Children Culture Home Life My Family Photography Road Trip Journal

Buxton Ninjas

Not long before lunch, a group attacked our motor home. They did not knock, just rushed in, and at first glance, I thought we had been invaded by terrorists, but when I voiced my concerns aloud to Jerry, one of them responded. “No Granny, we’re not terrorists; we’re ninja’s.” We do good things they had told me, but I did note each of them carried long wide swords. Come to think of it, earlier I believe I had seen these same ones dashing about the bushes here on Steve’s property.

Ninja Drake opened the screen and said to Pappy, “I’m very thirsty, and I see lemonade in your kitchen.”

I poured five small plastic glasses full; four with ice, one without. Ninja Seth lapped up the spilled lemonade like a puppy.

The eyes of Ninja Thane glitter.

Sweet little great-grandchildren of mine. They’re in the air now heading back to Carson City. “Are you ready to go home, Drake?” I asked this morning.

“No, Granny,” he solemnly responded.

Culture Food Life My Family Photography Road Trip Journal

Birthday . . . life’s progression . . .

It wasn’t an exceptionally important birthday, his 41st, except that every birthday is an important one. . . for all of us. He passed another milestone, did Andrew Buxton, my youngest child. I know him rather well, and understand the past 12 months have been challenging for him, as they have for many people. I’m proud of Andrew, for many reasons, but in my eyes his most significant trait is that he is a man of God. He is a tremendous preacher, highly anointed by the Holy Ghost. He has faced some fierce challenges and has emerged victorious, having maintained his integrity with God.

“No big celebration,” he told me when I called earlier in the week to plan time with him on his birthday. “Meet us at El Pollo Grill at 5:30,” he said in a later phone call. We had such a great visit that it was after 8:00 before we left the restaurant.

Is it from time immemorial that little boys have made horns on people during group photographs? Love all those people there!

I had walked toward the car when I looked down the sidewalk and saw Andrew standing alone with his dad. Such scenes always touch me and cause me to consider anew life and its swift progression.

Art/Architecture Children Family Photography Road Trip Journal

Five Greats (Day 12 Summer Road Trip 2012)

Today we visited the Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. What a glorious experience. Throughout the day I was able to capture a nice candid shot of each of the five great-grandchildren.

Sage Buxton 9 (Daughter of Chris and Christina)

Thane Buxton 8 (Son of Joel and Aisha Buxton)

Ethan Buxton 6 (I think) Son of Joel and Aisha

Drake Buxton 5 (Son of Chris and Christina)

Seth Buxton 5 (Son of Joel and Aisha Buxton)

They had a time, as did I. Among other things, they built structures, produced chalk drawings, climbed walls, blew bubbles, toured tunnels, painted a car, and a stack of tires.

This 2-year-old we met also painted. She was a riot, always wanting people to see her work. (If I were despondent, I believe I would consider going to a children’s museum–even if I didn’t have any of my own youngins’ to take. I’d sit and watch and smile, and perhaps my despondency would be lifted.)

At lunch after we left the museum, Ethan looked at his Poppy and asked, “Is it lying to tease?”

“No, not if you’re just teasing,” Poppy Steve answered. Thus began a discussion of lying with the youngsters snickering and tattling on each other. After a bit, Drake looked straight at me, very somber.

“Granny, I lie sometimes.” He stared at me, and I promise I could not help myself. I burst into laughter, looked at Steve, and he was rolling. You tell me, now.Take a look at Drake’s little face. It is just not possible that beautiful sweet boy ever lied. Grannies just know things like that.

Children Family Humor Photography Road Trip Journal Uncategorized

Finale in San Diego (Day 13 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

I was awake quite a while before Jerry was this morning. I brewed coffee, poured myself a cup, opened the door quietly, then sat in a patio chair enjoying the cool air. It was just past dawn. A gentle breeze blew; birds chirped. I walked behind the motor home, camera in hand now and watched the play of sun on this budding day, invigorated by the scenes that moment by moment were developing.

San Diego was our designation. By noon we had driven there and had settled our motor home near the deck Jerry had built many years ago on our son Steve’s property.

Steve’s jacaranda tree is magnificent, in full flush bloom. But the best part of today’s trip is that five of my great-grandchildren just flew in from Carson City, Nevada to visit with their grandparents, Steve and Dearrah. They began the visit by jumping, leaping, running, laughing–all wearing cute tee shirts Steve and Dearrah had sent them.

When I tried to position the children for pictures, they leaped up on the wall, giggling so that for a backdrop I am able to present metal roof drains–but, hey, take a look at those gorgeous faces. Three of the boys belong to Joel; Sage and her brother belong to Chris.

Around 8:30 this evening as Steve was over here visiting in our motorhome, we heard rumblings at our door. Steve opened it, and in tumbled five little critters. Fresh from baths, they were ready to romp. They crowded around Pappy and I tried to get their heads arranged so Pappy’s would show for a picture, but I didn’t do too well. They are hilarious, and we ended the evening with all of them in the middle of the floor juking and jiving. I laughed until I could hardly catch my breath. The more we laughed, the faster and more ridiculously they danced.

In a few minutes, here came Dearrah. “Are the youngsters over here?” She had gone into the bathroom; when she came out all was quiet, for the little rascals had raced to the motor home.

Not much going on in our motor home now; just peace and quiet. Across the way? Can’t even imagine! A trip to the Children’s Museum is on the docket for tomorrow and we have been invited. . .but at this point we’re not sure! Let you know.

Add to Bloglines Arizona Christianity/Religion Church Photography Road Trip Journal

Sunday in Yuma (Day 11 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

Church on Sunday at Yuma’s Pentecostal Assembly. Jerry preached in the morning, Pastor Jerry Rowell in the evening. The presence of the Lord was dear, and often through the day I thought of and read this scripture:

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4






Arizona Food Photography Road Trip Journal Weather/Nature

To Sunset (Day 9 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

After arriving in Yuma a little after ten, Jerry set up our rig, I arranged the inside portion of the motor home, then we set down for a light lunch. It was hot, so we stayed inside; temperature reached 112 degrees today.

Remembering we had a Cracker Barrel gift card, being hungry now in the early evening, and not motivated to cook very much, we trekked to our faithful Jeep and drove to Cracker Barrel. I’m ambivalent about Cracker Barrel, although I hesitate to say so for fear of old shoes and rotten tomatoes being thrown my way, for I understand that lots of people revel in the thought of sitting down to a meal in one of these restaurants. Jerry’s food was great (fish and chips), mine was mediocre (chopped sirloin). Cracker Barrel management is brilliant; I give them that, for everyone who enters to have a meal must walk first through the shopping area. Cute things there, reasonably priced. What say you about Cracker Barrel? Of course some will have no opinion, never having had the opportunity to eat at one of these interesting places. I believe there are none in California; probably this one in Yuma is the closest.

The best part of the day now evolved, when heading back toward our rig, I saw this attractive church, set high above the freeway and practically glowing in the magnificent evening light. We turned off, and while Jerry stayed in the parking lot overlooking the Colorado River, where across the way, families were splashing around in that surging cooling water, I climbed many steps to stand before the church.

A firey orb, the sun was setting now showing its splendid glow across one of the numerous agricultural fields here in this area. Jerry was good enough to stop every little bit so I could snap the progression as the sun quickly slipped behind the mountains that loom in the distance.

. . . and day is done.

Arizona Photography Road Trip Journal shopping

Shopping Spree Continues (Day 8 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

A few days ago when the mobile repairman adjusted our brakes, he told Jerry he thought there was a problem with one of our tires. . .Jerry checked suppliers yesterday, and this morning a mobile tire truck would arrive, check the tire, and install a new one if such was needed.

“Think I’ll do a bit more shopping while you wait for the tire man.” I smiled as I made this little suggestion to Jerry at the same moment as I checked on my computer for store hours of Dillard’s Clearance Center. Open at 9:00 the site read, so a few minutes after the hour I pulled in front of the huge store. Nothing. Quiet. No one there. I walked to the door and saw the posted schedule called for the store to open at 11:00.

There was a Ross nearby and a Barnes and Noble, and I thought to hang out at those places until 11:00. I called Jerry, told him what was going on…and went into Ross’s. I had been poking through the dresses for just a few minutes when I saw this! What? It was a cute little summery thing–very pretty. A clerk was passing and I asked her. “Is this dress 49 cents?”

She smiled and said, “Yes!”

I looked around Ross’s a bit more, but finding nothing else I wanted to buy, I headed for the cashier, having a slight sense of embarrassment at buying nothing else. “Biggest sale of the day, I’m sure,” I said to the friendly clerk.

She smiled and explained. “Happens occasionally. If something doesn’t sell for a month or so, drastic reductions are made.” She punched buttons on the cash register and said, “That will be fifty-four cents.” I paid her with two quarters and four pennies.

Well, the thoughts of this buy and the bargains I snagged yesterday at Dillard’s have led me to this decision: If I were a gambler, I would head straight for Las Vegas. 🙂

Edit: June 10 Someone asked to see the dress modeled. Here you go!

Art/Architecture Books/Library Christianity/Religion Photography Road Trip Journal

Phoenix-Prescott Valley-Phoenix (Day 4 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

A busy Sunday began with us leaving Phoenix a few minutes after 8:00. We set our GPS to direct us to Prescott Valley where Jerry would preach the morning message in a church pastored by Rev. Richard Evans. We arrived too early, so after sighting the church, we went a few blocks away to Wendy’s where we ordered coffee.

“Look, Jerry,” I had sputtered on the way to the coffee stop. “Look at that neat building. I want to take pictures.” So Jerry drove back to this children’s dental complex, and while he sipped coffee I snapped pictures. Cutest place. Smartest dentist.

Pastor Evans, his wife, and other members of the church welcomed us as we entered the church, and soon a table was set up for my books. It was an amazing morning; per capita, I believe I sold more books there in Prescott Valley than I have sold any other place. As he introduced Jerry to preach after I had made my book presentation, Brother Evans announced that he wanted to buy 100 copies of my newest book, BACKSLIDING, the bitter bite of beelzebub. I sold so many books after the service that I ran out of one of the titles and must do a mailing today. I tremendously appreciate such support for my work. (Another subject which I will address in a different post is my extreme reluctance to push my own books. Yet I know that unless I do so, I will not sell them. 😦  …..)

Jerry stands with pastor and Mrs. Evans and with their son Ryan who is a law student at USC and who was home for a visit. With these neat people we enjoyed a delicious meal and great conversation at a Texas Roadhouse. . . then it was time to drive back to Phoenix.

The dedication of Gabby by her parents was scheduled for Sunday night at Phoenix Revival Center pastored by Brother Delmon Sansom. Brother Sansom spoke an eloquent dedication message titled, A Tale of Two Homes. It was powerful. Jessica wanted her pappy to be involved, too, and of course he was excited to do so.

Gabby is a definite mama’s girl and she did not want to be given to Jesus! She yelped, wanting to be given instead to Jessica. “Never mind her crying,” Jerry said to the audience, and he prayed right over her bawling.

After the dedication, Jerry preached to the precious people who make up the congregation of this fine church. After sweet conversation with Brother and Sister Sansom and their great people, we said good-bye, motored home, and plunked ourselves into bed. Tired, but happy!


Food Road Trip Journal Travel

Superstition Mountain (Day 3 Summer Road Trip 2012)

On Saturday, we drove fifty or so miles to spend some time in the area of the Superstition Mountains located right at Apache Junction. The weather has been exceptionally cool, so that I considered taking a light jacket with me, although it turned out that I didn’t need it. The temperature was perfect, although the skies were less spectacular than I had hoped would be the case. Lots of strong winds had kicked dirt and sand into the air, although as the afternoon passed, the sky cleared. There were no clouds.The entire area was spectacularly beautiful.

We chose to explore the area through the Lost Dutchman State Park. At the gate where we paid our $7.00 the attendant was very friendly, recommended a couple of easy hikes, and pointed out that the Saguaro blooms this year are especially abundant.

Indeed they were, and as we hiked our couple of miles we admired the beauty of these gigantic cacti.

We walked to the Crosscut Trail Intersection, meeting several people who had gone all the way to the peak of the Superstition, and who were now returning. When Jerry asked several of them how it was, they all spoke highly of the trip, although warning it was a bit challenging.

We had taken water with us, but by the time we got back to our car we were ready for something more substantial. We pulled out our small ice chest that contained pieces of rotisseried chicken, a wedge of cheddar cheese, raw carrots with a small container of humus for dipping. (Well, the humus dipping was something only I engage in; Jerry can’t stand the stuff!) cokes, and a few fig newtons. A nice shelter was nearby with several tables that gave to a magnificent view. A gentle wind brushed our faces. We drank steaming coffee from a jug and tin cups Mike had given us some time ago.

“Stand over there and I’ll take your picture,” Jerry said. I did.

I’m posting a link here that contains a couple of interesting videos describing in more detail the area. Worth taking a look. . . might even make you want to come for a visit thinking maybe you will find that famous Dutchman’s lost gold mine. Many people believe there still is lots of gold in those rugged mountains. Wish we could have visited the ghost town, too. Maybe next time!

Christianity/Religion Culture love My Family Photography Road Trip Journal

Jessica and Robert’s Wedding (Day 2 Summer Road Trip 2012)

On her wedding day is there something that happens to a bride to make her exceptionally beautiful? It seems so, for many brides appear unusually radiant on their special day. Jessica was no exception as she married Robert Besso. Brother Sansom, her dad Mike, and Jerry participated in the simple ceremony that was held in the beautiful yard of the Besso family in Scottsdale, AZ.

Robert’s mom Jan made the beautiful cake.

The clan.

Happy grandparents here. Jerry and I are grateful for Brother and Sister Sansom who are ministering to Jessica and her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Beeso, here’s to a godly, enduring, happy marriage.