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by Tamara Hillman
October 2007

Arizona Cactus

October is on the horizon and my poor mind is stuck back in August.
September went by in a blur because we were finally making arrangements to move to Arizona on a permanent basis. We are a year later than our plans allowed but such is the housing market! We were under the assumption that we could list the house in August of 06, and be in Arizona by January 07……
The best laid plans of mice and men, right?

We finally gave up on selling in any hurry, and loaded a U-Haul truck with the last of our treasures—of which I had to pick and choose very carefully since we are truly downsizing BIG TIME!

When summer ended too quickly, and the last of the grandkids reluctantly gathered their things and left dear ol’ gran an’ gramp’s house, this ol’ gal started filling boxes with everything but the kitchen sink. I do so hope this is our last move before the ‘Marble Orchard.’ In one’s sixties, it just isn’t a matter of throwing a few things in the car and changing addresses. We were dug in pretty deep here the last 17 years in this house we built and even cleared the land under! It is big and roomy with LOTS of storage space. And there lies the problem—when you have space, you fill it! I found things I hadn’t seen in a number of years and apparently hadn’t missed. They went mostly into the yard sale pile or straight to the local goodwill store. I boxed loads of things (some of which I wasn’t ready to part with) into boxes going to the kids, and even more going on the truck south.

Now, I always knew moving, for the most part, is a ‘WOMAN’S JOB’ but never did it become more clear than with this move.

My dear husband owns every tool known to mankind and I made the mistake of asking him to help out by breaking down some furniture that came apart for easier transporting, take down pictures, remove screws and fill nail holes, etc. I was then flabbergasted to see that he actually got a twinkle in his eye and leaped to my request, (well, at his age, he didn’t leap far but he did look excited to do something around the house for the first time in years!)

He hurried to the garage and I soon heard a great clatter and crashing going on. He emerged from this hallowed place (second only to his favorite chair in front of the television) with all these unrecognizable to womankind, ‘MAN TOOLS.’ I call them ‘MAN TOOLS’ because they all are motorized in one form or another—either battery operated, plug in, or battery charged. I gasped in horror knowing, instinctively, he was going to drill every screw in the house forward or backward (without breaking a sweat) and be underfoot all day, sounding like a stirred hornet’s nest. And I was right! But as I later observed him diligently playing mama’s helper, I realized I could have done most of the work at my leisure with a regular flathead or Phillip’s screwdriver. (Men must sit around thinking of power tools to invent so they never have to exert energy, while at the same time, they can recall those great boyhood memories of zoom-zoom toys they played with on their knees.)

Alas, the day arrived to gather up my hubby’s brawny friends (all younger than he,) and get the many boxes and dismantled furniture loaded on the truck. This was accomplished in a relatively short amount of time, and Steve made sure to put the ‘MAN TOOLS’ in an easy to reach place so he could enjoy putting it all back together and drilling new holes in the walls after we reached our destination.

We made the trip, unloaded the truck by ourselves, (we’re now hurting in every joint and muscle) and then returned to the rainy northwest to spend another month or six weeks finishing up doctor appointments, and cleaning house for the Realtors to start showing EMPTY this time while we bask in the sun all winter. (I found ‘Dust Rabbits’—not bunnies, under furniture that was far too heavy to move and clean behind for lo these many years.)

Guess you could say the worst of the move is behind us now but there remains this continual mystery as to the why and what makes men tick—Lord only knows…

Granny Tam

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The poem below I wrote jogging along in the truck last week…


Land so flat one can see for miles to distant mountain rims resembling slumbering souls in silhouette.
Cactus dispersed across barren soil covered in purple sage with paved road cutting a wide swath thru’ it’s desert center.
Telephone wires and road signs clutter the view as jackrabbit and prairie dogs peek from sheltered places.
At day’s end, strains of pink stretch across the horizon reclaiming the desert for another cool and peaceful evening.

Tamara Hillman ©2007

Crossing The Desert


A country path meanders
deep in memory
thru’ the forests of my childhood…

Autumn colors—red and gold,
mingle near river’s edge―
Sumac, Oak, and Aspen wave
to me in passing

Leaves drift on the wind,
fluttering like butterfly wings,
swirling, dancing on air,
then fall down, down, to the forest floor,
crunching noisily ‘neath my feet

Languishing under leafy
sapling seeds await spring―
Mother Nature takes her rest
as Autumn Season holds time

© 2003

In closing I will add, “Life is God’s gift to you, how you live it is your
gift to Him.”

Granny Tam

Fall Leaves




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