Thursday, June 9, 2011

1991, Nostalgia ain't what it used to be....

 In 1991, we'd been here just shy of two years. Our house was new and the trees were small. There was no fence. The Javelina roamed the place at will and ate my sweet potatoes. There weren't any chickens, no goats, no sheep and only three cats. Josh waited off in the ether. He would have to wait two more years before being summoned into existence. No Josh, no goats, looking back It makes me miss them in reverse, or something.  It doesn't seem possible that there was ever not a Josh or not goats, sheep and poultry in our lives.
  We barely knew Johnny M. and Susan, or maybe we didn't know them yet, I forget. It doesn't matter. They lived in a tiny little trailer perched in questionable fashion on the talus slope above the floodplain on the Verde down a rutted-out trail that somebody had actually bothered to name Blue Sky Drive. Below, on that cobblestrewn sandy flood plain Johnny and Susun managed to grow a pretty wide variety of produce. They grew spinach and kale, turnips and radishes, tomatoes and watermelons and corn. Sweet corn and grinding corn, blue corn and yellow corn and Supai striped corn and Hopi white corn that the raccoons had a feast on one horrible late summer night. And they grew the red corn I wrote about earlier. A ruby red grinding corn from northern New Mexico that they'd originally sourced from Native Seed Search in Tucson.
  John gave me a big quart jar of seed and I forgot about it until Josh and I found it this year, twenty years since it's last seen the sun. Josh and I planted it the day after he graduated; Today it's poking it's head above ground and reaching for the sun. Welcome back! It's companion red lima beans aren't stirring yet, but I figure we'd get at least a few sprouts out of any batch of seed and since they can't all be duds, they're just taking their time. We'll see.

  Yesterday Josh and I went to Manzanita Outdoor in Prescott to pick up his new boat. It's his graduation present. We started looking for boats in the early spring and missed a number of them on Craigslist and also locally. Josh went back and forth between canoes and kayaks. Finally realizing that for now, a kayak wouldn't be a great first boat as a kayak is much more group dependent . He isn't likely to take a kayak out by himself, and at present isn't connected to any experienced kayakers with whom he can get out often enough to really learn. I'm pretty sure when he gets connected to the river running community in Flagstaff next year that will change. Being the roller blader and skateboarder he is I expect the first time he has a chance to kayak he'll be smitten. For now, he wants a boat that he can explore the rim lakes in and paddle the Verde and Oak Creek.
  We had a chance to look at a couple of different used Mad River Adventure 14s. We found two different 14's but missed buying both of them. They both sold for very close to retail price and one of them was 7 years old and pretty beat. As spring wore on canoe sales began to pick up and by Memorial Day there weren't any for sale, so we negotiated a pretty good deal with Manzanita on a new one. The Benz did a great job of bringing it home over Mingus Mountain and The Kid is already planning his first trip with a buddy.
  Josh's hard work at Red Rock HS continues to pay off. We got word of two more scholarships that have come in, both from foundations that provide scholarships to high achieving native American students. He won't be notified about Hopi tribal scholarship money until next month, but in looking at his NAU financial statement online, it looks like he's  going to be paid in full with what he's already received. I don't know how it works in other states, but for Arizona resident students, if you're not a high achiever you better have parents with deep pockets or you're going to be 80k dollars in debt when you graduate. Josh's class is the last one to be awarded the AIMS high achievement tuition waiver. The morons in our legislature and on our university Board of Regents have decided that helping deserving resident students is a bad idea. What's WRONG with this picture??
  Before coming home we stopped at Park Plaza Liquor and Deli, just off the square in Prescott. What a store. This place has a huge selection of wines and specialty liquors and something like 500 beers with over 300 of them available as singles. You can mix and match your own custom six packs and with 6 or more you get a 10 percent discount. They have a great kitchen with really good and affordable burgers, deli sandwiches and wood fire baked pizzas. The burgers are great, there is no foo foo artsy fartsy snobbishness to put up with, prices are reasonable and I can't wait to go back and try the pizza.
  Well, it's 7 a.m., only 60 degrees but the chill is waning fast and I'd better get out and feed the beasts and have a pep talk with the lazy lima beans.  Salud!