December 6-18, 2016
My dearest friend Berta had a long overdue knee replacement December 6th so I’ve parked the truck camper in her driveway. When I’m not helping her, or playing on the computer, I’ve been watching the Yarnell skies.
I drove her car back to Yarnell from Phoenix where she’d be in the hospital 2-3 nights and stopped at the Hassayampa Riparian Preserve on the way home. Also made a stop for printer ink to finish the Christmas calendars.
Next morning clouds hung low over the Weaver Mountains with sun trying to break through. I miss this view out my 5th-wheel Imax windows. The truck camper doesn’t give me much view as I’m backed up almost to the shed to reach the electrical post. And with chilly nights I am grateful for that electric heat.
Around noon I drove to Kirkland where the 5th-wheel is parked to print the calendars. It’s a pretty 15 mile drive through ranch lands, Peeples Valley, past the last of fall colors on the Cottonwoods, and I always see several hawks sitting on electric poles. Must be a lot of rodents for them to eat in those fields.
The next day is sunny and bright. I wander around Berta’s yard taking in the interesting landscaping and collections of, stuff. Some of the rusty things were salvaged after the Yarnell Fire when Berta lost her house on the property next door. Other things are rescues, mostly from yard sales and thrift stores.
My salvage pile including steps and metate are too big to move around. My 10×10’ storage shed once stood to your left.
I was there to watch the kitty, Sierra. With the camper I come mostly self-contained and have a strong signal so mostly just hung out. If you follow Geogypsy on Facebook you’ll know I’m always 3-4 months behind labeling photos and share every 100th. Sierra is an indoor/outdoor beauty but Berta had concerns and said not to let her out. So I also hung out with her when she’d have me. You know how cats are.
The first few days Berta was home I was too busy to play with the camera. The poor dear could barely get out of her chair and use the walker to get to the bathroom. I made sure we tracked her meds and ate a little in between naps. I knew when she started to feel better and got an appetite back when she actually liked my grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. A staple of mine. Physical Therapy (PT) started only two days later after the weekend on Monday. That entails a 30 minute drive to Wickenburg three days a week.
With the last super moon of the year coming I wanted to scope out some possible foreground for the rise but at the same time not go farther than I felt like walking back in the chill evening. I had three nights of shooting but the first there was too much cloud which did make for a nice sunset then later when the moon was high, and cold enough I didn’t want to be out long.
Tuesday I drove to Kirkland with a list of things I needed out of the RV. I take drive-bys of this windmill every time I go by. More hawks along the way that are almost impossible to capture while driving. Then one sitting atop a neighbors tall antenna.
The foliage was dense as I impatiently waited and moved the tripod a few feet in either direction. Using Google Sky app on the phone helps to see where the moon will rise on the horizon which is much lower than my high elevation horizon. So I waited.
Plus another chance at the moon as it set behind the Weaver Mountains. Then another trip to Wickenburg for PT and a few groceries. A week after surgery and Berta is getting around pretty good with the walker.
Thursday I braved shopping in Prescott knowing it might be the last chance to Christmas shop, not on a weekend, before leaving next week for Bill’s in southern Utah. I don’t want to sound like Scrooge but this shop til you drop thing isn’t my thing. A pretty 40 mile drive over the Bradshaw Mountains on SR89/Spar Road then back on Iron Springs/Kirkland Roads where I had to stop a couple times to take photos of the crazy diversity of clouds leaving dancing shadows on the land.
Back to Wickenburg PT on Friday with a long grocery list for four people, including myself. Friday is Chili Rellenos day at Bashas and I picked up a dozen, two huge chilies per box covered with cheese and smothered in green sauce. Yarnell is mostly a small retirement town and many don’t drive so if going to town those who do drive try to help out.
Rained with thunder and lightning all night and most of Saturday, which thankfully was a day off from running around. I hid out most of the day in the camper only 100 feet and a phone call away should Berta need anything. She’s getting along exceedingly well with the walker and doesn’t need my help as much. Yet we spend lots of hours together talking and solving the world’s problems. (I wish we could.)
Then Sunday I made hopefully the last trip to Kirkland before going to Utah with another list of “things” to pack into the camper. Nothing frozen, leaking, or broken. Yea! And tomorrow it’s back to Wickenburg for PT again.
Been a busy two weeks. Wednesday after PT I’ll drive three hours to Flagstaff and stay at KOA for the night then make the final four hours Thursday to Kanab. Christmas celebration at Bill’s house includes his sister, son and DIL, and me. Much quieter than last year.
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