In July as I was headed into surgery for my 2nd knee replacement I booked a trip to Phoenix for New Years. My theory was the trip would serve as a goal and it did. Up until three weeks before departure I was still pondering if I was strong enough yet to travel. Finally I decided there would always be a FIRST trip so why not now? So we went, I did fine physically and learned I was much stronger and had better stamina than I had thought. First lesson.
We took a Road Scholar program which we have done many times before. After 40+ years of marriage we have talked about just about everything and several things many times over. Road Scholar gives us the chance to explore an area, meet interesting people and talk about something other than the economy, the kid, and the dog!
Primarily I chose this program because the activity level was rated EASY. It turned out not to be EASY at all as it required a lot of walking but I did learn that EASY actually means ‘must have a pulse.’ There were many in our huge group who barely qualified and of those nearly every one was a complainer. Never in my life have I heard so much whining! A small group of us younger seniors stuck together for stimulation and survival. Lessons learned: avoid the EASY programs. Also maintaining optimism as we grow is crucial to aging well.
Despite the whining there were wonderful parts to the program. A visit to the desert botanical gardens included two incredible art exhibits amongst the plants.
The Four Seasons by Philip Haas featured 15′ tall sculptures of fruit, vegetables and plant foliage. Awesome!
Also the innovative sculptures of Carolina Escobar wrapped around and through cactus and other plants throughout the gardens.
The Phoenix Symphony on NY Eve was such an incredible treat. I was so inspired that I bought tickets for our regional symphony next week. I have been thinking about going to the symphony for a really long time. I have no idea what stopped me before because the right time is now!
We also sat through two lectures on the anatomy and function of the violin and the trumpet. It was everything I could do to stay awake and having sacrificed the Rose Parade to learn about trumpeting made it all the more painful. Lesson learned: I don’t really care how that horn was made just blow it already!
This program like the one last spring in Texas we learned about storytelling. We all have a story. We should all be telling it! Unforgettable!
We toured the Phoenix Art Museum and the beautiful Heard Museum and again I learned I am a visual learner. I just want to see it with my eyes. I don’t care much to read about it.
Two more great experiences were to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West…aka his home in Scottsdale. It was a textural and pattern junkie’s delight and I shot many images there. And the fabulous interior of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel with its collection of Navajo rugs…stunning!
While I was very tempted to buy two gorgeous art pieces in Scottsdale I bought nothing but a FLW inspired fridge magnet! Between cleaning out my father’s things, having the urge to purge my own and starting a new life chapter I just did not want anything bad enough to bring it home. Lesson learned: I have enough. Possibly the best lesson of all: to experience life without having to possess it.
Got blue poinsettia?
It was good to have a change of scenery and great now to be home and in the studio once again.
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