I'm back. Home, that is. I was gone out west for a little over two weeks. Drove out with middle daughter and her three little ones. And it was hot. HOT. H. O. T. West Texas was like an inferno on steroids and with an insidious HOT wind blowing ninety-to-nothin' to boot.
Utah, on the other hand, started out cold. As in . . . it was snowing in the mountains and raining/sleeting off and on in the valleys the first two or three days we were there. Before leaving Utah, however, it finally began warming up. Husband and son joined us a few days after our vanguard company--work being the delaying factor for son--and joined us.
Our daughter is completing her degree in Zoology with emphasis in entomology at BYU this summer. She'll be taking the GRE in about a month and depending on how that goes, and a zillion other factors, is thinking seriously about entering the Master's program there as well.
While in Utah, we got to visit with four of my siblings and some of their children/grandchildren and one niece who's folks live a lot closer to us than she does. Visiting with my family is always good and far too infrequent. We enjoyed being together, and of course, eating together. I cooked a few Southern dishes while there including a large pot of gumbo.
There was much traveling on the "under construction" interstate highway in Utah. Ugh! A somewhat harrowing experience when one is more used to the laid-back driving conditions of rural (or much more rural) Louisiana. We traveled daily over the highways and byways between residences of family members, shopping, etc., etc. One by-product of that driving was that while my husband and I were getting lost (while not far from my sister's home) in search of a certain store we'd visited the day before, I realized that we were REALLY close to the house (one and only one my parents ever bought) where I'd lived during junior high and high school! I had to go by to see the neighborhood and THE HOUSE. I was really impressed. It looked really nice and well taken care of!
When my family of 10 moved in (back in 1960) there were few houses close to ours. I remember watching as the other houses were constructed next door (on either side) and behind us. I remember the grass being planted and how often we had to water it. Later we planted iris from my grandmother's garden. And other flowers and things over the years we were there. That house sold for $16,000 in 1960. I'll guess it would go for over $150,000 now. Of course it is over 50 years old and housing has certainly gotten far more expensive--even though it's supposed to be a buyer's market. Construction is booming in Utah. Still.
While we were "elsewhere" Louisiana got blistering hot. And still rather in need of a few good soaking rains.
On the trip back home, Arizona was burning up (as you might have learned through a variety of news sources) and New Mexico was under serious smoke from those terrible fires for endless miles. Texas was still an inferno as we passed through the western portion of that very large state. And, yes. The wind was still blowing furiously.
When we arrived at home, we were blessed to find our lawn (whatever that green combination of who knows what that covers a good deal of the yard is) was actually mostly green. What a nice surprise! This area has been baking regularly with 100 degree days consistently for weeks now.
Glad I harvested all those glorious peaches my faithful tree produced before leaving on the adventure west! I managed to freeze several quarts of the awesome tasting fruit, plus make and can about 4.5 pints of peach jam and maybe 8 quarts + of juice that I'll make into jelly one day soon. I'm still baffled/amazed by all the luscious peaches that tree made this year! We gave so many away and still had/have plenty to enjoy! (Husband cut off the three broken limbs before he headed out west. Who would have thought there would be so many, many peaches this year! I certainly didn't think there would be a 10th of what was produced!)
Aside to Bob (Mid-Life Thoughts, Bob): The peach cobbler was "oh, so good" and I waited (for about 5 minutes) thinking you'd be knocking on my door before I dove into it. Just so you know! But, you had more important errands to attend to, I believe. I did honestly think of you, and ate an extra helping in your honor.
Now we have youngest daughter and her precious little girl visiting. One little girl is soooo much quieter than two little boys and their older sister! But, how I miss those little ones still visiting in Utah! They would have such great fun with their little cousin!