Categories
Arizona

La Posada

We had a chance to get away last weekend to La Posada in Winslow. It is a historic Mary Coulter-designed hotel on the rail line, and is home to one of our favorite restaurants, The Turquoise Room.

If you aren’t familiar with Mary Colter and Fred Harvey, they are icons in Route 66 Americana history. (La Posada and the Harvey girls are featured in Counting Coup.)

One of the magical parts of writing novels is discovering bits of history that make me want to learn more. Several years ago, we traveled through Winslow and I learned about the Harvey girls. The novel was essentially done, but I went back to the story to add these details.

On this trip, we bumped into a woman who told us about the Winslow Historical Society. Our meeting felt like kismet; she shared that many of the buildings in downtown Winslow, by the railroad, had tunnels originally connecting them. No one knows why, and the tunnels were filled in during the 1970s because the foundations of the buildings were slanting and starting to fail. However, in the cellars and basements of many of the buildings, there is reportedly Chinese writing from the workers who built the rail (and likely had to dig the tunnels.)

Another little gem of Arizona history that I am tucking in my pocket for a future story. It does make me wince that there are photos of white pioneers to be found in multiple places in Winslow, and yet the Chinese workers aren’t mentioned, and nearly all the service staff are American Indian. I’m guessing the history of the land for the northern Arizona tribes is told differently.

A few photos of the grounds and the weekend. Even if you don’t take the time to stay at the hotel, if you are ever in Winslow, make time for the corn and black bean soup at the restaurant. It is among the best dishes I’ve ever eaten.

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Uncategorized

May 5, 2020: This Week

With gyms closed, I’ve been walking early in the mornings while it is still cool, meandering around the neighborhood. Before, walks were quick and crammed between appointments. Everything pre-COVID now seems like it was rushed, with productivity the prize. This morning, as I took my time, I noticed the jacarandas and palo verdes are in full bloom, leaving purple and yellow flowers everywhere. Under some of the older, more established trees, the blossoms are so thick, they resemble snow.

Snow in the desert in May. Living during a pandemic has left my thoughts dizzy. Tasks that require creative thought must occur first thing in the morning with several cups of coffee and a quiet house – or they won’t be accomplished at all. The heat of the day strikes by noon and by late afternoon, everything has gone limp and tired like the thirsty Thai basil in the garden. This is the time for naps and cool glasses of ice tea that have a thick layer of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Neighbors are leaving the last bags and boxes of lemons and grapefruit at the curb with small handwritten signs. “Please take.” I’ve heard of this happening with zucchini in the Midwest in the middle of the summer. In Phoenix, it’s citrus, and by early May, we are so tired of citrus. The freezer is full of juice and zest. Loaves of lemon bread have been baking since January. Our canning pantry is full of marmalade. Even the bees have moved on to the blossoming mesquite, which sends a layer of neon green pollen across the garden.

Restrictions are being lifted this week locally. By the end of the week, you can go get a haircut or eat out at a restaurant. We won’t be doing either anytime soon. Arizona is 51st in the number of individuals who have been tested for COVID, which is a bellwether for poor public health leadership. If you don’t know how many people are sick, how can it be suggested that we are on the other side of the curve? Leftovers and hats make more sense.

This week, we’re cooking baked bean falafel from the delightful Nadiya Hussain. We’re harvesting tomatoes and peppers from the garden. We’re watching “Baptiste” on Masterpiece Theater and I’m reading Joan Didion’s “A Year of Magical Thinking.”

We’re dreaming of summer vacations camping in the pines, reading from hammocks, fishing for trout, star gazing. We’re dreaming of having the kids around the dinner table again, home from California and college. We’re dreaming of seeing friends and family, of hugs and cocktails and laughter that will once again fill our home.

Categories
Arizona Happy Hippie Journal

Norte

I took a break from the heat and escaped to northern Arizona for the day, stirring up trouble in my old college haunts.

good morning, latte at La Bellavia

swedish pancakes

breakfast, after

Such as La Bellavia, where they serve the very best pancakes in the world. (Swedish, with blueberries and applesauce)

typical Flag

Route 66 and tracks

hippie mobile

typical residential street

yellow rose of Flagstaff

june 5 031

missing an apostrophe

poppies blowing in the wind

And downtown, where I could spend my salary in the blink of an eye at Babbit’s.

Sedona

tlaq

palace doors

Dork and a moon flower

Pretty spot in tlaquepaque

Le boots

Only in Sedona

Then there was Sedona, with it’s galleries, gardens and sweet scent. There is the most calming, peaceful perfume that hangs near the cottonwood-lined Oak Creek. I could sit and listen to the water trickle, curled up in the shade, all afternoon. Or, I could go to Oaxaca for margaritas on the patio. And a burrito.

{And yes, apparently by “old college haunts,” I meant a bakery and a Mexican restaurant. I guess some things never change.}

It is incredible what a brief change of scenery does for my perspective.

~K

Categories
Arizona Happy Hippie Journal

Prickly

Work is going so well, but I’m finding I don’t have enough time to get everything done I’d like to accomplish. On the home front, the garden is being watered, the laundry folded, the dishes washed. With ultimate frisbee tonight and a fair amount of gym time peppering my week, I’m tired. I’m off tomorrow to Tucson to help my grandma with my ailing grandfather and great uncle.I hope to spend a fair chunk of my time curled up on the couch with knitting and a journal. There are so many questions about their childhood I’d like to have answered. I figure tomorrow is a great time to visit and give Gram a chance to take some time for herself.

So, a bit of desert beauty to keep spirits high in the meantime. I hope your week is going well!

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

~K

Categories
Arizona Journal Media

Hoots

chihuly 044

Yep, I’m just inappropriate and immature enough to have walked up to this installation and said a bit too loudly, “Boobies!”

chihuly 047

chihuly 048

Oh, come on. You were thinking it too.

~K

Categories
Arizona Earth Mama Flora and Fauna Journal

Scenes from an Arizona “Winter”

This is getting a little silly.

December in Arizona

Come on in

Garden shot

And a quick garden update:

Beets!

Beets!

Onions!

Onions!

Cilantro!!

Cilantro!

~K