travel lark

Generally my trips last more than a couple of days. However, there is the lark category of travel. It’s a trip that comes together quickly and lasts just two to three days.

My travel today is a lark. A priest I met in 2016 is to be installed as rector of an Episcopal church in Texas.

When I first met Alan, he was just out of seminary and had been called to serve as a curate, or assistant to the priest. Specifically, Alan was to be the curate to my best friend who was then the long-time rector of a parish in the Houston area.

I liked him immediately. Over the next four or five years, I grew very fond of Alan and I looked forward to Sunday worship and delightful conversation whenever I was visiting my friend.

Eventually he was called to serve on the bishop’s staff in South Carolina. He now serves as rector of the parish in Texas where my son and his family are members. Who could imagine.

I will join my Texas family, my best friend, and the church congregation for The Celebration of New Ministry at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church. The Rev. Alan Bentrup will be installed as the church’s fourth rector.

“Let us then offer our prayers to God for all his people, for this congregation, and for Alan their Rector.”

Traveling mercies.


Just to tie up a loose end…

On my return flight, once again the impossible burger was offered as an option.

When asked which dinner option I would like to have, my reply was: “I’ll have the impossible burger; hold the burger, hold the salad.”

Fine Dining at 39,000’

time to return home

Before I takeoff…

See ya! to my brother and his wife.

Just as the road trip to Tucson was on backroads, so too, was the return drive to Phoenix.

Two road trips in three days called for a car wash. I love car washes! It’s instant art.

Yesterday we met my very special cousin and her daughter for lunch. I’m not sure how any of us managed to take a bite because we talked and laughed the whole time. What a great gift.

Last night, just as the sun was to set, we made a mad dash to chase it down. Made it!

Driving home from the sunset, my sister took us on a drive tour of foliage sculptures in her neighborhood. We ended this day with a smile.

This morning’s entry to Starbucks just up the road. Only in Phoenix.

A goodbye to my sweet sister.

And to my nephew’s wife…my niece.

Traveling mercies.

keeping sabbath

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. We went to church – my brother and sister and I. At one time or another all of us have worshiped at St Philip’s Episcopal church. It was lovely to return.

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the kingdom.

I bid your thanksgiving for the living culture of the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham peoples, the traditional custodians of the land on which we worship.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.

happy birthday

We left our casita early the morning of the birthday.

We all met at my brother’s home for the drive downtown to visit The Historic Pima County Courthouse.

We were there to see the memorial to the victims of the 2011 Tucson shooting which killed six and seriously wounded thirteen, including the then-U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords.

My nephew, who is employed by Pima County, was pivotal in creating several profound films about the event.

He joined us for our visit. His anecdotal stories about the memorial enhanced the experience.

Each of circles enclose a design depicting each of the victims, both killed and wounded.
Gifford’s memorial figures, which include the US capital in the center and symbols suggesting an astronaut on the far left.
A saguaro with arms suggesting an embrace; close-up of stones on the sides of the memorial.

My nephew’s long time friend and muralist, Joe Pagac, was at work on an enormous mural nearby. We stopped by for a short visit and a chance to see him at work. A real treat.

Unlike the previous day, this day was hot. 100 degrees! I definitely felt the heat blast.

In the early evening we all – plus a few more family members – gathered at Blanco restaurant for dinner. It was a feast of food and family!

Later we returned to my brother’s home for presents and cake.

A wonderful day of celebrating two wonderful persons!

Photo by Randy Metcalf

road trip

A couple of days ago, my sister and I took a road trip.

Taking the back roads from Phoenix to Tucson, we drove through a variety of terrain.

We traversed parts of the Gila River Indian Reservation. Dry dirt. Dry land.

Lovely colors of yellow and dusty pink along the road edges.

Green fields.

And then we met up with the Saguaros.

And more.

Further on down the road we stopped at the. Tom Mix memorial. A film star in the early 1900’s, he died in a car accident on this spot. The monument was erected to ensure he would not be forgotten.

A short drive down this road, and a quick left turn, we arrived at my brother and sister-in-law’s home.

My brother suggested we drive a short way to SculptureTucson, a non-profit for the promotion of sculpture in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

On exhibit were fourteen large scale sculptures by Rotraut, a German-French visual artist. It was 90 degrees, but we didn’t notice as we walked around these stunning sculptures.

Okay, we DID notice the heat. Still, it was great fun!

We ended the day feasting on Kris’ famous tacos. Yum!

saved by the swipe of an id tag

I had a close call on my flight today. I flew in a very big airplane and I sat in the very front of the very big plane in a fancy seat that almost made into a bed. Yes, I am very fortunate.

I was offered my beverage of choice. “I’ll have sparkling water over ice, please.”

Delta has brought back hot meals served on linen table mats. When asked for my meal choices listed on the flight attendant’s phone, I read: sous vide chicken, vegetarian melange, the impossible burger. Burger! I thought. I’ll have that.

Too late I asked if this was a meatless burger. “Yes and it’s very tasty.” Oh boy. A short while later I was sure I could smell something different before it arrived.

With a flourish the mat was laid on the table and the tray placed on top. I looked up in time to see the mishmash of id’s hanging around the flight attendant’s neck swipe across the open-face of that impossible burger.

I slowly slid the bun top over that meatless burger.

The dessert was awesome.

desert up ahead

Soon it will be time to get on down the road. Well, the tarmac.

The early morning drive down from the mountaintop began in the dark. The dawning of the day was lovely. No fanfare, it just slowly appeared.

Then Spring green showed up.

Dazzle time

Arrived. Well, arrived so I could navigate my way to my departure gate.

Now seated in my chair in the sky.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo Da Vinci

Traveling mercies.

celebration in the desert

I’m journeying to Arizona tomorrow for a celebration. The twins (my sister and brother) are having a birthday. This birthday sets the stage for the birthday that follows. My sister and brother will enter their 80th decade in just a few days.

We three have been we three since the twins were teenagers and I had just turned of age – close to 60 years. While we later added spouses and children, we’ve always been we three.

I’m really looking forward to this reunion and celebration.

All manner of plans are in place. And in flux. I know many things to see and do we’re planned. With even more suggestions to consider. Yet already there have been revisions made as the reality of various types of health challenges some of us face, have revealed the need for a reality check.

Still, isn’t it wonderfully remarkable that our first reaction to “we could also do this or that“ is “of course!” We will see as we go.

I’ll first fly to Phoenix, and the next day my sister and I will take a road trip south to Tucson to commence the birthday festivity.

Come along! Traveling mercies.

all the way home

I’ve arrived home. After a glorious detour to Houston for a couple of days, I’m home.

Pieces of my heart remain in Taos and Houston. I’ll surely return. This night it’s good to be home.

There were some stunning views outside the plane window on the flight this afternoon.

And a best-effort sunset on the drive to the mountains.

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.” This Mary Oliver quote beautifully describes how I feel tonight. I was blessed to be in Taos, blessed to be in Houston. And now blessed to be home.