The ass whisperer
I’m still at the delightful RV Park in Benson, AZ – still surprised how comfortable I feel here. The humidity remains low and I’m not coughing; today the winds are up. It’s not bad to be pinned down inside by high winds. So I sit comfortably, writing another blog.
I’ve been riding my motorcycle some & have pictures to prove it. Saturday I rode over to a Donkey Rescue, about 15 north of Benson. The ride included less than a mile of dirt road (and one dried up river bed) that brought me to 40 donkeys. Tish and John Hiestand, who live in this remote desert, slowly, without intending to, became a sanctuary for abused and neglected donkeys – they have become the “Forever Home”, the finally resting place above and below ground for fascinating, delightful animals who have run out of options. I would have paid big bucks for a t-shirt like Tish’s that reads “Ass Whisperer.” – but none are available. Please check out their website at http://www.foreverhomedonkey.com/ It explains how innocently it all began when John bought Tish a birthday present — Blackjack, an intact jack,
Sunday I rode my bike about 50 miles to Tucson to the Pima Friends Meeting. The Fairhope Meeting in Fairhope, AL is small, so I feel like I’m in the Big City when I get to sit with 30 Quakers. I realize most churches are so much larger, that it seems peculiar to view a group of 30 as noteworthy. But Quakers are not mainstream and seldom draw crowds. It’s fascinating to hear the things this diverse community is working on. If you’re interested, more detail is at various websites such as http://pima.quaker.org/, http://www.afsc.org/, http://www.fgcquaker.org/ .
Sunday was my birthday – I don’t need an excuse for a long ride but this was a good one. At 69, I am definitely “too old to die young.” So it was 50 miles on the bike west on I-10 to Tucson, but it was 150 miles back to Benson. After Meeting, I rode I-10 eastward a ways, and then headed south on Hwy 83 to Sonoita through beautiful rolling desert. From there I worked my way back to Benson — east on Hwy 82, south on Hwy 90 to Sierra Vista, east by north up to Tombstone, and then north on Hwy 80 back to the RV and Misty, my German Shepherd. I thought I’d eat lunch in Sonoita, but when I stopped at the crossroads regular gas was 2.29/gallon. I didn’t want to find out how much they charged for a meal; I skipped the restaurant and bought juice, a banana, and some nuts in the filling station. When I pulled up, I’d seen a guy in the parking lot standing beside a beat up motorcycle; on the seat was a blue plastic pad that suggested it was also his bed. His hair was matted; his clothes very dirty and his face and hands were caked in smoke. He had a bewildered and faraway look in his eyes that suggested resignation and/or mental illness; I was a little uncomfortable around him. He came into the store after me; I spoke and he responded, “I’m fine. I’m also hungry. But that’s my problem.” He had a $1 in his hand and a pack of peanuts. As I walked away, I handed him $10; he looked at me curiously. I said, “Buy yourself something to eat.” He responded, “You don’t have to do that. But thank you, ma’am.” Then I sat down at a picnic table outside. He was moving stuff around on his bike as I returned to mine. He pushed his bike to the gas pump and explained as he passed, “I’m gonna buy me a little gas. Need to get to Phoenix”. He was still at the pump when I rode away. I’ve thought of him often; the temperature dropped into the 30’s Sunday night. His luck hasn’t been as good as Blackjack’s.