Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, through Sunday, July 20, 2014: In Williams, Part 2:

Becky had earlier bid on a new sunglass case on eBay, and was notified on Monday that her $17.99 (including postage) bid had won!  She was very excited.

Besides that magnificent victory, Monday started out with fluffy clouds and bright sunlight.  Maybe the monsoons are over for a while. 

Oops!  Wrong again.  Just before 2:00 PM the thunder, and lightning, and rain, started again.  Becky and the dogs were on a walk nearby, but far enough away that I had to pick them up.  Eventually, we had some hail, and the rain lasted longer and fell harder than previously this season.  We all huddled up for the evening.

Tuesday was a normal day of walking dogs, relaxing in front of the TV, and reading. 

Wednesday was a busy day.  We headed for Flagstaff early.  We dropped off the dogs at Canyon Pets, then stopped at the local Mobil station to check the tire pressure on our truck.  (The monitor had suggested that one of the tires was low.)  The tire guy pointed out that one of our front tires had weird wear and some other oddities, and was in danger of coming apart soon.  Whether or not he was correct, that was the second time I had heard that.  It was probably a mistake, but we let him replace both front tires. 

Becky had a hair appointment at 11:30, and we first stopped at Kohl's for some stuff.  (On Wednesday they give a 15% Senior Discount.)  I parked the truck in front of the hair salon and walked the block-and-a-half to the library, to spend the next 1 1/2 hours reading my current novel.  Becky enjoyed getting her hair done by Shawna Ritter at Tirzah Salon.

When it was time to leave, I noticed that it was pouring rain.  I had no umbrella or coat, of course, so I called Becky and arranged for her to pick me up when she was finished with her hair.  While waiting, I chatted with a fellow umbrella-less/coatless gentleman who was waiting for the rain to stop before setting out on a walk to his destination a mile or so away.  I offered to take him.  He agreed that was a workable idea.  He informed me that he was a homeless veteran with a wife who was in jail in Phoenix. 

She had hit a policeman while being questioned about her public drunken behavior.  It was her fourth offense and she was only two weeks away from being released.  His project in the meantime was to find suitable living accommodations for them in either Flagstaff or Phoenix---to be provided by the Veterans Administration.  He said he personally preferred Flagstaff because there was less crime there (discounting his wife's proclivities) but thought the available accommodations in Phoenix were better.  Isn't it interesting what you can learn from strangers?

Before we left for home we stopped at Oregano's for lunch (we shared the terrific Pablo Picasso Mexican Salad)

then Wal-Mart for a variety of things, then Pilot for some diesel, and then Canyon Pets for the dogs.  (They were exhausted from a full day of play.)  When we got home we watched Non-Stop (with Liam Neeson) from the redbox.  It was exciting;  a lot better than I had expected.  

At Kohls, Becky had purchased a set of 101 Dalmatians pajamas, which she donned Wednesday night.  Ramsey and Kelsey couldn't have cared less.

We took the dogs to a nearby abandoned tennis court for some free running on Thursday.  Someone had left one of the two gates open so Ramsey took immediate advantage and took off for the house across the street where a dog was calling to him.  He was quickly subdued by Becky and led back to the court.  That was the highlight of  an otherwise ordinary day.

Friday, we had lunch at the Red Raven restaurant in Williams with Dorthy Westmoreland, a former co-worker at Xanterra we hadn't seen in at least five years.  She is currently a concierge at the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon and she came down for the day.  She's a lot of fun to be with and is quite thorough in keeping up with the gossip at work.  We thoroughly enjoyed her updates on people we had known at the canyon. 

After lunch, our Keurig coffeemaker, which we've enjoyed for 4 1/2 years, seemed to die while Becky was performing some regular maintenance on it.  It had been doing some strange things for a couple of days, and now it would not even turn on.  Since we drink coffee every day, we decided it was time for an emergency trip to the Target store in Flagstaff for a replacement. 

When we got back, I immediately set up the new one.  But, the new one wouldn't turn on, either.  I determined that the circuit breaker had thrown a few hours earlier.  Most likely, that was why the old coffeemaker wouldn't turn on, and it probably hadn't actually died.  Oh, well.  It had become cranky in any event.

Saturday was Becky's day to wear out the dogs.  They went on two long hikes---From Buckskinner Park to home and from the Mormon Temple to home. 

I started a project to improve the abandoned tennis court where we sometimes let the dogs off leash.  I took down a net that had deteriorated and was a major eyesore, determined what I need to do to fix the two gates so they close properly, and hit the hardware store for some needed repair parts.  Becky watched Midnight Stallion, a movie from the redbox, and the two of us watched another, Cowgirls & Angels 2, which was a nice, family film.  We had very nice filets mignon for dinner.
Sunday morning (the 13th) Becky took a picture of the Supermoon which rose Saturday night.  A Supermoon is a full moon occurring when the moon is at its closest point to the earth.  It’s not as rare as it would seem; there are five of them in 2014. 

Becky also took a picture of the two dogs enjoying the couch together.  

On Monday, I finished the first part of the tennis court gate project.  We first straightened up the corner pole, using the truck to pull a tow line. 

The Redbox movie on Tuesday was Endless Love, which we had avoided but there was nothing else available we wanted to watch.  It wasn’t great, but not terrible. 

Wednesday, we took the dogs to Kaibab Lake, a few miles away on the way to the Grand Canyon.  We walked almost all the way around the lake.  Fortunately, it’s down quite a bit---making it smaller as a result. 

After lunch we went to Flagstaff to see America, the sort-of documentary by Dinesh D’Sousa.  Very interesting.  I’m glad we didn’t wait for the redbox to stock it.  On the way back, we got stuck for 20 minutes when they stopped traffic completely on I-40 westbound for road construction.  We had seen the stoppage on the way to Flagstaff, but assumed it would be over by the time we returned.  Wrong.   

Thursday morning, on the first walk of the day, Becky went by the tennis court and noticed that someone had reattached the old, beat-up net I had removed a few days ago.  Apparently, the court is not truly abandoned as I had thought.  The movie of the day on Thursday was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was so “artsy” I stopped watching after just a few minutes. 

Even though she didn’t like it, Becky stayed with it until the end for some reason.  We had pizza for dinner.  Yum.

Thursday morning, Becky noticed a home for sale in a nice neighborhood not far from our RV park.   She made me drive by it that afternoon.  We had not thought seriously about buying a place, but this started a conversation.  
Because of the wall-to-wall, non-stop TV coverage of the shot-down passenger plane in Ukraine, we watched a bunch of recorded episodes of Castle and The Mentalist instead.  We had ordered a new (additional) remote control for our living room TV, to take advantage of a function that was not working on one of our current ones.  The new one had arrived on Thursday, and on Friday I determined that it had the same problem as the old one. 

I called DirecTV and talked for a long time with one of its agents.  It was a frustrating call.  I eventually got transferred to her supervisor who, unfortunately, confirmed what she had told me---it was extremely rare that the function I wanted would work at all.  Now we’re stuck with only one living room remote room that has all the functions.  DirecTV is sending me a (free) new one anyway, on the off-chance that it will satisfy my obsession.  (Three remotes for a 120 square foot living room?)      

During one of her dog walks on Saturday, Becky noticed that a new net had been installed at the "abandoned" tennis court. 

We spent the afternoon talking about exploring the idea of settling in Williams.  After spending almost 1 1/2 months here, we feel very comfortable with it.  We've always thought Prescott, Arizona, would be our ultimate home, but Williams has a lot to offer.  Among other things, it's only an hour from the Grand Canyon, it's located on a major highway corridor (I-40), and there are daily Amtrak trains to and from Los Angeles and points in between. 

The idea would be to continue using our RV, spending winters in southern California or the warm areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and the warmer months in Williams or travelling around the country.  Eventually, we intend to put the road behind us and act like normal people.  To that end, we arranged for a Sunday showing of the place Becky had seen---near the Elephant Rocks golf course in the Highland Meadows area of Williams. 

It turned out that the home has serious possibilities for us---including a special garage in the rear of the property that was designed to hold an RV, and, since it is currently used as a seasonal rental, the furniture could be bought, as well.  (We have no furniture or furnishings at all, having disposed of everything when we left Pasadena more than eleven years ago.) 

We will be viewing other homes as well, in the coming days.  Danielle Worthington, the realtor, is originally from Huntington Beach.  It is her family that began developing the Highland Meadows community in 2000.

Sunday evening, we started another Breaking Bad marathon.  We finished the third season.


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