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Visiting Family

The last two weeks have been busy. Since the last blog, my sister and I traveled to our home town

of Phoenix, AZ to see our brothers. This was a long overdue visit. I flew in early to DFW Airport for a four-hour layover which afforded me the chance to have brunch with my sister and her daughter and make a quick trip to the closest Joann’s store. The three of us found a few fabric treasures—be on the lookout for Nurses Caps in regional fabrics in the near future—and I met my newest “favorite child” as he helped me at the cutting table. The young man seemed to get a real kick out of that. My niece dropped us off at the airport and my sister and I took off, sitting next to each other. It was a wonderful beginning to making memories.

We made our vacation plans to go “home” around our schedule knowing that we wanted to be in Phoenix sometime early in the new year. The two of us sat down one Sunday afternoon while on speakerphone and checked our schedules. Once we chose our weekend, we got our husbands involved. Our spouses travel quite a bit and have hotel “points” with different chains. Phoenix in February is a vacation hotspot so we were not surprised to find out that the hotel rooms were priced fairly high, but we were shocked when a resort stay was cheaper per night. And, if we booked four nights, our fifth one was free. Sign me up! All of that being said, upon check-in, we were given a “Local Traffic” paper to put on our dash so we could drive freely in the area during a local event. The first couple of days, we were truly stumped. Finally, the barricades and port-a-

potties showed up. Apparently, they were having a golf tournament .9 miles away from us…The Phoenix Open. Traffic became tricky on Monday, when the tournament was free for the general

public. Fortunately, we left early on Tuesday morning before it got too busy! We did get a couple of photos that will pop up each year under “memories.”

You may have heard the saying, “You can’t go home.” I believe that a person can visit the place they consider “home” as long as it is understood that it may not be the same as their memory. Our older brother and his wife of 45 years still live in the house they had built shortly after they got married. It was the same, but different. My sister and I ate at the most fabulous local Mexican food restaurant and old haunt, Carolina’s, every day except Sunday and that was only because all of the locations were closed. We had our very favorite item on the menu: 3-way burros. Carolina’s makes these with humongous, wafer-thin tortillas filled with pork green sauce, beefy red sauce, and authentic refried beans. They are so delicious that on the day before our early morning flight, we got an additional “to-go” order to bring home! Yummy! And, just as good as my memory.

My sister and I shopped at a “few” different Joann’s during our stay. I felt like I had hit the lottery when I found the original blue-green “Gnome Christmas or Everyday” fabric that had been a customer favorite. Even with online searches, it has been “unavailable” for nearly a year! Seriously, if you liked that fabric – order now and get it while you can. There were a few fabrics that I have not been able to find here in Florida that were in abundance there! Bonus! The stores in Arizona seemed to be much larger than the ones located close to me. My take away, I can check the stores there and send my brother or one of his family to pick up my purchase and mail it to me! My sister and I were enjoying our shopping at the Joann’s in Peoria when we encountered a woman that graduated from our same high school! She was 5 years ahead of me but it was still fun to reminisce!

Our time in Phoenix was wonderful. My sister and I hiked with our younger brother (I have achieved 10K steps every day since January 2.) We got to meet some family for the first time. My brother’s young grandson at one point called us his “new aunts”! Maybe he will learn that we are “Great! Aunts”. Our nieces and their husband/significant other had everyone over for dinner on two separate nights which allowed us the opportunity to see their homes and visit without interruption. We were able to set up the phone and take a couple of pictures with the “whole fam-damily” as my dad would have said. And, my sister and I visited our parents’ gravesite. I would venture to say that the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona is unlike most memorial cemeteries in the United States. It does not have the green rolling hills but it does offer a beautiful setting for our service men and women and their spouses to be laid to rest.

For a trip that almost seemed to be put together so quickly it went off with only one hitch. Readers will remember that I bought the cross stitch ornament kit thinking my sister and I could work on it on the plane or while sitting in the airport. NOPE. Upon receiving it, I set it aside, thinking that I could easily divide the threads between the two of us. Unfortunately, it is an older kit. The threads were tied together not separated and labeled as they are in new kits. There were 24 colors of floss and they needed to be separated—in the sunlight because some colors varied ever so slightly. I tried but with everything else that needed to be done, I decided it could just go in my pile of WIP to be done. And, when I take it out, it will bring out the memories.

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