Monday, February 15, 2021

Sunday night stream of consciousness from Saguaro-vania

Superior, Arizona. About 30 minutes northeast of our new home. (Photo by me) 

We arrived at our new home in Florence, Arizona, last week after a 3½-day drive that took us through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and then into Arizona. That dash across the country in the Honda Civic has already become somewhat of a blur in my mind. I have no recollection of anything in Ohio, possibly because we were enjoying a Jim Steinman playlist. We had dinner and spent a night in Indiana. We had a sunny morning and nice drive in Illinois. In Missouri, the roads around St. Louis were the worst of the trip. As we continued through Missouri, we had hundreds of miles of billboards touting either caverns or raunchy roadside attractions. Oklahoma was flat and lovely and we could drive very fast on the toll roads. But after a night in Oklahoma, we found ourselves delayed the next morning by freezing rain in Oklahoma and Texas — part of a multiday Deep South winter weather system that has now led to a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas. 

After we made it through that, the weather warmed up greatly in western Texas. We made a short pit stop in Vega, Texas, for Munzees and to snap some pictures that I'll feature in a future post. In the flat, hot nothingness of New Mexico, we made stops in Route 66 favorite Tucumcari, which I'd like to visit again someday, and Clines Corners, which has a Rest Stop Extraordinaire but little else of note. As darkness fell in New Mexico on the third day of driving, we had a slow, winding driving through the El Malpais National Conservation Area before crossing into Arizona. Our final night on the road was spent in Show Low, Arizona, where there was snow on the ground! We passed many "Elk Crossing" signs, but saw no elk. 

On our final morning of driving, between Show Low and Globe, we traversed the Salt River Canyon, which was simultaneously one of the most breathtaking and white-knuckle drives of my life. Once was enough. At least it was in broad daylight and the roads were excellent.

The moving van is supposed to arrive here in Florence tomorrow. Inside, there will be many boxes of books, old photos, postcards and ephemera. In a way, it will be like starting the Papergreat exploration/excavation all over again, with fresh eyes. That seems both exciting and daunting. I want to this blog to be fun, not stressful or something that feels like an obligation. So I hope the time and inspiration strike me in sufficient measure in the coming weeks and months, as I also take time to adjust to life in the Western U.S. 

My great-grandparents, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988) and Howard Horsey Adams (1892-1985) were in their mid to late 50s when they moved into their oft-mentioned house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, circa 1951. (Mental note: Get that exact date and put it in a post.) That ended up being a house crammed with decades of family history. To me, it just seemed like they always lived there; and I got to be the one to clean it out in the 2010s. 

Being age 50, it kind of feels late to be starting over in a blank slate of a house and a blank slate of a community, but I'm years younger than Greta and Howard were when they moved to Oak Crest Lane. There's plenty of time for seeding this desert dwelling with memories and ephemera.
Soon, the books in this room will outnumber the cats. We hope.

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