|January 6 With Rex in tow, we left El Paso and headed west. The plan was to stay at a Passport America park in Bowie, AZ, which is just about 25 miles west of the AZ/NM border.
January 7 With only 135 miles to go, we had a short drive to Marana, AZ, on the north side of Tucson. We parked in the side yard of good Rotary RV friends. Geary is one of those men who can do almost anything. Besides wanting to visit with them, we needed his help on a couple of things. When we arrived in Marana, the temperature was 77° and Clark looked forward to being warm for the first time in weeks.
January 8 Because Clark had been having severe back pain for a few days, we decided we needed to get that checked and went to the VA Hospital in Tucson. What a massive complex we found. It was a challenge just to find the emergency room. We walked into a busy, busy place and began our wait. I sat there, praying, that we didn't get exposed to flu or some other virus or bacteria. He signed in at 11:25am and I think he was finally called about 5:25pm to go back to get started with whatever they were going to do. Everyone was running around like chickens without their heads and commenting on how busy they were. He'd already had X-rays and now we just needed to find out what was going on. When the doctor finally came, we learned he had a fractured rib. This was the first MD we've ever seen who supported his decision to seek alternative cures. I think they finally finished with him about 11:00pm - a long day of waiting.
January 9 After our late night, we were slow getting ourselves to move. Debbie had plans for me for the afternoon and I got myself ready to join her and her friend for lunch and then a visit to the Museum of Miniatures. This is one of Debbie's favorite places to visit and what a treasure she shared with us. This magnificent museum is a collection of doll houses - more than 275 houses and room boxes. Some of these date back to the 18th century. Everything on display is exquisite and the detail is phenomenal. There are also houses that have been made recently, because there is a group of people who are miniaturists. Some of these people specialize in what they make - tiny silver objects, food objects, jewelry, and on and on and on. Some of the houses are exact replicas of actual houses. As I reviewed the pictures I had taken, I realized I should have taken many, many more. It's a go-back-to place!!! The next visit will be planned for a whole day, because there is so much to see.
January 10 One of the things we needed Geary to do for us was to finish the laminate floor he hadn't been able to finish when we were with them two years ago. He'd done the main part, but hadn't had time to do the slide part. I got everything cleared out, so he'd have room to work and he proceeded, cussing a good part of the time, because of weird things Tiffin had done in the construction. Their property is located almost on the boundary of the Saguaro National Park. That means that there is an abundance of those special plants all over the place. Besides the saguaro cactus, jumping chollas are also prolific. I was fearful that Rex would get one of those cholla babies stuck in his fur.
January 12 Geary dove in and took care of several "little" items that Clark hadn't been able to do. Some of what we thought would be minor problems turned into projects, instead of little fixes. Our horn had quit working and I've needed a horn, several times. I cannot believe people cannot see this 40' white monstrosity coming down the road. We now have a horn. That took most of a morning. Then he spent time working on our TV antenna and that was another puzzlement. He's one persistent man and kept at it until he found the solution. I don't think there's anything he cannot fix.
January 13-14 Geary continued to do more fixes for us.
January 15 On a previous shopping trip, I'd found a pet shop with a scale and they'd given me permission to bring Rex in to weigh him. We finally did that and found he is now 102 pounds. From things I'd read, if a Bernie weighs 100 pounds at a year, the full-grown weight will be about 120 pounds. We'll just have to find bigger scales - he barely fit on the one we used. On one of our nightly bedtime walks, he walked right into a cholla and came away with a nose full of prickly things. After a lot of gyrations, he got them off. Fortunately, they'd only clung to his fur and weren't into the skin. That made the decision that I couldn't walk him having him on a leash.
January 16 We should have been getting ready to leave, but it began to look like the package we were awaiting was not going to be delivered on time. While Clark and I were gone, Geary solved another problem for us. We had made an appointment for Rex to get a bath and brushing. We arrived on time for that and knew it would take a couple of hours. We drove on up the street to the pedicure place for Clark to get his toes done. He said he walked in the door and was greeted with, "Pick out a color." He was offered blue to match his shirt or green, if he would prefer that. He chose to stay plain. It was probably too big a step, at 77-years-old, to get his toenails painted.
January 17 Our package finally arrive late Saturday afternoon and we hit the road.