She’ll Be Comin’ ’Round the Mountain …

Monday, 22 December 2014 / Day 5
I have a dear friend, Margaret, who lives in Prescott—about 90 miles from Phoenix. We met in high school, and just never let go of each other. Our fathers were both pilots in the United States Air Force, and when hers retired, he moved his family back to historic Prescott, Arizona, where Margaret finished high school, married John, raised her children (Jesse and Marina), and became an antiques dealer. She is now a grandmother and retired.

You’ll recall that Margaret traveled to Ireland with me in 2012. She and John have visited Gerry and I in Tennessee. We are close. And a big reason I’m in Arizona this Christmas is to visit Margaret, who has been suffering from cancer since last year.

So I consolidated to one suitcase, and drove up (elevation is 5300 feet above sea level) to Prescott. It’s a spectacular drive, scenery-wise. And Margaret and I spent the afternoon in her spacious living room, drinking tea and chatting … the way two old friends do. 🙂

Look at that guestroom! Very Western, and so cozy!

Look at that guestroom! Very Western, and so cozy!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 / Day 6
We had a leisurely morning, and just took it easy. We puttered around Prescott—

—but mostly conserved our energy for later: Margaret had planned a big holiday meal in my honor. In addition to the three of us, John and Margaret’s son Jesse, and his wife and son (Melissa and Tristan) were there, as well as John’s sister Tammy. Jesse roasted the lamb, and it was fabulous. A good time was had by all.

Margaret sets a beautiful table.

Margaret sets a beautiful table.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014, Christmas Eve / Day 7
Before I left Prescott, John, Margaret, and I had breakfast at a Prescott institution: the Lone Spur Café. Huge breakfasts served up fast and hot—and it was like everyone in town was there.

John and Margaret. They’re still sweet on each other. :)

John and Margaret. They’re still sweet on each other. 🙂

But I had a Christmas service to get to—my Jesse’s Phoenix Chamber Brass would be playing—and just the right amount of time to get there. Once again I was treated to gorgeous vistas as I traveled into the valley.

Traveling down the mountain: the scenery was spectacular.

Traveling down the mountain: the scenery was spectacular.

Drove straight to American Lutheran Church, caught the end of the first service, had a little snack at the between-services “reception” for the musicians and staff, and then sat through the second service. Love singing Christmas hymns!

Phoenix Chamber Brass: Greg Lloyd, Rose French, Donald Smith, Jesse Chavez, Matt Lennex.

Phoenix Chamber Brass: Greg Lloyd, Rose French, Donald Smith, Jesse Chavez, Matt Lennex.

Jesse and I were ravenous by this time, so we went to Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Phoenix for a late supper. And then I was done in. Long day!

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