Saskatoon, SK to Mesa, AZ – Fall 2013

Leaving Saskatoon after months of change; changing houses; both of us working lots; me with months of heart pain; arm ache and Bob steady as he goes.

Left on Hallowe’en; a day I dressed up for work; lots of different ideas coming from people about what I dressed up as. A Pirate? A Warrior Princess? Sexy, Slutty Maid? Stuck my sword in my boot. I called it Peaceful Princess; but wondered who’s the King and Queen? THOUGHT: When will I put down my sword?

Eight degrees as we leave Saskatoon at 2:30 in the afternoon. Sunny Rosetown. Golden stubble. Rolling tumbleweed. More water than years gone by. First flock of snow geese. Standing piles of wheat like little mountains in the fields.

Five am at my brothers in Med Hat. Arm ache. Read them my 4 page poem. Blood pressure 129/81 and 69 is my pulse. YEAH. Bob gets up. His pulse is 49. My sister in law says better have coffee; you’re nearly dead.

We met with Bob’s uncle, cousins and their children. Four generations. Could not be nicer driving south with the sunshine pouring in. 10 degrees. Reviewed family history from there to the U.S. border. Not quite. Last stop before Border. SIGN: “One horse town with a one horse stall.” ( meaning bathroom).

Review my fear/paranoia of border crossing after my 20 minute questioning in March of 2013 trying to come into Phoenix. “What do you mean you aren’t living here?” when I only had a backpack and no clothes. “I can take away your passport for 5 years,” and when I said “I am a visitor.” Okay to go.

I am relieved when we are out of there. Try out my new reading glasses that were $ 2.99. It’s 12 degrees noon on Friday.

I feel like singing. Bob listens to me sing. I don’t know the words to God Bless America – don’t like using the word God; just like haven’t liked using the word God in O Canada for years.

We drive through farmland to Cattle Country. Mountainous. Know most of the words to The Star Spangled Banner. Talk about why most of my own songs sound like hymns or children’s songs. I guess all the programming; playing the church organ for twenty some years and working with kids in the school system.

Meandering through a wide golden green valley with mountain ranges all around. The meandering Missouri river. We cross about 10 bridges of it in the Montana Mountain Range driving about 120 km an hour which is about 75 mph.

The VASTNESS amazes. Some of the rocks look like driftwood. Wondering what was in the minds of the explorers; why they were doing what they were doing? What were they thinking? Or the Government of the day? Thinking assimilation? Genocide? Superiority?

Could have lost Bob in the gas station/casino/liquor/wine store at Helena It was so big. Come out of there after gassing up (glad we don’t gamble); SONGS non stop in my head: Your Cheating Heart, Heartaches By the Number, Great Waters, Life embraced by Sea: Sunshine on my Shoulders Makes Me Happy, Love Lives Here Again, The Shoulders of My Heart Have Crumbled, Song of Sorrow and Healing.

Wonder aloud, “What do these people do? And wonder if the U.S. people drive through Canada wondering what people do?” New song in my head, The Rose; some say love it is a……;

Billboard: Where are you going? Heaven or Hell? Phone this number for the truth! SONG: We shall be moved; by flowers, flowers growing. We, we shall be moved by love. SONG: Down by the Old Mill Stream. THOUGHT: My Life in Song, what would it be? SONG: How Great Thou Art Told Bob we can play, Guess that Song? SONG: Great Waters, Long enduring Sea in my head.

Stop for Gas. They’ve had to spread salt around and on the highways from previous, recent snows but for us the highway is clear; small remnants of snow in ditches. SONG: The Rose; then 3345553345; the only way I can remember a song my Dad used to play. My honey listened to an End of My Marriage Review and The Trauma my kids went through. Saw pine forest. SONG: O Christmas Tree: Then:O Danny Boy.

Idaho Falls: Stayed in same hotel as last year. I have no memory of it. Incredible meal in place across the street. 15 servers in white and black moving incredibly fast. Impeccable service. Bob says compare that to Australia where there’s a barman; cashier and cook.

Leaving Idaho just in time; as they tell us snow tomorrow. Off to Vegas. My arm still aches. SONG lines: By our lives, we’ll rise again. I ask Bob; how would he describe our experience so far? He said, “Good day, good meal, good sleep. Anytime it’s uneventful, it’s good.”

Seeing malls being built. Good sign, economy improving. Talk about the changes. Four years ago the flights I used going back and forth from Saskatoon to Phoenix were to Chicago or Los Angelas; now the last ten I used were all direct except one thru Calgary. SONG lines: I come to you my friend; when there is poison in the sea; when death is in the wind; then I come and I sing; for singing is a way of weeping in the soul…..like the rain, like the rain. It waters every root of hope I’ve ever known; so I can touch the world with love once again. Song by songwriter, friend,Carolyn McDade. Then a SONG from my childhood: All through the night.

I start Crying. Comes out like wailing.

SONG LINE: A people’s fear cries out at night, wondering if they’ll ever rise again? Talk about why does my crying come out like wailing or keening? Is it from when I was about 10 going to a neighbours funeral; the usher sat mom and me behind the Ukranian orthodox priest; and we watched the mother and sisters wailing; bending over the coffin of their young son/brother? Or when I was seventeen years old in Malaysia and saw a funeral pyre/ people carrying a man wrapped in cloth before they lit him on fire; the wailing as they went by. Bob talks about the middle eastern older women wailing; wondering aloud if they’re Muslim women? I’m wondering why I’m wailing now; thinking of when I lived in Cranbrook; how hard I worked, how hard it was; the pain in the world.

After the wailing; the BEAUTY; see birds dancing in waves; back into the fall colours. Yesterday, the scent of sage and now the scent of woodsmoke. SIGN: “Welcome to Utah. Life elevated!” Now 80 mph. We Discuss why people smoke? To hold in grief? Alcohol? Anger? How do we get toxins out of our system? Tennis? Was my happy pills last year. The Sun/ Water/ Sauna/ Gym/ Run/ Sweat it out.

Straight south into the sunshine. Not a cloud in the sky. Maples/Tower poplars/ Willows/ Ash. None have lost their leaves in Salt Lake City yet so Dazzling Display of Shimmering Gold, Russet Orange, Brilliant Yellows, Green Cedars, Green and Yellow Weeping Willows. WOW. Like Perfect Deep Red Trees and Shrubs.

Revisiting past and have a “Wanna lay down and die feeling inside.” as Bob driving thru a seven lane Salt Lake City; five lane actually; two were exit lanes. It’s the guys that pass on the right that bug me. Said to Bob “It’s like a bloody race.” Cop has a convertible pulled over. People slow for awhile.”

Bob remembers the Penitentiary coming up on the right. I remember the Pink Uniforms. Humiliate them a little more. Only ones I saw today were in white.

Green Grass and it is not a Golf Course. November 2nd. A half ton with a trailer and both are filled with chunks of COAL. I haven’t seen coal like that since I was a kid on the farm.

Grapes; an orchard of them. Leaves in living colour. Looking at the map. Deciding our route. Won’t sleep on the canyon floor this time. Sixteen degrees as we stop for lunch at Nephi City.

SONG: What Shall I Do With So Great A Love; So Great a Love? Be Who I Am, Be How I am, Be All I am.

“ How fast are these guys going?”, asks Bob, when we’ve seen the fourth car stopped by police in the 80 mph speeding zone.

It’s 21 degrees. Had to take my socks off. Idea to make a children’s CD. Idea to find a sexual assault centre down south. Idea to put up a sign: “Soul Seeking Songs” Gathering. What day? What time?

In the mountain passes: Curves/ Back and Forths; Like Race Car Driving. SONG: Give Me A Reason To Go On- Because I Want You too/ Because You’re Valuable to Me/ And to Others As Well. SONGS: This Ancient Love: Lamb of God: Teach Your Children Well, Their Father’s Hell Did Slowly Go By. SONG: I’m Lead, Lead, Lead, Home, By Us SONG: In The Sweet, By and By SONG: Will the Circle Be Unbroken: SONG: Does it Fit In the Circle of Life, does it’s being enhance all life’s balancing dance; does it fit in the Circle of Life? A song by Diane Bender

Red Rock Mountains. SIGN: “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks”.SONG: The West and Nest and You;SONG: My Belle Amie. Seeing first cacti around St. George. 24 degrees. SONG: 34321 -1 1232. Stopped at Veteran’s Paiute Pow Wow. Long Pants Gone. Back in Flip Flops.

SONG: Give Me A Reason To Go On. You’re Talented and Creative and Kind and Generous and You Listen; You Listen in Love, as we are driving into Vegas. The Flowers and The Palm Trees. Our stay at Boulder City; the Marguerita and Mexican Food.

The Buddhist Book of quotes by my bed. Jung Si Aphorisms “The minute we make excuses for ourselves; we start to slacken.” and “A heart of joy cultivates a happy family.”

Back on the Road. SIGN: “Bullets and Burgers/Shoot A Machine Gun While You Wait.”


SONG: Calling, calling. THOUGHT: We are called to love.

We are 200 miles from home. (from Phoenix). First bumpy road since left home. SONG: Sweet Violets: THOUGHT: Can no longer cover up the pain. SONG: Crimson and Clover. THOUGHT: Have to relook one more time. May have to find a sexual assault centre; someone who can hear the pain; Bob said pretty tough to hear wailing in the morning. I say pretty hard to live it.

Idea to tell it like it is; Anger Energy; The Beyond Understanding; To Say What I’m Really Thinking Inside Instead Of Being So Nicey Nicey.

New Kinds Of Cacti: Prickly Pear, Aquave, Mistletoe, Barrel; Need to Have Patience with Myself; can’t figure it all out in one Day. Today, only thing hurting in my body is my left hand left arm; elbow to my hand aches. THOUGHT:Some energy stuck there on what I’ve done or need to do in the world ( has me crying) Feel parched. Mouth dry. Dehydrated. Coffee will do that to me but also on a bigger scale. Spiritually need to fill up (crying again) Earth and the sky and the sun and the Vastness – solidness of the rock – canyons and mountains we are passing through tells me why the “How Great Thou Art” is relevant. Similar to the Rocky Mountain Experience . Crying with no noise is how I grew up. “Cry and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Gratitude and Joy held in is Painful.

Gunsite Canyon Road and My First Saquero. Stop at 10 am WikeUp Trading Post for Breakfast. Buy a birthday card for my son and his partner. SONG: This Ancient Love. SONG: Morning. Bob says what about Father Nature instead of Mother Nature. Another way of saying how we get hung up on stereotypes. “Isn’t that the truth!”

Is it? —- is my question? Everybody’s truth is different. What is truth?


SONG: Singing our way home. SONG: Carry On.

See something and before I can show Bob, it’s gone. Reminds me of the fleetingness of Life. In all of millennia; how Small We Are. With Satellites out there, Bob says earth is like a speck of pepper.

Sunday flea market by the side of the road. SIGN: “Ammo For Sale” Oh my goodness, me. Now a half hour out of Phoenix. They are planning for the future; putting in the infrastructure for avenues and streets miles and miles from urban area.

Sizzling cold sore feeling on my bottom lip. Highway 303 is now open. We will take the 101 to the 202.

SONG: Spirit of Life, come unto me.

There is a golf cart doing about 30mph crossing City of Surprise and Grand Ave. They’re all planning for the future. 1/2 of Canada to come down here.?????? Near home. SONG: Danube Waltz going on in my head.

A whole new ballpark; the new Cubs Stadium. Would need to get off the 202 at Dobson Road to get to it; and Bob says Oakland A’s took over the Hohokum Stadium.

Symphony music greets us. Can hear it coming from somewhere as we unload our vehicle.

2988 km $301.83 Gas $258.43 hotels and food.


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