by Bob Sparrow
I was amazed again by the wonders of the desert on my journey last week, but this time in a totally different way. Those who have followed us here know my fascination with places like Death Valley and Joshua Tree; last week’s journey took me to another desert, the Sonoran in southern Arizona, and the wonders I saw there were our brother, Jack’s kids and grand kids – no hiking and camping on this trip.
But the first stop along the way was to my sister, Suzanne and her husband, Al’s beautiful home in the private golf community of Desert Highlands in Scottsdale, about as far from camping as I could have gotten. Linda and I made the stop in Scottsdale on our way to Tucson not only to see Suzanne and Al, but to see if it was true what they were saying about their new dog, Dash
It didn’t take long to see that it was true, Dash was now in full control of Suzanne, Al and all that goes on around the house . . . no, make that their lives. It was easy to see why this dog commanded such attention – he is adorable. When I found us all talking baby talk to the dog, I knew it was time to hit the road. We headed south, confident that the newest member of our family had his owners firmly in control.
Look up the word ‘family’ and you’ll find everything from ‘a taxonomic group containing one or more genera’ to ‘a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activity’. What you should see is a picture of the Watson family – Colin, Shelley, Katie, Abby and Murphy, the dog. They are a fun-loving family full of caring, intelligent, thoughtful, humorous, loving people. Add in nephew, Matt and kids Jackson and Madelyn, and you’ve got quite an assembly of people I just love being around. Matt is a single dad who has his own physical therapy business; he is an intelligent, spiritual man who has a serious side, but is also one of the funniest people I know. My cheeks hurt from laughing when I with him. And I’m related to them all – which some say adds credence to the ‘me being adopted’ theory.
Katie (15) and Abby (12) both play tennis, very well, I might add. They’ll be stars of their high school team, probably earn scholarships to a highly regarded academic college (they’re both straight A students) and enjoy the game of tennis the rest of their lives. Unlike most kids and parent involved in youth athletics these days, they have neither the illusion nor the desire to become
professional athletes – rather refreshing. If ever my faith needed to be restored in our youth, our future, it was – in straight sets.
After spending a very enjoyable ‘family’ weekend, we stopped in Phoenix on our way home to have breakfast with Linda’s sister and her husband, Starlet and Donnie, who, you guessed it, are great people!
I have come to enjoy the wonders of the desert; the mild days this time of year, the gentle nights; always amazed at how things not only live in this environment, but flourish. And so it is with family there; I enjoy the smell of Matt’s chicken on the barbeque, the noise of kids at play in the pool, Colin’s British accent, Shelley’s make-you-feel-comfortable style, but mostly I enjoy the wonder of family and feel so very fortunate that Linda and I are so blessed with great family.
If you’re reading this on Monday morning, most of you know that I will be a bit preoccupied with my immediate family – daughter Dana is undergoing heart surgery this morning. I’m looking forward to next writing about her successful recovery.