Living a life of “1sts”….

Yep, that just about says it all!

I haven’t updated my blog in ages, have I?

Well, that’s about to change!  Don’t say I haven’t warned you all!

The reason I’ve decided to stop and share a bit more of what I have been up to of late…..  Speaking to a dear friend for the 1st time in almost a year.  She called today and it came back to me that I really have been so busy making a new life for myself that I haven’t kept up with my past in some time.  So, thanks, Marilyn, for digging me out again!

Things have gone from stupendous to super superb as the past months have flown by. And, the months have flown!  I’ve been in Mesa over 4 months now, though it only seems like I arrived a few days ago.

The rv resort, Orangewood Shadows is gorgeous!  The orange, lemon and grapefruit trees are loaded with fruit, much of it just about ready for picking and enjoying. (Actually, these trees are such a delight to the eye that they remind me of beautifully decorated Christmas trees).  Some of the different types of oranges are already ripened (Navals being one of my most favorite of choices) and the lemons and both red and yellow grapefruit.  I’ve had plenty of all to eat as I wait for the Valencias on my tree to finish ripening next month. Not only have I enjoyed the fruits themselves, but I’ve been learning about those glorious fruits most of us have only found in supermarkets.   Honestly, I always bought oranges when they were on sale, so never bothered to learn which breeds were likeliest to not have seeds or to have the least seeds of the breeds available. Nor which were tastiest as an eating fruit versus those that make a delightful glass of fresh squeezed juice.  I’m learning though and totally thrilled by what I have learned!

I do have to tell you of my special Christmas gift……..  Yeah, it has to do with oranges so read on if you care to.

When I arrived here all of the trees had what looked to me to be ripe or almost ripe fruit on them, I was rather bummed when I learned how wrong I had been in this assumption as nothing had reached the stage where I could stop and pick my first “fresh from the tree” orange.  Well, patience is a virtue (so they tell me) and one that is usually rewarded with time.  So, I watched these trees and dreamed of when I would be able to experience what seems to me to be the ultimate delight of living in such an area as Arizona at this time of the year.  Okay, on with my story…..  About a week before Christmas I was again hopping out of my car by “my” orange tree when I realized that one of the oranges was looking different from all the rest I could see.  I don’t know how to describe it, but it was more orange looking than the rest, like it had put on a special glow to get my attention.  I went up and looked at it, compared it to the fruits around it and even gave it a gentle squeeze.  It had no green tint in its skin as the others did, it was brighter in color than all the rest…….Most of all, it “gave” a bit when I squeezed it.  Knowing the fruit was not to ripen any time soon I gave up my inspection and came into my little house on wheels for the night.  Each day leading up to Christmas Eve I did stop and visit that orange as it continued to draw my eye to it time and time again.  Each day I was sure that my desire to pick an orange outweighed what that orange was telling me, so I stepped away and just prayed I was not being totally silly with my belief that that orange was going to be a special gift to me soon.  I finally had to give that orange what to me was one last test on Christmas Eve day, shortly before sundown.  I went up to it (wouldn’t you know it was right at my eye level) and after telling that little orange what I had in mind, I reached out and gave a very gentle tug on it.  I had promised myself that if it didn’t come away easily I would leave it alone, but if it did come away it would be my Christmas orange the next day.  Well, I ate my orange for breakfast the next morning after having it almost fall off the tree into my hand.  I was so stunned that it had come away and so easily, that I just stood there in wonder for several minutes.  I was given the most precious (to myself anyway) of gifts for the most special day of the year, I was totally amazed and still am for that matter!  My 1st picked by myself orange!  What a treasure and what a blessing!  Since then not another orange has fully ripened on that tree, though in a month they should all be ready for picking, and I’ll be here waiting not only to enjoy them myself, but to share with many of the wondrous people I have come to know in this park.

Okay, as it says in the heading, I’m living a life of 1sts; the orange is just one of many I have experienced.  I made my 1st trip pulling my little house totally unescorted by family members this past fall when I moved from N. Calif. down here to Az.  I’ve spent my 1st winter ever in an area where I didn’t need a winter coat for even a few days of the season (when I was young I spent one winter in S. Calif. but still needed a warm coat as I lived near the ocean and the breezes got pretty cool), here I’ve only put on a light fleece jacket a couple of mornings.  I experienced my 1st Thanksgiving and my 1st Christmas totally away from my own flesh and blood, even if we didn’t have many chances to share holidays when we lived nearer each other.  I thoroughly loved having about a hundred and fifty friends to share those meals with as we have the holidays here in the park for all who care to join in on not only the eating, but also the cooking of our meals.

I’ve learned to be more comfortable speaking into a microphone (I host a coffee (another 1st) every Thursday morning to any of the residents who care to come for donuts, coffee and an update of events happening in the park each week).  When I first arrived I was tickled to see about 38 people come out to meet me, imagine my surprise when after the holidays were over I suddenly found myself facing over 200 people at one time! That was quite a 1st!!! LOL  I had been warned, and yes, the numbers attending had grown considerably as the park began filling, but the numbers doubled overnight with the 1st of the new year!  I had been told the mike was necessary when the hall began to fill.  Silly me, I really didn’t think the hall would ever fill enough that just raising my voice wouldn’t carry to everyone there!!!  Well, I have been using the mike, like it or not,  I am a person who talks with her hands and that darned thing kept running away from my face for a while when I lifted the hand holding it for whatever I was trying express.  I’ve learned to just walk around the room instead! LOL  No one knows where I’ll pop up next as I yak on that thing, but I would never be able to have them all hear me without my mechanical aide.

More 1sts…….  I’ve been to live dinner theatre shows, to theatre in the round (also live), I’ve driven the Apache Trail…….  Not planning on ever doing that again! LOL  Been there, done that!

For those of you who do not know of this particular road, I recommend not driving it if you are at all afraid of heights or mountainous gravel roads that seem to go on forever even when the signs assure you that its only 22 miles of gravel!  I will never drive that one again!  Oops, I believe I have said that more than once! LOL  Sorry about that, but that 1st was definitely a one time only for me!  I drove through the Superstition Mountains!  Not through them actually, but up them and down them and all around some of them!!!  What a trip!  Thinking it would only take 3 hours or so, imagine my shock to find myself and a new friend driving for more than 5 and a half hours, in a “loop” of a road, to still be more than an hour from Mesa by the time we had made that much of the trip!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted I made the trip as I got to visit the Goldfield Ghost Town and even stopped at Tortilla Flats for a bit of a break and I even got to see the Roosevelt Dam after a couple of hours driving……..But, I discovered there was nothing on the rest of that trip that would ever make me feel I had “missed out”  if I had never seen it that time!! LOL  Yoikes!!  What a “hairy” road that one was for a mini-van!   Dorothy from  the “Wizard of Oz” had it right though when she said her very famous line.  “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…….”  Even if home moves with me whenever I travel to another location to work!!!  I was most happy when I pulled into my driveway that night! LOL

I’ve experienced what is reputedly the largest flea market in this country that remains open nearly year round and for the most part is considered to be an outdoor market.  Housed in at least 4 huge Quonsets the sides of the buildings are open to the elements (though the folks who rent the spaces usually hang tarps to act like a back wall in their space and keep out the sun, or rain when we happen to get some).  In these buildings people come every weekend and set up shop selling whatever you could possibly want to buy.  I got my 1st Arizona Dirt shirt there (dyed with the orange dirt of this state), totally “cool” to know that the rich reddish orange dirt is so full of iron that it can stain a shirt the way it does.  I’ll keep that shirt for years just to remind myself of the vibrant colors to be seen wherever you look around here.

I’ve also gotten used to dealing with total strangers for setting up entertainers to come to this park on a weekly basis to give their own “live” shows to our residents.  We have seen all kinds of acts so far, with many more to come before the end of season, and even more to come as my office sets up dates for next year.  I can’t wait to see how those shows appeal as most of them are my own choices!  I quake in my sandals whenever I wonder if I have chosen right or whether my “take” on the people here is wrong.  Guess I’ll have my answers beginning this coming fall!!!

While I haven’t yet made my 1st trip to the Grand Canyon I will be going in the next couple of months…  Oh how I am looking forward to that day and that stupendous creation of nature!!!!!!!  Maybe I’ll even remember to take some pictures when I’m there, I usually forget the camera so far! LOL

I could go on and on, each day presents me with yet another 1st, but its’ getting late and I’ve either kept your attention too long or lost you completely………..Still I  had to share more of the wonders my new life has brought me!

I almost forgot the most important 1st…………  My little house on wheels celebrated its 1st birthday in the family this month!  This time last year my DS and DDIL found this little snug beauty for me in Butte, Mt. !!  Okay, I won’t have lived in her for a a full year till the middle of March but that’s just around the corner time-wise! LOL

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Melinda said,

    I am glad to see you posting again. It is fun to tag along on your adventures. You seem to be having a great time.

  2. 2

    Rickie said,

    I enjoyed all your 1sts and I’m sure you’ll have many more. We had an orange tree in our back yard in California when I was growing up and I loved the story of your Christmas orange.


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