Last week we put 2200 miles on the car, signed a ream of paper, had a tussle with the US Postal Service, visited with my mother, bought a new house, had a quiet, special Christmas, saw a production of Annie, and managed to see more of Arizona.
The builder and money people decided to make us have an inspection on December 20th. The other preset appointment on the following Thursday, which was after Christmas, meant we were in Arizona for the week before we could take house possession. So we played.
First stop was Florence, Arizona. A sleepy, rural burg where the industry they are most proud of is prisons(!!), so we went to their winery instead for a wine tasting. I’d show you a picture of the bottle of wine I bought, but it’s finished and I forgot take a picture because this keeping up with blog photo demands is new and a bit inhibiting to my usual hide the evidence approach to life.
On the way to Tucson we stopped at a Greek Orthodox Monastery in the middle of what
would appear to many people as Nowhere. I was provided a skirt to pull over my pants and a head cover. We were then given several instructions that all started with “Do not…” but ended with, “Have an enjoyable time.” The monastery was only started in 1995 and they have made it a beautiful oasis of quiet.
We went to several tourist attractions in Tucson over a day and a half, but one of the more interesting, besides the original fort, was the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. Ted DeGrazia was an
artist during the last century who built a private and quirky home and studio. He studied under Diego Rivera at the Taller de Grafica Popular which reminded me of my friend, Susan Vogel’s book, Becoming Pablo O’Higgins. www.amazon.com/Becoming-Pablo-Ohiggins-Susan-Vogel/dp/1930074212 O’Higgins was a Utah boy who also studied under Rivera and became a well-known and respected Mexican muralist.
We hurried through Tombstone and ended up in Bisbee, Arizona, an odd little enclave of
artists escaping the fast life, copper miners, left-over or re-emerging hippies, and Exceedingly Helpful People. On the surface they appear to live in peace together, a most appreciated message on December 24.
Our hotel room was surely not to be repeated as the pictures show. It was this day we were told we needed to get originally signed final papers to release the money to our bank in Salt Lake City.
Exceedingly Helpful People let us use a printer, produced a notary public, and ushered us the postal service’s overnight service.
We drove to Sun City for Christmas to be with my mother hoping our last minute glitch would be solved. The holiday was quiet and well-spent.
The papers did not arrive in Salt Lake City on
the 26th. So, Diligent, Forceful Sam got on the telephone and talked to: The US Postal Service, Two People in the Salt Lake Bank, The Builders, The Salesman, Our Realtor, The Security Company People. At least twice. Mother and I went shopping. That night we all went to Annie at a dinner theatre.
When the sun rose on the 27th the first thing I heard was Diligent, Forceful Sam on the phone with the US Postal Service, Two People in the Salt Lake Bank, The Builders, The Salesman, Our Realtor, The Security Company People. I went outside to pick grapefruit and lemons off Mother’s trees. By noon we packed up our stuff and headed toward where we needed to be for signing last papers and pick up house keys if all fell into place. The papers were received at the bank at 12:05, the money was wired at about 3:10, the money people recorded it before 4:00, and we were called at 4:03 to pick up the keys. The only other time I’ve ever dealt with wired money was when Sam and I were stranded in Mexico and our dear daughter-in-law wired us bail money, but that’s another story, and really it wasn’t bail money exactly.