Vaya Con Dios, Don." Thank You.
Life is for the living, as they say, and so to paraphrase the most common entry in the Lewis & Clark 1805 journals, "We shall proceed on."
Susun and Stasea spent yesterday bike riding, sewing and gardening. We will learn more soon when Susun makes her morning call to the Mainland.
Our Thursday got off to an interesting start with "The Paddle That Stayed Up The Creek." That's such a long story it has its own blog post below. After the dust settled on that saga, we headed over to the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) to pick up our mail. VOC has an identity problem. First, it's nowhere remotely near Oak Creek. And then the Postal Service makes matter worse by calling it Sedona. It's not Sedona, either, but all of the mailing addresses in VOC say "Sedona." Meanwhile, some people insist on calling VOC "Big Park." It's not a park and actually never was a park. Most of the time we call it simply "The Village." However, that implies a bucolic hamlet populated with people in bib overalls who carry pitchforks and such. That's clearly not the case with snooty VOC as the place is definitely a rich man's enclave. Who knows what to call that place? Heck, we might as well throw in the towel and use our postal address and call it Sedona. Whatever works. But I digress.
Anyway, by coincidence, the final tax document we'd been waiting for showed up. So, we hot-footed it back to Straw Central and assembled all of our tax docs and then swooped down on H&R Block in Camp Verde. Our tax person, Helen, is always really busy this time of year and you generally can't drop in on Helen unannounced. So, I reached deep and started visualizing Helen having a break in her schedule. Sure enough, as I pulled into the parking spot in front of HR Block's office, Helen was walking to open the front door just like she had been planning on my arrival. I love it when that visualization stuff works! Helen and I had a fun visit. She is really nice and professional and it's so nice not to have to mess with all that tax stuff. Give it to Helen and it's done. Poof, just like that. Whatever she charges is the best bargain of the whole year.
Then I shuffled off to Basha's and got lucky and caught Ken Reynolds during a rare free moment for him. Ken is the Energizer Bunny's Coach. Ken is on the move constantly. he never slows down, sits down, stops or anything like that. He's hustling 101% of all his waking moments. He makes the Energizer Bunny look like a total slacker.
Years and years ago, Ken decided to write his life story, complete with hand-drawn illustrations. I think it was in the early 1990's when he began this epic project. He would write up a whole chapter of his life into a little book. For some reason, he'd give those chapters to me to read. Well, most of them are so flipping hilarious they have you fall-on-the-ground laughing. Anyway, last November when we showed up I told Ken I wanted to re-read his stuff from the beginning. Ken finally got around to bringing in some of the chapters. He gave me chapter 2 yesterday. It's about when he went to work for Phelps Dodge in Ajo, Arizona back when he was a teenager. As soon as I got back home, I dropped everything and re-read it from cover-to-cover. Naturally, I was belly laughing all the way through it. Good Ol' Ken can sure cast a spell with his writing. HILARIOUS!
I have to attempt to tell one of Ken's stories. One of his Ajo relatives was a retired cop. So, one day the whole Beverly Hillbilly family decides to go down to Cholla Bay in Mexico. But they get close to the border and realize the ex-cop has a gun so they freak out and decide to hide it in the desert. They pull off the road and the guy runs out into the desert to hide it in a hole in a big saguaro cactus. He reached in and leaps back, dumbfounded. There was already a gun stashed in the very same hole! Naturally, Ken takes a few pages to tell this story and it's so danged funny that I am still chuckling about it.
On the way back home, I stopped off at Pat's Place and asked him about getting an appointment to put a new serpentine belt on the big truck. Pat gives me his classic depreciating look and says, "I won't make no stinkin' appointment to swap out a serpentine belt, John, just bring in the truck and I'll do it whenever you show up!" Well, I hot-footed it right back with the truck and Pat put in the belt for free. Of course, the belt with tax was $65 so it wasn't exactly a cheap job but, hey, peace of mind has a price, ya know?
Gary came over for the campfire and we both were dazzled by the moonrise. We hatched a newly minted idea and before the night was over, The Copper State Mint was born! You can click here to see our rootin', tootin' new business idea.
It was definitely a very memorable day!