Wednesday, March 23, 2011


VIEW all pictures from Tucson Time

MONDAY, March 21:
Rick and Mom at Memorial Garden in Benson
We pack up from Albuquerque and are on the way south by 8:30 am - loaded up ridiculously for three people for three days!  But much of it is food treats!  Shortly below ABQ Rick runs into a head wind that seems to last the whole rest of the day!  HIGH winds throughout southern NM and Arizona resulted in dust, dust, and more dust.  We could hardly see the mountain ridges in the distance.  And the otherwise brown scenery just looked even worse.  I sat in back and was highly productive:  Bible study, improve and refined and drew three more Doodle pictures, and then I  made five macramé necklaces.  That's a total of 8 pictures to date, but I had alot of them to draw on this trip just to catch up!  Probably good that we didn't go to church on Sunday - this way I might have a chance!

 Arrive in Benson around 3:30 with the time change and visit for awhile with Kathy and Ron.  Mom is very excited for her three day visit.  We are glad to see everyone welcome her back so well.  We stopped at the Presby church first to see Pop's name on the plaque for the Memorial Garden.  

Then on to Tucson to spend the evening and next few days with Luke at the YAV house.  We stopped and picked up some pizzas and found the house without any problem.  Luke had beaten us home - barely.  Kady had given Luke a haircut while he was in McMinnville!  That was my first surprise!  We got the pizzas into the oven after layering some vegetables on them.  Then a tour of the house - we are in the back bedroom called the Parents Room!  It is a really nice spot.  

Gradually everyone filters in and grabs a bite to eat.  Tucson YAV leader Brandon comes over at 7 for their Monday night SHIT night: Spirituality Hour in Tucson.  Luke was the leader tonight.  It took a little while to get started as the group hadn't been together for awhile.  Eventually we gathered in the living room with candles lit for about an hour of sharing and reflection.  Nice evening.  

In bed early as all of us will be going in to work tomorrow at CHRPA.  

Up around 6:15 to do my exercises in the "quiet room" under the hammock and then out to the living room for Bible Study (more Revelation!)  I say goodbye to Jacob, but sorry I didn't get a picture of him before he leaves today to go out on his recruiting trip.  We take leftover pizza for lunch (well for Rick and Luke - I am eating a PowerBar!) Anyway....on our way shortly after 7:30, Luke probably joyful over a ride to work instead of the bike ride today.  

I was wrong as to the location of CHRPA (Community Home Repair Project of Arizona) - it is NOT west of downtown Tucson, but rather about 7 miles to the east.  We arrive just a few minutes after 8 (oops, took time to put on our boots out in the parking lot!) and walk into the main room just as the gathering meeting is starting. About a dozen volunteers gather together each morning for Scott to make the assignments.  He is a quiet, rather dry wit sort of guy.  I can see the comraderie in the group right away and witness why Luke enjoys his work here.  

The "Rembold Team" are assigned four jobs for the day: one is a furnace issue and the other three are swamp cooler start ups (two with broken water pipes probably due to the extreme freeze the end of January.   There are about 7 CHRPA rigs, each with an individual name.  We are assigned to Brutus, a big truck.  Luke loads up the equipment we are going to need and we take off.  I am assigned as navigator!  And Luke gives me a big book map of Tucson.  It really is a good map!  

First stop is the home of Aurea, an 86 year old lady who is worried because the fan on her furnace won't shut off and seems to be heating up.  Luke and Rick check things out, switch a few levers, relight the pilot, and it seems to be working.  She has medical conditions that make her cold alot, so even though the weather is suppose to warm back up, she wants her furnace back up and working!  It seems to be ok as we leave, but Luke assures her to call again if she has trouble!  

Brutus our truck and Joanne's bright pink gate
Second stop is the home of Joanne, where Luke thinks he worked to fix a broken water line earlier in the year.  She has a bright pink gate to the outer courtyard in the front of the house.  As with Aurea, we seem to be coming early in the day and both ladies excused themselves to get dressed as we caught them in their housecoats!    Joanne has five dogs and asthma and emphysema issues.  Listening to her breathe a few times I can see that!  
Luke visits with Joanne while finishing paperwork

Luke and Rick clean out the swamp cooler
At Joanne's house I learn about swamp coolers!  And how hard the minerals in the water around here can be on this equipment!  Evidently the swamp coolers are shut down in late October or so and then they have to be reconnected before the heat hits in the spring.  Joanne used to do this servicing herself (much to the chagrine of the men in the neighborhood!) so she supervised us completely with a running banter of conversation!  Her yard was filled with trees and birds - the music was glorious!  I didn't help alot here, mostly taking pictures and talking with Joanne.  We did have some problems with the shopvac as it seemed to keep blowing the fuses.  So....we left briefly to run to Home Depot and pick up more fuses and a few spare floats, just in case we needed them.Joanne said I could take her picture when we were done because Luke was a handsome young man and she hadn't had a picture with a goodlooking guy in a long time!    

Egret at Reid Park
After finishing the job at Joanne's, we stopped at Reid Park for lunch.  A busy place next to the zoo with classrooms visiting and plenty of other people in and around the pond.  The pond was filled with turtles and ducks and even an egret that kept flying around!  Weather was very pleasant as long as you were in the sun - the breeze is cool still.  

Ginger and Rick clean up the deposits from the cooler
Our next job is at the home of Walter, a man four years younger than me but on disability.  He had a wonderful long white beard!  Very pleasant man, who let me take his picture as long as I remember to send him a copy!  This job only took about an hour - Luke told Scott we were a well oiled machine!  I helped Luke run new copper hose while Rick scraped and shopvac'd the minerals deposits from the cooler.   We had this job done in a flash!   

Rick and Luke assess the water leak 
Our last stop of the day is at a house of a man named Tim.  (He also has an flowing beard!)  Tim was recently in the hospital during the freeze and had someone come by to turn off his water hoping to save the pipes, but unfortunbately he still has a leak inside the house.  The cooler itself is a different model, with THREE sides of vents and filters.  And what a mess of mineral deposits!  I immediately get started with the scraping of them up on the roof, while Luke assesses the cooler and then heads downstairs with Rick to check out the leaking pipe.  It is warm in the sun up on the roof, but fortunately the cool breeze blows often enough.  I still got a little sunshine, especially on my arms.  We take another trip to a Heating/Cooling supply store, Naughton's, and then back to the house.  I back on the roof and Luke and Rick back to fix the pipes.  By 4:15, when ANOTHER leak is exposed downstairs, and I told Luke I thought the filters should be replaced, it is apparent this job will not be completed today.  Luke may end up on this one Thursday!  We get tomorrow off!  

Back to the CHRPA headquarters to fill out our volunteer paperwork and Luke to update Scott on Tim's situation.  Everyone else seems to have already returned as we are the only ones in the office.  

Showers, a visit to meet the chickens and look for eggs (found one!) and a load of laundry into the washing machine.   By then we are ready to hop on the bikes and ride toward downtown in search of a place to grab some dinner. We end up at The B Line, lured in by the advertisement out front of Fish Tacos!  Luke and I have them while Rick orders a Mahi Burrito.  All are very good.  Good meal and conversation with Luke over goals and aspirations.  It is dark by the time we head back north on 4th Avenue, but there are lights on the bikes and the distance isn't far.  

We see Alli and Meredith this evening.  Stevie is at work, but will be leaving in the middle of the night to fly home for a death in the family.  Alli will be taking Stevie's Borderlinks delegation tomorrow and not returning until Thursday evening.  So....we bid them goodbye.  Only Mer will be left tomorrow night and she works late again!  We have driven them all away!  I hope not.  

Laundry hangs out at Luke (this is Wed am, not the starry night!)
We hang out the laundry by the light of the stars.  I can't say I have ever done this before - hoping my clothes will dry overnight.  And typically it would be dry in the morning if the weather was a little warmer!  

Into bed to be ready for another early morning....bound for Lincoln Park and Jamie Moon's softball game at 8 am.  Lincoln Park is even further to the east than CHRPA!  



Up early AGAIN!  Quickly do Bible study and grab breakfast (we finish eating in the car) and head back to the east side of town for Jamie Moon's Lewis and Clark College softball game.  It is their last game before they head home to Portland.  Brandon (Luke's YAV supervisor) and his daughters are calling it PE curriculum and coming to watch as well!  (They are home schooled)  Brandon met Jamie coming home from Louisville and the YAV Gathering last weekend.  

Jamie takes a cut and hits a double!
And the Pioneers win with a 7th inning come from behind 3 run home run!  Wow!  Exciting.  Also great for the team to win 4 out of 5 games while here.  Shows how tough a league the NW Conference is for softball when LC is at the bottom of the heap.  It was a cool game to watch at first as the breeze was quite frosty!  
Luke & Rick at Gates Pass "Pride Rock"
Teddy Bear Cactus with Sajuaro
Back to the house to gather in the laundry, change and head WEST of town to the Mountain Gates Pass in the Tuscon Mountains.  Good desert area to visit and we walked out to what Luke calls "Pride Rock" (from Lion King) to survey the valley west of Tucson.  He and the YAVs like to come out here to watch the sunset.  We could see Kitt Peak Observatory (just barely) in the distance.  Octotillo is in bloom and the Teddy Bear Cholla is very fuzzy right now.  LOTS of sajuaro cactus, prickly pear, ocotillo, and the teddies.  The sun felt good, but my arms are already burned enough.  The CCC built several stone shelters up in this pass area and it is laced with hiking trails.  
Ocotillo in bloom

We stopped at a fruit market just before getting back to Luke's house to pick up some oranges and grapefruit and a few more apples.  Then a little quiet rest time before we have to head out to Benson this afternoon.  

Luke, Mom, Rick and I at Halls in Benson.  
We take off for Benson around 2:15, having told Mom that we would be there around 3ish.  Smooth sailing east, Luke pointing out some of the landmarks he has visited along the way.  Ron and Cathy have prepared BBQ ribs, sweet potato fries and baked beans for dinner, plus some "leftover" blackberry tarts from last night for dessert.  Wonderful meal topped with a little wine or beer.  We had a really good visit, but had to leave around 6:45 so we could get back into Tucson at a decent time.  Luke has to leave shortly after 7 in the morning and Rick and I can't be too much later if we are to meet Jed for a late lunch tomorrow, especially with the time change!    We drive back to the west with the glow of a sunset still lingering.  I told Luke the sky looked exactly like the t-shirts I "drip-dyed" for the YAVS at Christmas time.  

Back in Tucson to pack a few things up and prepare to leave in the morning.  

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