"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's a Haboo...aboo?

Happy 4th...we went to Fredonia...now Fredonia population about 900 is the only town in Arizona on the North side of the Grand Canyon, besides the polygamist town...Colorado City, Oh! and the Indian reservation for Paiutes.  They are all located on what is called the Arizona Strip.  Anyway Fredonia is a dead city because of the shut down of the lumber industry in the Kaibab forest due to the endangered owl.  

Nearly dead and a few newly wed is what the residents seem to be.  It is a sad junky looking town where most homes are run down with old tractors or cars on the front...ummm.  dirt...very few real lawns.  

There are a few brave dedicated noble residents who continue to try and boost the economy with neat homes and gardens...but not much is there.  It seems to me this town should be as industrious as Kanab, but somehow Arizona has designated it as the red-headed step child of the state...Now...finally it seems the rest stop will open with the new museum of Indian artifacts donated by a man who has collected them his entire life, a sweet and generous fellow named Dixon.

We drove from Chandler Arizona, across the desert some 170 miles to Flagstaff (the kick off spot to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.)  across a mountain pass to traverse the Colorado river at Navaho Bridge, built in 1929, at the same spot Lee's Ferry operated.  It is a narrow spot in the river (figuratively speaking as the Colorado goes) and walla! we were on the North side of the "Big Hole" as the Grand Canyon is often called.  In fact I almost had the same feeling as at Gettysburg when we took the driving tour and once we were at a church near the top of a meadow...we turned back on another road, and discovered we had changed from the Union Side to the Confederate side...it was eerie,  that's almost how this felt.  Cross this short bridge and you're on the North Side of the Grand Canyon...strange.

The landscape is of course spectacular and would be a great spot for our photographer good friend Glen Singley...he would have gone nuts taking pictures so much so his poor wife Susan would be weary of waiting for him to be finished.
Arriving in the afternoon we picked up the keys for our house in Fredonia, left to us by Patrick's older brother Leon, who built the house, lived in it a few days and then died, never having the chance to enjoy his work.  It is a comfortable house, where the garage is almost as big as the house...a guy thing...and I finally figured the toilet in the master bedroom is handicapped and taller than usual.  Now I'm not short by any means but sitting on that thing with my feet not touching the floor was very uncomfortable!  I finally realized the other porcelain fixture in the second bathroom was of normal height and OK to use with some degree of comfort considering the 6 hour car ride flared up some hidden bottom issues that had been brewing ever since my lady surgery 4 weeks ago.

We attended the parade the next day, where the last down the street lined with eager onlookers was the firetruck.  I guess the neighborhood kids had been planning a retaliation all year as across the street from us about 12 boys waited in ambush the entire parade.

The firemen, ready with water hoses sprayed the crowd...the boys fought back with hoses and well placed water balloons.  Many had constructed shields of cardboard or plastic and were able to get very close to accurately loom their water bombs at the firemen...from where I sat, I called the little altercation a tie...even though the firemen were armed with large fire hoses...the boys with young accurate arms pelted their ammunition with great accuracy and the men standing from their advantage point on the top of the truck were just as wet as the kids.

Other on-lookers had umbrellas to keep from getting wet, but in the over 90 degree weather many just enjoyed the chance to cool off...a good time was had by all.

The rest of the time there we worked cutting down the weeds in the front yard and around the little house.  We may finally have gotten the house into our name and legally able to sell very soon.  ANYONE WANT TO BUY A BARELY LIVED IN HOUSE IN BEAUTIFUL  DOWNTOWN FREDONIA?  It is crazy that when a brother has in his will..."my brother can have my house and stuff after I die", should have to go through such a lengthy process...and spend over $2,000. in legal feels just to get a property changed into the name of the person in the will.  But then what would lawyers do?   And since now we have a child in law school I guess we should understand...and I hope little Pat learns how to avoid all the nonsense and tells us the secret to leaving our stuff to whom we want without loopholes or necessitating our heirs to spend  tons of money.

I also picked up a few copies of the Red Rock Review...a publication of Kanab Utah (located 6 miles across the border) where one of my poems was featured...I was surprised it was on the first page, but after reading some of the other entries...it made sense.  Mine was a story about the area...and was a well constructed poem, many others were not...or did not make sense.  Now I've read a lot of poetry in my time and consider myself somewhat liberal in my interpretation of "poetry", but a few of the entries were a bit off the mark.  There were a few short stories also, and some art work, so I guess it was considered a literary journal of sorts. I'm just happy to be published and in the company of a few good writers.   If anyone is interested in my entry...look for "A good old Stick" in one of the past months on this blog.

Now to haboo, aboo, not sure which is correct yet, but after our seemingly very long ride back to our home away from home in Chandler Az.  We arrived to be hit once again by the 106 heat....in Fredonia we considered it nice to have 90, and cool water coming out of the tap, (instead of turning on the cold and scalding our fingers in the water flowing out the way you do in Chandler!) 

We were lucky we got home about an hour before the aboo hit.  I decided it was time for Patrick to have a hair cut and we were on the balcony doing the deed when I noticed all of a sudden it became dark.  I looked over my shoulder to see what was blocking the sun and could see a wall of brown quickly moving our way.   After a few minutes we were surrounded by dust and went inside to finish the haircut.  Not long after the TV had a news break to announce the haboo...and told everyone to stay inside and definitely not to drive.  The pictures on the TV showed a 2 mile high and at least a mile or two wide wall of dust traveling across the valley.  Halting planes and cars everywhere.  I saw today on the news we should expect 2 or 3 others to pass by us before the monsoon rains in the next few days.  I wish we had gotten the rain to settle the dust, but we were not so lucky.  Today I swept up a huge pile of fine gritty dirt from the patio...can anyone say asthma attack? 

Well this is my report on our little adventure...and today Patrick called from work and said the company is looking for people who are willing to go to another country...he named a few including South America and India, and so far the only one sounding inviting is Canada.  If we end up there after October we will have to speak Canadian....Ayyyy! or French depending where he is sent...right now that is not looking like a real possibility...but you never know!

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