Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We’re really enjoying reading Christmas blogs from others, so I have to write one of our own!

We’ve enjoyed Craig and Liz being here for about a month. We got them a neighbor’s site nearby to rent for their stay. The neighbors won’t be back until February, so it worked out well for all of us. (And, by the way, their lot is for sale if anyone’s interested.)


It’s great to have family visiting in their own RV. It’s not like having them in your house and being together 24/7. Don commented that this is the most time he’s spent with his son since Craig was a child. We’ve been together in three different states during the past 4 months: Laramie, WY in September; Albuquerque, NM in October; and Benson, AZ in November/December.

We’ve enjoyed many meals together, both cooking at home for each other and eating out. Shadow and Koa have gotten along pretty well, even though Shadow was surprised when Koa decided to try out Shadow’s bed. Making himself as small as possible, Koa couldn’t figure out how to get his front legs in the bed, too!


Craig & Liz left their coach here while they are in San Antonio, TX for Christmas with her son and family. They didn’t know they would be staying in Benson for this long, but Craig has been waiting for his next EOD job to begin and there were two possibilities: one in SE Kansas, the other in Gila Bend, AZ. The one in Gila Bend came through and he’ll be starting work just after the New Year, so they didn’t need to take the motorhome eastward. Glad they avoided a lot of bad weather in that direction! It’s been fairly cold in Benson, but nothing like a lot of the country has had.

We’ve taken advantage of Craig & Liz’s relative youth and energy to get some things done around our RV lot. After clearing out some cactus, we bought some lavender and salvia plants to take their place. The plants look small now, but they should thrive in this environment, with very little maintenance.



The areas still look a little bare, so we’re shopping for some yard art to add to the southwest theme. And we still have two barrel cactuses in the yard and plenty of cactuses outside the fence, in front and back of the lot.

Don and Craig went through all of our storage bays, cleaned them well and re-organized, getting rid of a lot of stuff in the process. They installed a piece of fence screen under the propane tank to create a storage area for sewer hoses and accessories. This will help keep the wet bay floor clean, as any residual liquid from the hoses will now drain onto the ground while we’re driving down the road.


We also had time to do a few tourist outings. Historic Tombstone is always good for a day trip. Liz seemed happy to take up with this colorful character who was roaming the streets!


After lunch at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, the Rattlesnake Crafts store was our next stop, about 15 miles southeast of Tombstone, near the ghost town of Gleeson. It seemed like we were driving into a very large, uninhabited part of the desert when we came to the turn onto Double U Ranch Rd and this sign, confirming that we were on the right track.


The craft shop is housed in this old trailer, open to anyone who walks in.


Sandy Weber, one of the owners along with her husband John, walked by and waved to us, but didn’t come back during our visit. We were free to wander and observe the many treasures in this assortment of “antiques, collectibles and odd items.” The couple left their traditional jobs in Illinois in 1979 and moved to Arizona where they became rattlesnake hunters. They use almost every part of the rattlesnake in making crafts, and even make jerky from the meat. Read more about this interesting couple and their unusual place on their web site (link above).

Anyone wishing to purchase goods that are for sale (only those with a price may be bought – the vast majority of items are for display only) is asked to leave the money in this box, with a note of what was bought. How nice to see people who believe in the honor system!


Liz & I each bought a pair of earrings. The pair I chose were made from rattlesnake vertebrae, malachite and mink penis. What a conversation piece!


Here’s a sample of what you can see on this one-acre display of over 5,000 items.

We saw some friends locally, too. We visited Becky Hazen and Lonnie Hodge to see their new 40-ft Discovery motorhome, and went out to dinner at a new steakhouse in town.


We went to an Escapees Boomer gathering in the Saguaro Co-op in Benson. It’s always fun to join fellow RVers for a little food and libation.


And we visited Benson’s Christmas on Main Street, with cowboy poets and musicians on the stage in a lot near Safeway, and lots of arts and crafts booths in 4 locations all over town.



If you’ve followed this blog, you know what else we’ve been up to this year. We’ve had some health ‘hiccups’ but are generally healthy and happy. Our travels keep us interested in pursuing even more adventures, and we’re lucky enough to be able to continue full-time RVing. We seriously considered buying the park model below, which is nicely set up with a big Arizona room on a very large lot with room for our motor home on the left. But we re-affirmed that we’re not ready to have any home other than the one on wheels.


Christmas Dinner this year will be shared with our neighbors at Cochise Terrace Resort. Turkey and ham will be provided, with everyone bringing a dish to share. I’m making up a big batch of sausage dressing with mushrooms, celery and onions.

Our next adventure after the new year will be to head to the western border of Arizona, first to Parker on the Colorado River for the Escapees Chapter 21 Winter Rally, and then to Quartzsite for the big RV show and lots of Escapees gatherings.

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!