There’s No Place Like Home

Happy New Year! We’ve been back on the desert for just over a week having spent Christmas in New York with our son, daughter-in-law, and four of our grandkids.

We had a terrific visit — we attended Christmas Eve Candlelight worship (and rang our bells!), marveled at Santa’s generosity, learned some new games, enjoyed some local cuisine, watched some favorite movies, visited the Corning Museum of Glass, and took the kids bowling.

Bowling — we ALL could have used the bumpers. We had our own cameraman.
Mira bowls a strike!

I even taught our 5-year old granddaughter to knit–she’s a natural!

Brynn chose the yarn and needles herself.
After the demonstration given to hundreds, Graham and Dean had a special opportunity to get up close and personal with a glassblower and his furnace!

We also visited with our daughter and her family on Facetime and look forward to our upcoming time with them in Vancouver, B.C. this spring. In the meantime, we’ve ordered our own copy of a fabulous new game that our daughter had gifted to our son’s family—5 Minute Dungeon! We’ll certainly learn about many other games when we visit B.C.—board games have become a staple in all branches of our family. Such fun.

While in New York, we found ourselves making a huge shift in our thinking; we started referring to home and ‘going home‘ —To. The.  Camper.

It’s hard to believe that I was feeling so isolated early last month. In the last six weeks, we’ve been swept up into the desert lifestyle and this wonderful community. We’ve been busy and it’s hard to decide which things to do!

A friend has asked me a couple of times—what do you do there? There’s nothing. It looks so desolate.

Well, yes, the desert itself is sparsely vegetated but there is a LOT going on here — we just needed to investigate!

We found a LOCAL church (just a couple of miles away) and it’s been so nice to get to meet and worship with some great folks. They have a charity quilting group that meets weekly and I attend.

Lots of snowbirds attend this church.

We have a couple of favorite restaurants in town. A lovely little diner for breakfast and a Mexican restaurant with fabulous fish tacos! We don’t eat out a lot but it’s nice to take a break once a week or so.

There’s a new coffee shop in town that boasts an entire room of fresh produce. It’s terrific and not only do they have fresh fruits and vegetables but dozens of recipes on display each week for the taking. We had a scrumptious vegetable soup and a squash soup, too. It’s a treat to visit the shop each week and see what they’ve stocked.

I joined the local Quartzsite Quilting Guild and it’s great fun to gather at the Sr. Center each Tuesday (we’re not all seniors but most are) for six hours of quilting—lots of chatting and collaborating and a guaranteed show-and-tell each week. Tomorrow, the owner of a quilt shop in Yuma is coming with fabric, threads, etc. for sale. It’s much more fun sewing with a group and making lots of new friends than it is to sew alone.

And, oh, the SHOWS!! We had heard the Quartzsite, AZ boasts about being the Rock Capital of the World.  (I’m pretty sure many other places do, too.) It’s a huge destination for rock hounds as there are many places to search and find amazing stones. However, we had NO idea that this was also the destination for so many kinds of shows during the Jan/Feb time frame. Just this week, a huge Rock and Gem Show started at the local “fairgrounds” with more than 2 miles of storefront across hundreds of booths. We had a ball with our cameras taking dozens of shots of gorgeous rocks and gems — a total blast! We’ll go back for sure.

Click on a picture for a full-size slide show.

But beyond that, there are three huge quilt shows, a big Embroidery show in Phoenix, another rock/arts/crafts show here in Q, a bluegrass festival, a hot air balloon festival, etc., etc. Honestly, it’s hard to keep up and to decide which ones we’ll visit in a given week!

This is also a HUGE mecca for ‘tribute bands,’ e.g., groups that perform hits made famous by everyone from The Eagles to Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles to Ricky Nelson, and the Rolling Stones to the Beach Boys! I guess they know they’ve got a captive audience with so many snowbirds of a ‘mature’ age.

A Peter, Paul, and Mary tribute band will perform in Quartzsite this month.

AND, we’ve made the decision to get back into ham radio. We purchased an HF radio so that I can get back on the air and talk to people all over the world. We also got two handheld radios for local communication. We’re both licensed but haven’t been active in amateur radio for well over a decade. It’s a very active hobby here; we attended our first local radio club breakfast here this past week. So many friendly and fascinating people, many of whom have been involved in the hobby for upwards of 50 years! Fortunately, this group is also dedicated to bringing young people into the hobby and is working hard to make that happen.  Al has already volunteered to help with some repeater maintenance. And yup…there are TWO huge ham radio events coming up this month. We’ll be there.

This afternoon we’ll move our camper a couple of miles down the road for a few days to another stretch of BLM land so that we can participate in another Grand Design RV Rally–much like the rallies we attended in IN and DE, there will be workshops, seminars, and lots of camaraderie.

This morning, the desert smells like spring. We actually had some rain over the weekend and there has been a pollen alert for a couple of weeks. The moisture in the air is apparently working its magic on the desert flora and it’s glorious to enjoy a preview of the spring desert bloom.  Our cameras will get a real workout this March and April.

So, that’s how we’re spending our time here in our new home on the desert. We’re learning about new opportunities every day! No rest for the retired (although we are enjoying sleeping in frequently).

When we don’t sleep in, it isn’t hard to start each day when you can see this…

Sunrise on the desert!

7 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like Home”

  1. Love the pictures of your grandkids! They are a good looking crew, and getting so grown up!! And my mind is spinning from all that you have going on! Wow!!

  2. You are spending your time in a candy store, full of delicious things to do, people to meet etc. how wonderful. We love the desert too. It is the first time in 10 years we haven’t spent january in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Enjoy seeing the desert bloom!!

  3. Oh wow Kathe. This all sounds so fabulous. Didn’t realize that Quartzite is such an active town. Visiting my friend in Sun City was similar. So much to do and so little time. Plus I have a lot of friends in the artist who winter in Tucson

    So happy to hear that you’re busy and get to sew/quilt with others. That’s gotta be a ton of fun. The embroidery show in PHX sounds interesting. Too bad I’ll miss it. ☹️ Maybe some year.

    I’m getting connected again with a local art association (Hollis) and also planning on attending Zumba Gold in Bedford, but the advantage you have is that snowy and icy roads don’t stop you.

    Loved reading this! Also happy to see all the fun you had with family in NY.
    ❤️ Lori

  4. Wow…..you had so much fun with your grandchildren!! You are so blessed.
    Your home base must be warm and looks so beautiful. I’ve only known winter with snow….but I think both can be just beautiful!
    You & Al are living my dream. Enjoy every mile.

  5. It is good to hear from you-it has been a while. With all the bad weather across the country you were in our thoughts.

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