriend’s boyfriend’s ’57 Thunderbird, when it was brand new and we were, too. I had my Senior High ditch day at Slide Rock. I swam naked…

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A walk on the wild side

This past Sunday I took an early morning hike looping around Courthouse Butte. Do you know why it is a butte and not a mesa? Because it is taller than it is wide. Here is another, Capitol Butte, shaped roughly like our nation’s capitol: Here in Sedona, we like to name rocks. This is muffin…

What am I reading right now?

I’m a reader, always have been. I used to feel guilty ‘stealing’ minutes away from the necessary and vital things on my To Do list to read. I don’t, anymore. A friend has called me a scanner–that I read quickly, skimming for meaning. Perhaps I am that. But a favorite quote of mine perhaps sums…

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What’s on the tube?

Sometimes ideas arrive in your life at exactly the time you need them. Several nights ago I was reading Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin. He describes how the commercial medium of television has profoundly shaped our culture. Television stations make their profits by selling…

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The day Miss McNuttle took her clothes off

I went to high school a long time ago, but I still remember Miss McNuttle. She taught Latin, both Latin I and Latin II, and Senior Honors English. Miss McNuttle was the prototypical spinster, back in those days when there still were spinsters: thick rimmed glasses, gray hair back in a bun, hospital shoes. We used…