December 31 Wednesday
The last day of the year has arrived and with it need to review the past twelve months and opportunity to look ahead to the next twelve. It also meant the need to get ready to celebrate the New Year, something Linda engaged in at an extraordinarily early hour of the day. The pugnacious party planner placed the ingredients for one of her favorite appetizers out on the counter, knowing that in short order those, green chilies, combined with cream cheese and other delectables would make something better than the total of the parts.
We really are liking the Imperial Dam LTVA where we are currently staying. It is similar to Quartzsite, yet quite different. There is no nearby town or vendors to walk to, but neither is there the constant traffic and the ever present dust in the air. It may be that the constant wind simply blows all the dust away The view is also a little different, with no town and plethora of nightime lights from the town and the constant traffic on I-10. What lights we do have are mainly from the Yuma Proving Grounds. But the best is during the day when we can see the lake created behind the Imperial Dam, now that's a view that isn't available in Quartzsite.
One other feature is the deep ravines that traverse the landscape. In Quartzsite there are the dry washes, which is one of the features we always look for when picking out a spot. Shallow, and lined with vegetation along their banks, they can block your view or give you some degree of privacy depending on how you look at them. Here there are also dry washes, but they have cut deeply into the landscape, with the result being ravines of different depths. You can bet we, just like the vast majority of people here at this time are parked beside one.
Whether it is a fact or not, the weather seems to be more pleasant here. The nights are not nearly as cold as was the case in Quartzsite and even though the wind hasn't abated since we arrived, the daytime temperatures also seem to be warmer. This has allowed us to utilize a new heating source for the coach, solar heat. It has now become the joke between us as to whether it is time to turn on the solar heater in the bedroom, i.e., open the shades.
Just to add emphasis to the hotter than Quartzsite theory, here is the distaff side of the family all decked out in her sunny weather togs. As to add an exclamation point to this, she mentioned that she had already worn this outfit more times here at Imperial Dam than she had at Quartzsite, even though the stay at Quartzsite had been much longer. When she is outside dressed like this, I know it is nice weather. I don't know if it has to due with the fact here we are up out of the valley on the mesa top so to speak, while Quartzsite sites more or less in a bowl that collects cooler air, but whatever it is, change is always good.
With the beadroom heater running and Linda comfortably ensconced in her easy chair she had time to put her mind to work thinking up something for me to do. Several weeks ago we had bought a round piece of wood in Phoenix with the intention of turning it into a steering wheel table top. Today was to become the designated day for the process to begin. Bless her heart, she didn't tell me to do it, instead she was busy trying to dig out the sandpaper when I offered to help. Help that consisted of cutting a sanding block from a piece of scrap wood, getting it ready for her, then ending up helping her sand.
Once it was sanded to her standards, it was time to apply stain. We had spent a good deal of time trying to pick out just the right shade, but as soon as it hit the wood we could tell it wasn't exactly what we wanted. That's when we both laughed and said in unison, "We need to change our expections." A purist would probably have conniptions over the fact we were doing this out in the bright sun, but for us, it just the drying time shorter.
If you notice the rubber glove on my right hand, one that looks very much like those worn when dumping the waste tanks, thank Linda, I certainly did. She remembered my vow after I had gotten stain all over my fingers while staining our walking sticks while we were at Petrified Forest National Park in the spring. It was that if I ever did this again I was going to wear gloves. Sure did save a lot of unpleasantness on my part, and one again proved the wisdom I displayed in the procurement of a mate those many years ago.
It was then time to prepare one of our long standing Holiday traditions, the setting out of luminaries. Of course this something we do every Christmas Eve, everyone except this year that is. Due to a case of advancing age inducing memory loss in the distaff side of the family, luminaries had not been displayed this past Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas night the weather had prohibited a delayed showing. Not one to give up, Linda had simply decided that New Years Eve would make a suitable substitute, hence the lengthening shadows of late afternoon saw her setting out the bags, adding a rock or two to each in hopes of holding them down in the ever present wind, then adding a small candle.
Watching her I had to bet that she'd have them burning before the sun was down, something that came true. The only problem was that as the sun was going down and she was in changing into some warmer clothes, I was deeply immersed in the last chapters of a book I've been reading off and on the past week. To compound that problem, she returned with a nice cold adult beverage for each of this. As I sat there slowly sipping and becoming colder by the second, she said, "Well, if you're that cold why don't you go get a blanket." It seemed like a good idea it the moment, inside I went in search of a blanket. By the time I had returned, she had a nice little fire going, and I stood next to I commented on the fact that now I could appreciate why the Indians had so valued their blankets.
A nice fire, a blanket to ward of the wind and keep in the heat, it was about as good as it gets. Taking up a comfortable seat next to the fire, the next thing I know she had jumped up and taken my photo. Looking at what the result was I have to wonder whether or not I was setup.
I was right about her not waiting until it was dark to light the luminaries, but when you're married to someone who is just a little girl at heart, it's things like this that bring a smile to both your face and your heart.
At last the stroke of midnight rolled around and we celebrated the the New Year, then headed off to bed, exhausted from all the partying.
I need to set the record straight here or I'm sure the editor will insert a comment about my leaving out certain particulars about the above paragraph and photo. One of the joys of having fixed appetizers in the morning is that there is food available for the evening's party. Couple those with some cheese, a couple of TV shows, through in a small glass of champagne and that was our "party". The climax was watching the ball descend in Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Here's where the advantage of being full timers come in to play. Since we were in California, but have both the east and west coast feeds from DirecTV, we could watch it a 9 pm California time which was midnight New York time. A half an hour later we were sound asleep. At this rate in a few years we will want the London or Paris feed so we can go to bed even earlier.
What a great time we had over the last 12 months, going places and doing things that we never imagined we would experiencing. Looking at 2009, may all our imaginations expand and may both our and your fondest dreams come true. As far as New Years resolutions, maybe this year I'll make it a thought: Whatever the mind can conceive, the whole being believe, then it can be achieved.
As I turned out the light I reminded Linda that last year I had made my New Years Resolution;- a promise to do the cooking in 2008, and I had done that and more. It would also continue in 2009. [Editor's comment: YEA] Then in an unfortunate moment of unbridled masculine bravado, I asked her what she wanted me do in 2009 that would be like my resolution of last year. Her last words for 2008 wear, "I don't know, I'll have to think about it." I said nothing more, but fell asleep wondering what I'd gotten myself into.