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Old 04-10-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
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Heading to Arizona

On April 16th, I'm heading out to take my mother out to Phoenix on a pilgrimmage of sorts. My father will likely come as well, since he's about useless for being alone.

My Mom's parents separated when she was 6 yrs old and living in Florida. Her mother soon moved to Arizona to take a job offer. (It was the Great Depression and jobs were hard to come by). She died a few months after getting there. My Mom never saw her again and has never been to her gravesite.
She's talked about going out there all MY life. Now that I'm retired, I've decided I need to take her out to Phoenix.
So, 77 years later, Mom will finally (I hope) get some closure.
It ought to be interesting hauling a couple of octogenarians across the country. I guess I'll let them have the bed. I'll set up a mattress in the garage for me.
Y'all say a prayer that I don't kill my Dad halfway there. He is the original grouch, always ready with a complaint, or a comment about how he would have done such-and-such differently.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
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Sounds like a very worthwhile journey. Have a safe trip!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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It's great that you are making this trip for your Mom (and with your Mom and Dad). Maybe you'll find a new side of your Dad while seeing the country. Even if it's parked at the storage lot, I've always found it very relaxing being in our camper.

We'd all like to see pics of your travels.

On a side note; I may be wrong, but I think one more post will make you a senior member here at SOC.

Have a safe trip.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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I could tell you stories about traveling and camping with my dad long before he got to 80, but I won't. We love them anyway and hope our memory hangs in long enough that we don't drive our own kids nuts. I think I know how your mother feels because mine was that way too. It was a different generation and different attitudes towards death as it was so common back then. TX and AZ are two of my favorite states... have a good trip.

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Old 04-21-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Well, we made it to Phoenix without bloodshed. Dad can still get me more angry than any other person.

We found my grandmother's cemetary and the general area of her grave, but lack of maintenance and runoff from construction has covered many of the graves, including hers. My Mom was still quite pleased.
However, when we drove to the street address listed on her death certificate, we were astounded to find the house was still there. It is on the historical register, and is currently used as an office. My Mom was tickled to death about that. THAT was worth the trip.
I'm a good son.

On other notes...
My sister invited herself along, so she and I are camping out on the floor in the garage so my parents could have the bedroom. My sister snores.
Still, she has been acting as a buffer between my Dad and myself.
Dad is 87 and my Mom turned 83 the day before we found her mother's house. They aren't nearly as mobile as I picture them in my head. Dad's balance is real bad. He's lost a LOT of his strength, (he was a very strong man). And his mind is starting to go, but he's still a cranky bast#$%. Mom's mind is still pretty clear.
We traveled over an 8000 foot pass in Cloudcroft, Arizona. The Dodge was doing 50mph with the pedal floored in a few spots, but otherwise handled everything well.
Pictures will come when I get a faster internet connection, and when I have more time to remember how to post them.

Mule
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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Mule...while you may seem that this trip was at times unbearable....in the long run...you will be at peace in your heart. Both Leo and I have been in your shoes.

I will do the same visit to my Mom in a few weeks.....she will be 84 during my visit.

I actually love seeing her but we butt heads....sound familiar? At least you have a sister to helpbuffer....it is just me and Mom LOL!!!!

Enjoy your time with them!
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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Well, now we're in Fredericksburg, Texas at the World War II Museum of the Pacific.
It is a great WWII museum dedicated to the Pacific theater.
The cranky old ba$t^rd drove a landing craft in the invasion of Leyte and in the Ellice Islands. Apparently, I finally did something right. He hasn't griped or moaned once since we got here. Even my sister and Mom have remarked on the change in his demeanor.
The poor trailer is filthy. Between the high speed winds, wildfire smoke and blowing dust, and the three clueless crumb dropping newbie campers, every nook, cranny, and crevice is trashed. (Enough commas for you?)
We got to our Monday night campsite only to be turned away because of wildfires, (Balmorhea State Park, TX).
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Keep your chin up!!!!!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:48 AM   #9
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We were at Balmorhea about 10 years ago. The big attraction is a spring fed swimming pool filled with pupfish--you can literally swim with the fishes.

Henry
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #10
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Well, I dropped the folks off at their house still in one piece.
Mom was extremely grateful for the trip.
Dad was surprisingly thankful as well. He seemed very appreciative of my taking Mom to Phoenix.
I can't remember my Dad EVER being in this good a mood.
Still, I am sooooo glad to be home.
This trip has definitely made me aware of what a great traveling companion my wife has been for all these years.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryj View Post
We were at Balmorhea about 10 years ago. The big attraction is a spring fed swimming pool filled with pupfish--you can literally swim with the fishes.

Henry
We stayed there on the way out to Phoenix. We could see the smoke from the wildfire coming from the back side of a distant mountain. We swam in the spring.
I guess the wind shifted.
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