Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back Home

May 19th, the morning after the class reunion, Dorothy and I left Redlands and headed east for Arizona. We stopped in Golden Valley to pick up Dorothy's sister Gin and her husband David Payton. They rode with us back to Oklahoma and stayed with us for a week and while they were here we attended the family reunion for the Dunaway, Whitely, and Coleman families. (Dunaway is Dorothy's maiden name).

Gin and Dave's grandson Davey and his family.
Dave and Gin at this restaurant in Adrian, TX. for
hamburgers. It sits at the midpoint of Highway 66 between
Chicago and Los Angeles.
Severe weather began to break out ahead of us in Oklahoma so we began to slow down and stopped often to keep the storms ahead of us. The weather was moving east and so were we.  The streets were still wet in Oklahoma City as we rolled through and the Moore tornado had already done its damage.
 Trees stripped of their limbs and houses severely damaged were easily
seen from I-40 as we drove through Shawnee


Monday, May 27, 2013

50th High School Reunion

No, there's no typographical error in the title of this post.  I actually survived life on this planet long enough to attend my 50th (half a century) high school reunion. We had a great time and enjoyed making connections, old and new.

This is the view from the Castaway restaurant overlooking
 San Bernardino.
Pat Emery
Terri and Tony Marchesano

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Heading South

On that Friday we left Live Oak for San Bernardino and the reunion.
At the hotel we met Pat Emery. We have known
her for years through but met her
for the first time on this trip. We all went out to dinner
on Friday night. In this photo we have just finished
breakfast at the hotel.
Saturday we met our niece Cindy and her husband Isaac at The
Hat restaurant.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Taco Night at Aunt Atha's

My Aunt Atha is famous for her tacos. So a visit would be incomplete without keeping up the tradition.

Aunt Atha  doesn't cook much any more so Nancy
graciously took on the responsibility.
William devours his taco which he loaded with hot sauce.
Dorothy, Kristin, and Chris
My fourth taco

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meanwhile, Back on the Road Trip

I got busy on my trip and neglected to post to the blog each day. Now I'm trying organize my thoughts and give a chronological narrative of our activities, so here goes.

We went to the Jelly Belly factory with my Aunt Atha,  her daughter
Nancy, son in law Chris and their daughter Kristin and grandson William.
Here, Aunt Atha, Nancy, and Dorothy walk toward the factory.
Here is Aunt Atha's dog Jo Jo
She lives near the Sutter Buttes, ancient eroded lava domes
left over from volcanic activity.
This is the view from her front yard.
We visited the old town section of Sacramento. Nancy, Aunt Atha,
Dorothy, Chris, and William.
Sonya and Kristin at Fanny Ann's Saloon where we ate lunch.
Chris waits patiently for lunch to be served.
The highlight of the day for me was a visit to the railroad museum.
William poses before an enormous steam locomotive.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Onward and Northward

This is our hotel in Barstow.  I like building with
ornate colonnades.
California farmland goes on forever.
Our favorite place for hamburgers when we
are in Oklahoma.

Cities We Drove Through

Amarillo by mornin'
Up from San Antone
Everything that I've got
Is just what I've got on.
When that sun is high
In the Texas sky
I'll be bucking at the county fair
Amarillo by mornin'
Amarillo I'll be there     (George Strait)


Standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona 
It's such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord
In a flatbed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me.    (Eagles)


You don't know me
but you don't like me.
You say you care less how I feel.
How many of you who sit and judge me
ever walked the streets of Bakersfield         (Dwight Yoakam)


Just about a year ago
I set out on the road
Seekin' my fame and fortune
Lookin for a pot of gold
Things got bad things got worse
And I guess you know the tune.
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again.     (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Potholes on America's Road

Today we traveled from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Barstow, California. The online map I used predicted that the trip would take 9 hrs but it took closer to 11.  We made one diversion stopping near Grants, New Mexico at the Sky City casino. We wasted a 20 dollar bill each. I like to play the slots but it doesn't take long to apply the brakes when dollars leave my wallet.
This leg of the trip was especially tiring for me because of the condition of the highways. Although
crews were repairing various stretches I thought the suspension on my car was going to sustain serious damage from the rough pavement. Is it the economy that is keeping the states from repairing their infrastructure? This may be my last road trip. Not only am I getting too old to enjoy it
but America's highways are not fit to drive on.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Road Trip

We are on our way to my Aunt in Live Oak, California.  On the way home we will attend my 50th high school reunion. 

We saw this sign advertising a restaurant. I don't think I want
to be counted among the customers who are so obese they break
the chairs.

We made it to Albuquerque early in the afternoon..

We had some excellent Mexican food here. Not what we are
used to. Instead of the meal being acccompanied by rice and
refried beans we were served beans covered with cheese and baked
to form a crust and very little cubed fried potatoes.
There was a Mariachi band whose members wore Hawaiian shirts
and played songs like "Folsom Prison Blues".  It was wonderful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

A fight to the finish is what finishes a marriage.  That's because over the course of married life, people supply their spouses with precisely what's required to finish them off.  The question is not who can win, because anyone can win if they're willing to go far enough--if they're willing to win at the cost  of love and respect.  The question is who can resist the temptation of winning.  If your marriage is healthy, you are fighting to restore the balance of power.  You are fighting to find out what's worth fighting for...and you will find out that what you are fighting for is the marriage itself.  What matters most to a marriage is forgiveness, and forgiveness doesn't come for free. You have to fight for it.

--Tom Junod, quoted in The Week

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Okie Girl

She wears her yellow Crocs
and hat from Panama
She does her cowgirl pose
and then shouts, "Yeehaw!"

Monday, May 06, 2013


The few potatoes that have grown in our garden are now being eaten by Colorado Potato Beetles. Not to be discouraged we went to town today and bought pepper, tomato, and herb plants and all the seeds we will need for the garden.  It's a gamble.  If it pays off we'll eat good this summer.

Dorothy and Gracen plant herbs in our big pot.
Gracen does some digging of her own.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

End of the Squirrel Wars

I think we have caught and relocated all the squirrels.  We still had the trap on the roof just in case a straggler happened by.  This morning a Cardinal was in the trap. The nuts we used as bait proved to be just too tempting for him.

I steady the ladder while Marley climbs up
and retrieves the trap.
I removed the door and the Cardinal flies away.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Squirrel Wars

Dorothy and I have seen the tide turn in our war against the squirrels.  Today we caught two squirrels in Hav-a-Hart traps.  We transported them six miles away to Squirrel Haven.

If I was a squirrel I wouldn't mind an all expenses paid trip to such
surroundings as these. Imagine the freedom to frolic tree to tree, or to lounge
around polishing your nuts all day if you feel so inclined.
Mr. Squirrel kept calm during the trip. I couldn't help but think
that he was memorizing the landmarks along the way with the
intention of finding his way back to my house. I hope six miles was enough.