Arizona Photography Road Trip Journal

A Day in Tombstone and Fort Huachuca, AZ.

Summer road trip. Day 15 Thursday June 16, 2011

Brother O’Bryan gets off work at 12:30, and it was a little past 1:00 when they picked us up at our motor home for the trip to Tombstone. We were all still very concerned about the fires, and as we began the short trek to the historic town, we observed that the skies were darkening, giving the appearance that the fires were escalating. Jerry and I had been out earlier, and the skies had actually looked better than they had the day before. Now it appeared that something had changed. The winds had increased, with gusts up to 40 mph.

The O’Bryan’s daughter, Amber, and her husband had been on stand-by for evacuation for several hours. As we traveled in the car both the O’Bryans were receiving updates from their daughter and from other people in their church concerning the situation.

“Please,” I told them. “If this is not a good time to go to Tombstone, let’s just turn around and go back. We can always go later.”

But they insisted, saying there was really nothing they could do at that point, but should things change, we would immediately head back to Sierra Vista.

We made it for the 2:00 o’clock re-enactment of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, after which we went into a couple of other museum areas, and walked about a bit. Then the call came: “Mom, we’ve been ordered to evacuate.” Later we learned that propane tanks were exploding, and one service station had gone up in flames.

It was not a hard decision: We picked up our souvenir newspapers for which we had tickets and headed toward the car. We would visit more of Tombstone another day.

Sister O’Bryan had a roast cooking in her crockpot, and they insisted we go with them to their home. “I had planned all along to have you for dinner. Please come.” So, we went to their lovely home, the prized point of which is their enormous backyard. Tomatoes, squash, okra are among those vegetables growing in their garden. A couple of fountains were spraying, and one tree called a Desert Willow had beautiful pink blossoms on it. Amber and Matt had safely arrived and after we had admired the beautiful yard, we went inside and all indulged in the delicious meal.

As we were finishing up the dishes, Brother O’Bryan suggested we drive to the edge of town and check on the progress of the fires, which we did, although we really couldn’t tell too much. The skies were magnificent, and once when I wanted to pull over to get a shot, someone suggested we drove onto the post of Fort Huachuca to a certain hill that would give great views, not only of the evening skies, but of the fires. We showed our ID, and were admitted to the Post, but the road to the scenic hill site was closed. We theorized it was because it faced toward the fires.

We drove through the Post, past modern houses, and historic structures that are more than 100 years old. Generals live here as do PFCs. Children were running about, riding bicycles and playing with their animals. We saw deer and jackrabbits. The evening light was fading as we pulled up at the cemetery and got out to look around. It was a moving moment for me as I gazed at the rows of white tomb stones and considered that people unknown to me have made great sacrifices that benefit my family and me. I am grateful.

Arizona Photography Road Trip Journal

Fires in Sierra Vista

Summer road trip. Day 14 Wednesday, June 15

The smoky skies caught our attention as we drove into Sierra Vista on Tuesday. This morning we had errands to run, so we drove closer to the area where the fires are raging. They are worse today, with more persons being evacuated in the canyon areas surrounding the city. We haven’t heard whether this has included any people from the church here in Sierra Vista.

I’m posting from this beautiful library.

Christianity/Religion Road Trip Journal

Services at Sierra Vista, AZ.

Summer road trip. Day 13, Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A bit after 10:00, we left Tucson and drove the less than 100 miles to Sierra Vista, AZ. We parked our rig, ate lunch, took naps, and finished preparing for the evening service. The pastor Brother Phil O’Bryan had asked me to teach a lesson to the women, while Jerry would be teaching the men. A sweet group of people gathered, and we had great sessions.

Fires are raging in the mountains around here. More than one of the families who were at church were on evacuation standby. The pastor called us to special prayer for those who had already lost homes, for those who are threatened, and for the firefighters who are working diligently to bring these fires under control.

Arizona Art/Architecture Photography Road Trip Journal


Summer road trip. Day 12 Monday June 13, 2011

They weigh as much as five tons. Filled with water, giant saguaros embellish the desert area here around Tucson, standing as giants with upraised arms. We had Monday free to do some sightseeing, and after asking the Allens for recommendations, we pointed our Jeep west down Speedway, traveling several miles into the open desert area. We drove as far as the Saguaro National Park visitor center, where we spent quite a lengthy time observing the displays, watching a film about the area, and walking the trails that were close to the great building that housed the visitor center.

It was early afternoon when we arrived, and I had worried about the flat midday light hindering my photography, but it really worked out quite well. I was fascinated by the lines and shadows created by the splendid architecture. Once as I walked on the outside plaza, something skittered quickly in front of me, and when I looked at the edge of the cement, I saw a light-colored lizard. He was of a cooperative nature, who stayed in place for several minutes: I think he was posing. 🙂

Many birds flew about, lighting frequently atop the massive cacti. Many of these saguaros are hundreds of years old; a two-feet sized one being around 30 years old.

In the evening, at the Claim Jumper, we had our last meal with the Allens. These are absolutely precious people. Their two children are wonderful, completely immersed in the work of God. We said our good-byes on the parking lot before heading back to our rig at the church. On Tuesday morning, we would head down to Sierra Vista.

In the distance can be seen Tucson, a beautiful city of more than one million.

Food Friends Photography Road Trip Journal

The Bob Allen Family

Summer road trip. Day 11 June 12, 2011

On both Sunday morning and Sunday evening we were in service with Brother and Sister Allen in Tucson, AZ. What a great family this is: What a great church. We thoroughly enjoyed being with them.

Famous Dave’s was the place for dinner. Delicious barbeque.

In this picture are Brother and Sister Allen, and their two children and their spouses. Also pictured is my Jerry, and Jack Hodges, Sister Allen’s father. Anthony’s wife’s sister is also included. What a great time we had!

Christianity/Religion Food Friends Photography Road Trip Journal

Of Friendship

Of Friendship, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Summer road trip Day 10, Saturday, June 11

On Saturday morning, we drove from Phoenix to Tucson where we parked our rig beside the church pastored by Rev. Bob Allen.

“Be at our place around 6:00,” he had said on the telephone earlier. When we arrived, the dining room was set with these charming italian scene dishes. A huge pot of gumbo was brewing in the kitchen.

Jerry and his friend, Jack Hodges, greet each other as the meal was being finished.

After the great dinner, we drove back to our motor home. Tomorrow would be a big day–two services in which to participate.

Arizona Food Goodness of man Photography Road Trip Journal Travel

Tempe Camera, Ross Store, and Enchiladas

Summer road trip. Day 8, June 9, 2011

After a light breakfast, I took the car and drove less than a mile away to a neighborhood mall where, earlier, I had spied a Ross store. I spent quite a bit of time there trying on dresses (none of which I bought) and buying a couple of things for Mildred’s birthday. She is Jerry’s oldest sister, who is turning 90 in July, and to whose party in the state of Louisiana we are headed. I had planned to also go to Target, which is in the same area, but while I was in Ross’s, Sister Hogan called.

“Will you be back at the motor home within an hour? I’ve made enchiladas and want to bring them over for lunch.”

So, I nixed the Target plan and went back to the church where our motor home is. Sister Hogan served the lunch in their beautiful conference room: Spanish rice and delicious enchiladas. For dessert, she had brought a pumpkin spice cake, and from a freezer near by, she pulled out a carton of vanilla ice cream. It was a treat.

Our air conditioning problem turned out to be more than just needing freon; seems the compressor needed to be replaced. We’re still here in Phoenix waiting for parts and repairs. Precious Brother Davenport has helped us out tremendously. Looks like we won’t be heading to Tucson until Saturday morning because of this little problem.

After lunch we drove to Tempe to pick up my camera where I had left it yesterday to have dust removed from its sensor.


Life My Family Photography Road Trip Journal

Jerry and Bruno Magli

Summer road trip. Day 7, June 8, 2011

“There are usually a lot of people there when they open,” Brother Hogan had told Jerry on Tuesday, so on Wednesday morning, just a few minutes after the opening hour of ten, we walked through the doors of Last Chance. Last Chance is a liquidation type place run by Nordstrom Department Stores. The first stop when merchandise is moved from their regular stores are to discount centers called Nordstrom’s Rack. Merchandise that doesn’t sell there, then goes to Last Chance, as do items that have been returned for one reason of another.

Right away, Jerry found the shoes he needed. Black, size 10. He slipped into them, and they were as comfortable as a fine leather glove. The price was $39.99. We could tell they were of such fine quality that we checked them out on the internet, finding their price to be over $400.00 Bruno Magli shoes are made in Italy.

I found nothing. 😦

Photography Road Trip Journal Travel

Out and About in Phoenix

Summer road trip. Day 6 Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jerry left his comfortable black dress shoes in his closet in Crestline, so while we are still here in Phoenix we decided to get out and buy him a pair. Someone at church mentioned that  Last Chance would be a good place to buy good shoes at a bargain price. Jerry looked up the address on his computer, punched the number into his GPS, and we took off over the Phoenix freeway system.

“Arriving at destination on right,” came the sweet little voice from the GPS system, but as I looked about, I was wary about this information being accurate. It was an ordinary strip mall in a part of town one would not consider the finest. We drove behind it, to the side of it, looked at signs, confirmed the number, but alas, no store called Last Chance was to be seen.

We meandered back to the motor home; found a huge WalMart, where we stopped and I bought a few things we needed. Brother Hogan came by the motor home, and as he and Jerry discussed the problem of finding Last Chance, Jerry discovered he hadn’t typed in E. Camelback, had only entered Camelback. Okay, we’ll try tomorrow, we decided.

The night sky was clear. The moon was a brilliant crescent. I set up my tripod and snapped a couple of shots before calling it a day.

Christianity/Religion Food Friends Road Trip Journal

A Birthday, Air Conditioners, Enchiladas, and Friends

Summer road trip. Day 5, Monday, June 6, 2011

I’m sad. Today is Andrew’s birthday–a rather significant one in that he is turning 40. I’m not sad because he’s turning 40; just sad that I’m not with him on this special day. I want to say now, I can’t believe he’s 40 and such as that, and even though it is true, I will refrain from saying it. You know it anyway, for it is a recurrent theme among mankind: The years pass quickly, our youngest becomes a man, then is past his early youth, then we are grandparents, and great-grandparents, and we want to say where has the time flown? Bears thinking about today.

Since I sold lots of books yesterday, and because I took pre-orders for BACKSLIDING…the bitter bite of beelzebub, and because I took orders for A THOUSAND PIECES since we are out of stock again and will get more printed, I set up a little bookkeeping system for this road trip. Have I said lately how I vehemently dislike bookkeeping? 😦  Strange thing, though. I never seem to get away from it. (Okay, I’m over my gripe of the day.)

Just before we reached Parker on Saturday, as we drove in our motor home to Phoenix, our dash air conditioner stopped. Worked fine to that point, then with no sound, no warning, just quit. Jerry mentioned to Brother Wiley that we need to find a technician to take a look at it and it so happened he had a gentleman in his church that could look at it for us. Brother Davenport called and would be at our rig at 6:00 in the evening.

“May I bring my wife?” Jerry’s phone had rung just before 6:00 and Brother Davenport was on the line. “She didn’t get a chance to meet your wife, Sunday. She wants her to autograph the books she bought, and she’s made a pan of enchiladas and wants to come with me if it is okay.”

So here they came with enchiladas, paper plates, napkins and drinks. Can you believe how sweet? I set up our little table, and as we had a nice visit, we ate the chicken/spinach enchiladas. Delicious. I had some beautiful strawberres in the fridge, took them out, poured out a dish of powdered sugar, and we had dessert.

The problem with the air conditioner was easily remedied; needs a charge of freon, which job will be completed on Tuesday. Brother and Sister Hogan drove up as the men were finishing up the air conditioner diagnosis, and they hadn’t eaten. Into the motor home they came, I took the remaining enchiladas out of the refrigerator, heated them up, and now Brother and Sister Hogan had joined the enchilada party.

Jerry mentioned it again this morning: “People are so nice to us, Shirley.”

I agreed and added, “Far more than we deserve.”