A week ago this evening I arrived in Tucson and spent a day and two nights with a dear friend who is currently in remission and maybe--hope and pray--cured of lymphoma. Hearing, while I was in Alaska, about her illness, I had vowed I would get over to Tucson where she now lives to visit, and that came about last week.
I first met Melinda (Melinda Rucker Haynes who is an author, a licensed and trained hypnotist and a multi-talented lady indeed) at an RWA conference many years ago. If memory serves it was probably the one in Anaheim, CA in 1998 but I could be wrong. When I found out she was originally also an Arizona girl, an instant bond began. We both cringe at the modern term "monsoon" for the desert summer rainy season and even know some people in common. From then on, we met at various RWA and RT events but it was always just to grab a few minutes to chat before we had to run off to this workshop or that panel or whatever. It was such a treat to be able to sit and talk non-stop for hours! We came away from this feeling we knew each other much better and just had a marvelous time!
She has lived in Seattle and in Arlington, VA the years we have been acquainted so I am glad she's back in Arizona and thus only about a six hour drive for me. I met her husband, also, and he was as much fun to talk with as she! I do enjoy people who can converse about almost anything with verve, reasonable knowledge and an open mind! So that made for a great visit. Here's a shot I took the morning I was leaving of them at their lovely Oro Valley home.
I also got to see my granddaughter and her two young kids, who are growing so fast I can barely keep up. I've very proud of Julie who is a single mom but handles it with grace and courage and so far is doing a fine job with her two youngsters. She's a credit to the family as are they and it is really neat to feel you can be friends with kinfolk that way!
I also saw another friend from my Cochise County days. Mary Frances Clinton, with whom I enjoyed lunch as I heard about her adventures with a kind of elder hostel group that operates out of Cochise College. She's met some interesting folks, even a couple of gentlemen who have caught her eye and ear. Never married, she has gone through a great deal over the years and struggled with bad baggage from the past, just as many of us seem to. She'd become almost agoraphobic so it is great to see her getting out and enjoying activities with others. I'm so happy for her. We met through the Sierra Vista "Sisters in Crime" chapter that we both attended for a time.
In between my visits I got in some train watching since the UP mainline parallels the highway most of the way from west of Las Cruces clear to Tucson. I did not get a shot to rival my old Stein's Pass one from two years back but did snap a "meet" at the Mescal, AZ crossing. In railroader terms that is a sighting of two trains passing on parallel tracks and hopefully having a chance to get a photo of it. In mine you can see the 'pusher' or following locomotive of one train and the leading two units or locos of the other. Pure luck, that. Many modern trains now use what is called distributed power with lead locomotives and others in the middle or the end of the train. It seems to work better in most freight applications.
In a way trains are 'friends' too since I have been a railroad fan for many years and still enjoy watching them. A chance to take a few photos is a bonus. All in all, it was a great trip. I got home Monday afternoon, tired but well pleased with the trip. An added bonus, I found that my old house in Whetstone (Huachuca City mail address) has been bought and is getting fixed up and clearly loved by some new owners. Hurrah! I hated to see it empty and abandoned. Cherry on the sundae that!
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!