We travel for many different reasons, but sometimes the time and destination are determined for us. That happened to Tom and I recently when my lovely, dear Aunt Jean passed away this winter. Her funeral was a celebration of her life at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona. Although she lived across the country, our families stayed very close. She was my Mom’s best friend. Her daughter Susie and I have maintained the sort of relationship where we can pick up our conversation right where we left it off the last time we saw each other.
Although I have to get over the regret of not visiting my aunt before she died, I know she is thrilled at the close relationship Susie and I have. So we spent Memorial weekend, along with our husbands, sharing stories and memories, laughing and crying and eating tons of Mexican food!
Susie and Lee are motorcycle vacationers. They get on the bike and go whenever the mood strikes and the weather cooperates. They took us on one of their favorites routes (in a car) through the mountains south of Mesa. It’s a part of the state we hadn’t been to before. We joked that the first settlers must have arrived in this southern state on a perfect January day. If they had come in August, they would have kept on going!
The mountains are mysterious and forlorn. Yet there is beauty in the natural ruggedness of a landscape that goes for miles and miles. Living in the north, I appreciate the climate and temperature in Arizona, but the shades of grey and brown in this endless terrain are overwhelming. The lack of color seems lonely.
The scenery does, however, make for great pictures and really lends itself to black and white photos.
Aunt Jean will always be with us. She shared her love of family, her love of travel and adventurous spirit with all who knew her. She was also a prolific and talented quilter. Good luck to Susie who is charged with giving away the endless yards of quilting fabric she left behind!