May 242022

Have you missed us? Don’t worry, we’re alive and well. We have just been devoting most of our time to family. But let me bring you up to date.

After spending the night in Lordsburg, New Mexico, on Tuesday, the 17th, we headed northwest on US Highway 70, known as the Old West Highway, for a short drive to the Arizona state line, and then followed the highway 122 miles further to the old mining town of Globe. US 70 is an excellent two-lane road that winds its way across the high desert, with passing zones on some of the hills to keep traffic flowing.

We passed through the small towns of Safford and Duncan, crossed the San Carlos Indian Reservation, commenting on how strange it was to see mountains on the horizon after living in Florida for so long.

Terry took a picture that I think symbolizes the modern West, an old-time windmill standing next to a cell phone tower. The times, they are a changing.

US 70 ends in Globe, where we picked up US Highway 60 into Apache Junction and Mesa. Our first stop was at Terry’s parents’ house. Her dad, Pete, is 92 and her mom, Bess, is 90 and we were so glad to see them. It’s been over two years since our last trip to Arizona, so the visit was long overdue.

We had booked a room for a week at the LaQuinta Hotel a short drive away. We stayed here on our last trip to Arizona and liked it, but not so much this time around. The room itself was nice, though the air conditioner rattled and made a lot of noise, and the bed was rather lumpy. I don’t remember the WiFi being so slow last trip either, but this trip it was like sludge most of the time.

Apparently the new thing with hotels is that they do not provide daily maid service if you stay for more than just overnight. If you want the bed made, or fresh towels and bathroom supplies, you have to request it the day before, or go to the front desk and ask for towels or whatever you need. When we checked in, Terry told the desk clerk that for what we are paying for the rom, she wanted daily service, but we didn’t get it. They say it is a cost saving measure, but the room still cost me the same. I think on our next trip we will look for another place to stay.

Most of our time was spent with Terry’s parents, just talking and reminiscing about family and days gone by. One day we had a family dinner at Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

These pretty ladies are Terry’s nieces Andrea (left), Lauren (right) and their mother Dani, (Terry’s sister) in the center. Dani is a Nurse Practitioner who recently retired from her career as a flight nurse and trainer for a helicopter medical evacuation company. Andrea is also a Nurse Practitioner who has moved into the legal side of things and sits on the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Lauren lives in London and works for Facebook.

Dinner was nice, and I got a picture of the whole family after we ate. Here, from left to right, are Lauren, Dani, Terry’s mom Bess, her dad Pete, Terry, and Andrea.

Unfortunately, her sister Lisa and brother-in-law Jim could not join us because Jim had just been diagnosed with Covid for the second time. The first bout a while back was pretty rough, but they seem to have hit him aggressively with lots of meds this time around and he is doing much better.

This beautiful glass sculpture is called Chihuly in the Desert, one of several works by artist Dale Chihuly’s on display at the Desert Botanical Garden.

On another day I spent some time visiting with author friends Mike Leonard and Scott MacKenzie, talking about writing projects and techniques. They are a couple of very talented guys, and it was fun to share ideas with them. Scott gave me a great idea I will be using in a future Big Lake book.

It’s been very hot here. Today was 103 degrees, down from 105 the day before. Yeah, I know, it’s a dry heat. It’s dry inside an oven, too, but I don’t want to spend time in one of them either.

We have loved spending time with Terry’s family, but all good things must come to an end. Today we have about a three-hour drive to our old hometown of Show Low, where we will spend a week with our daughter Tiffany and her family. Granddaughter Destiny graduates from junior high school Thursday morning, and that evening her big sister Hailey graduates from high school. We are looking forward to being a part of the celebrations. We are also looking forward to some cooler weather in the White Mountains.

Thought For The Day – As I get older I can sense people dressing me with their eyes.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Yes, We’re Still Alive”

  1. Of course we miss you! I’m happy that you are spending time with family. Family is everything! I’m excited to see my family in June. We’re meeting in Orlando for a week. We haven’t been together in 3 years. I can’t wait!

  2. great great – but how’s the back?

  3. Grandkids graduating from high school, congratulations!

  4. Good to “hear” from you, Nick. I was beginning to worry! And so glad you’re having a wonderful time visiting family. We visited family last summer throughout the midwest and my husband had a heart attack 3 days after returning home to Florida….. (doing fine now)…. but we’re so very glad we made that trip while we could! Hope the rest of your trip is just as great!

  5. Nick, I think most of the hotels make you ask the night before for room service. I know the Marriott chain does. Think of it as in lieu of raising their prices!

  6. So great to be with family. Great picture.

  7. Beautiful family, fun visits and a low key uneventful travel experience. Good to see the truck is serving you you & Ms. Terry well.
    Yes, as a frequent business traveler for over 40 years, I find the increasing costs, frustrations, and watered down amenities & comforts we once took for granted at three, four & even a few five star hotels frustrating..I’m glad my business travel is coming to an end shortly. The total travel experience post 911 and especially post Covid 19 has become a real chore.
    Regarding ” but its a Dry Heat” – Yeah…so is a thermonuclear blast?
    How in the world to they keep those beautiful glass sculptures clean & bright outside in that heat & baking sun…Lol.

  8. If Terry’s folks are in their 90s, they sure don’t look it. She comes from good genes. Glad your well and enjoying family!!
    Is your tailbone better? Hope so, that’s a miserable place to hurt especially on the road!!

    Take good care,
    Judy B

  9. Nick, We had the same experience at 2 different hotels while traveling recently regarding towels and cleaning. What the heck!

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