Al

Knock,Knock
Who’s there?
Sam and Janet
Sam and Janet Who?
Sam and Janet Evening
You may see a stranger………….

Al moved in 3 years ago. He is a shitty roommate and word has it that he won’t leave and can’t be evicted. It’s harder on Sammy than it is on me ……………but its plenty hard on me as well.

Al is a trickster. He puts your dishes, pots and pans in strange places. He puts Sammy’s pants on backwards and his shoes on the wrong feet. Al took Sam’s drivers license away.

We first noticed that Al had taken up residence when Sam was trying to fix up a house in Salt Lake City. Sam was a exacting carpenter, slow but a perfectionist. He could build, roof, tile, anything. One day I noticed he was trying to lift the entire house with a chain to meet a board in a door jam. I thought hmmmm???”something is very wrong”. Our son Eddy noticed it too.
Eddy and I sat with Sam as Dr. Z asked him many simple questions. That old joker Al, He made it so Sam couldn’t even draw a damn clock face. A month later DR Z confirmed that Al was here to stay and said that we should get some help. Boy howdy Dr Z…. You were spot on.

The first thing we did, while Sam was able, is buy an RV and circumvent Nevada. The postings below are from that amazing odyssey. Three years later I am at home wondering if I can stay here.Yesterday I attended a “ Living with Al “ support group. Turns out that Al gets around. He’s got Lillian’s husband in a skilled nursing facility, Alex’s mom in assisted living. Dutch and I were the only ones there that have our partners at home. Dutch and I had the same inability to make eye contact.

My job today (after I procrastinate to write this blog) is to contact yet another Elder lawyer.
I need to figure out the financial part of selling the house in Salt Lake City that Sam was working on. Long term care is expensive. The family cabin, the SLC house and a portion of the house we live in will pay for that care unless I figure something out. Even if I do,I will have to out live Sammy by 2 years in order to keep my assets.

On that cheery note, I will end my first blog post in many years. It helps to write about it. Please don’t feel the need to read it or tell me its too depressing. I have that Information down pat. Its enough for me to just take the time to document the path of this crazy new roommate.

On the bright side, I retired in time to be able to a full time caregiver. Sammy sleeps through the night . Right now he is sitting on our lovely deck listening to a world class wren solo and watching humming birds take a bath. I will be too…… as soon as I make an appointment with the lawyer.

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Sorry

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Sorry about the angry,sad posts…….I don’t even like to reread them. 

Sammy and I are safely tucked into Tymer’s driveway for a few days…some doctor appointments and such. It was a harrowing drive from Goblin Valley to Salt Lake 

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This big old truck was coming straight at us for about 50 miles…

 

Things are looking up however…..

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We have better flakes…… And

improved clusters…..

So long…Just needed to get that off my chest.

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A Prayer

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The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

But I do want…………

I want to write a prayer for my neighbor in camp spot 23 ( like the Psalm)

 

I pray that when my neighbor in camp spot 23 dies,

the good shepherd will lead him to the green pastures beside the still waters.

Yea, I hope that he finds an eternal place to lay down his head and his cup runneth over.

 

And when he is FINALLY resting in quiet peace…

 

I pray,   that a “certain” someone  from the valley of the shadow of death

pulls in and parks his big, red, fifth wheel right next to my neighbor.

AND  that he also fires up his generator to comfort him and keep himself hot

and my neighbor will dwell with the sound and smell, forever and ever.

Amen

 

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Canyon De Chelly

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Janet had visions of the white house ruins at Canyon De Chelly dancing in her head.The trip thus far had been an exercise in lowering overblown, expectations. Beware future travelers. The best experiences are the ones you are least expecting.

The approach to the canyon was littered with plastic bags,dead dogs and horses. Poverty again, reared its unsightly and honest head. The rim is dotted with the same.

There is a palpable darkness here,a shadow cast by a long and bloody history.

The bottom of the canyon cleanses itself with a river. There you can see the blooming fruit trees and cottonwoods.

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The Navaho still plant corn there. A single road winds through this maze of winding cliffs over 800 feet tall in some places.

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It has escaped modern development but houses 2,500 ruins.

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It is a beautiful place and protected place

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but we couldn’t wait to get away.

 

We drove north toward Bluff, Utah. Just outside of town is a place on the San Juan river. We pulled in and will stay awhile. There is water, geese, sun,and quiet here. Running water….it makes me want to stop running….. at least for a bit.

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Goosenecks

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Light speed …blam…The rocket ship lands and stays over night at The Goosenecks.

She likes it right on the edge of a cliff……. with a pink bus nearby for comfort.

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Thats the San Juan river down there..making its way to mingle with the Colorado to form (sigh) Lake Powell.

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and a couple a Daddy Long Legs

 

 

 

 

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How the west was won……

Many years ago I had an argument with my Dad about a painting of the OK corral. He said “It wasn’t like the painting at all. They had the facts all wrong”. I said “People don’t want the facts, they want things to be aesthetically right. They want it to “feel” right and meet their romantic idea of how it was …….

Here is a little theme music for you….

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John Ford helped paint a picture of the west that still has a foothold in our imaginations. His backdrop was Monument Valley. (He may have been influenced by the Krazy Kat cartoon that had the characters in front of the buttes circa 1920). I doubt it, but who knows. Ford also created a concept of being manly that is also locked into our national psyches. He cast John Wayne (Marion Morrison) and honed a brand of machismo in the film Stagecoach. As Ford commented about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, “when the legend becomes truth, print the legend.”

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Well, “a mans got to do what a mans got to do”…….

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The reality (thanks Dad) of Monument Valley presently is a landscape dotted with crummy little houses,lots of people in motor coaches,cars and busses.

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Vendors selling jewelry and pottery. People waiting in line to get in to the Monument and people waiting in line to get a 75 dollar jeep tour in a Jeep that holds 20 people. Janet actual tried to screen out this stuff and show you what you want.

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The Monument Valley that sits alone in a pristine wilderness surrounded by clear blue skies where the hawks circle seemingly forever. It was a challenge to shoot photos w/o the tourists circling around actually forever.

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The Monument Valley gift shop as an equal distribution of Monument paraphernalia and John Wayne items. You can buy a chunk of the west and some bravado and stick them right on the fridge in your motor home.

Monument Valley lives on in Forest Gump,Thelma and Louise and Back to the Future, however notions of masculinity seem to have changed in these films.

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Well,……..Pilgrims its damned near sunset for this little, bitty, old blog post.

Always glad t’ see y’ back.

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Good thing femininity has remained a constant.

Tuba City and Tsegi Canyon

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Janet was very excited to visit Tuba City but as usual the rug was pulled right out from under her high expectations. No Tubas…not a single one….. They did spent a respectable amount of time in the barking lot of Bashas (a grocery store chain in Az).

“Barking lot” because the resident pack of dogs call the parking lot home. One can find a bag of dog food spilled out in the landscaping and the all 57 varieties of dogs respectfully take turns chowing down.

Off the crew flew away from the dogs, tubas and cell phone coverage toward Navaho National Monument. Within a mile of the turnoff they began to enter that gorgeous slick rock they love so much. Then Tsegi Canyon appeared below them. The campground was free..yes free and they hunkered down here to rest up after their Grand Canyon adventures. The visitor center has a beautiful collection of pots which the tribe traded for turquoise,shells,as well as parrot and macaw feathers. “Betatakin” (the ruin) was built under a huge arch of rock.It was originally built by Hopi people inhabited later by Zuni, Paiute and Navaho tribes. It is just a short walk down across the slick rock to see this site. The valley below has different weather and you can see groves of aspen trees there. Keet Seel ruin is also in the area. is not open this time of year but is a bucket list item for these travelers.

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You can see the Betatakin ruin in the bottom of the arch.