More Travels with Mom

Hubby and I took Mom north of Phoenix.

We headed up to Cottonwood past hills “stubbled” with saguaro cacti.

We spent the night at the Pines Motel. I was entranced by the note pad next to the phone: it was computer paper cut up and stapled together. They pride themselves on being green. We had a great dinner at Nic’s.  Hubby and I have been there before, and they actually manage not to cross-contaminate his food with gluten. It helps that he orders simply–the crab legs, baked potato, and salad  with his own salad dressing (we carry packets of gluten free salad dressing with us). In the evening we played Bananagrams, a game that is fast becoming a family favorite.

Next day we drove up the mountain to Jerome, an old mining town. Inside a gift shop we discovered a museum of Jerome’s history. We got in for the senior bargain rate of $1 each. When we traveled in Canada and the NW US last summer, we were frequently shut out of senior discounts because they seemed to raise the bar for the senior price when we got to each destination ;). This time hubby preempted that trouble. He told the lady he was buying tickets for 3 old people so she lectured him while she took his $3, not realizing it was all part of his plan.

Inside I learned a lot about the history of mining. If you were reading my poems during the Tupelo Press 30/30 you might have read a poem I wrote about mining in Globe, Arizona. I wrote it in honor of a lady whose father was one of the early Jerome miners. Like her father, many of those early miners were Mexican.

The most fascinating part of the museum was learning about medical care provided to the miners. I began to picture what it would have been like to be stuck underground in one of those early mines and to get hurt or sick.  Take a look at the pre-printed chart below. There weren’t women miners, so the gynecological section must have been for family members or the very many prostitutes living and working in Jerome.

This is where copper comes from:


Later we stopped at the winery for the tasting bar. (You knew that was coming, right?) We didn’t want to taste too much because of the high altitude and Mom’s heart condition, so hubby told the wine-pourer (I’m sure there is an official title; I just don’t know what it is) he wanted to buy a bottle and she let us (OK, that means mainly me) taste a few for free. I settled on the, of course, chardonnay. I will say, though, that Jerome wine is not my cuppa. I asked the wine-pourer where the vineyards are. I couldn’t imagine them so far up the mountain, but what do I know about vineyards (although obviously at least one branch of my ancestors knew a lot). She looked a little sheepish when she answered that they are outside Tucson. Hahaha. That’s a long way from Jerome! Now I feel bad that I gave a certain friend a bottle of Jerome wine.

The building that overlooks all of Jerome and is arguably the main tourist draw is the Jerome Grand Hotel. I had read that it was the original hotel in Jerome, operating when the miners needed care. You can get the best view of the building from their own website.

It wasn’t until I got there that I saw ASYLUM signs there. Note the old fashioned elevator door. I want you to know that Ms. Claustrophobia here (that’s moi) went up on the first ride all by her lonesome. I was so proud of myself. In the following view, I am riding with Mom who is examining the panel or the Otis Elevator inspection certificate.

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Before we left town, hubby bought Mom a gorgeous scarf. When it’s open it displays so many colors and looks beautiful with her coloring. Blue, green, orange, pink, purple, gold.

After Jerome we all agreed to drive up to beautiful Sedona for dunch (or is it linner?). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single restaurant we could trust for gluten-free dining that was open so early (about 4PM).  Luckily, we had cheese, turkey slices, crackers, and apples so Mom could eat something. We had to drive all the way back to the Phoenix area and stopped at the first P.F. Chang’s we could find.

The scarf purchase inadvertently led us to our next big adventure. That was the day I gave Mom training how to wear scarves! We had fun, and I even figured out a new way of tying for myself.

Now ask me if I’m writing? hahahahahahahaha


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Arizona, Food & Drink, gluten free, gluten free travel, History, Inspiration, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

59 responses to “More Travels with Mom

  1. It sounds like a wonderful trip–and lots of fodder for future writing. 🙂
    I love trips that combine history, art–and of course, wine, too. I’m glad you cleared up the mystery of where the grapes were grown.
    The scarf is beautiful! I could also use scarf-tying tips.

    • Hah, Merril, your comment falls into my own philosophical camp quite nicely: that everything is fodder so embrace it all! I used to have a small accessory store when I was young and we sold a lot of scarves. But in those days the scarves were not the same shape they are today. Today’s are so much easier, especially if you just loop the dang thing around once.

  2. Another fine trip 🙂
    I don’t know what it was like out there, but on the east coast, coal mining towns were pretty much self-inclusive like military bases. My mother’s father was from a small mining town called Bonnie Blue, Virginia. (the name I gave my car) Bonnie Blue was only a town because of the mine. The mine had medical facilities, shops, shoe repair, restaurants, bars, a grocer — everything. That way, the mine paid the workers and got back most of its own money, but while it was there, the people had stable work and income.

    • I wish I’d thought of that. You’re right, of course! Once they were up on that mountain and working those long hours, it wasn’t easy to go elsewhere. That said, Cottonwood is not too far away. And eventually the smelting was moved down mountain. One of the miners who died was very young and the paperwork said his mother lived in Phoenix.
      Love the Bonnie Blue name for your car! Mining is my idea of the worst job ever. I have SO much respect for those men.

  3. The writing can wait. Spending time with your mother is more important. It looks like you’re having a great time!

  4. Wonderful trip. I love that you are enjoying time with your mother and I’m so envious.

  5. Luanne, I adore this post for a host of reasons not least that togetherness that oozes from it; copper mining that’s such a part of my place; and that scarf!

  6. Thanks for sharing these exciting experiences and visuals. I’ve read about Jerome before….can’t remember exactly when. Such a fascinating place.

  7. Enjoy your time with your Mom, Luanne. Loved hearing about your travels. That scarf is lovely.

  8. Enjoyed more of your travels with Mom, Luanne, and it was fun hearing all about Jerome past and present. I love those old mining towns. You are very fortunate to still have your Mom. Sounds as though you’re making the most of your time with her.

    • Elaine, I am so lucky to have Mom and to have her visiting here is such a blessing. It’ll be hard to let her go back home! And now my aunt and uncle have arrived, too! xo

  9. Not much time for writing, but what a great trip!

  10. Sounds like a great day. But I’m with you–not a fan of those tiny, old elevators.

  11. Awesome post. My most memorable and favorite trips have been with my daughter.Short and long.

  12. Merril’s got it right: you’ve got plenty of fodder for writing later. Enjoy your time with your mom and your hubby now 🙂

    • Marie, she might be right! Isn’t everything fodder! I’ve meant to tell you. That piece I wrote the first draft of in our class about my dad, Mac, and the hummingbirds is in the new issue of Phoebe. I’m so happy how it turned out! It’s new title is “Ordering in Four Movements.” Movements like in a symphony.

  13. Fascinating trip Luanne and I’m sure all these experiences will be seeping in to your creative brain ready to inspire you later 🙂

  14. What a gorgeous scarf! And I’m thinking a series of poems (if not a whole chapbook) may come out of these trips with your mother…eventually. 🙂

    • Jennifer, I love that scarf, too. If hubby hadn’t bought it for her (she was looking at it), I might have gotten it for myself hah. Ah, another poem series! That would be wonderful. And you are so right about eventually. There is no rushing this stuff and you never know when it’s going to “come out” in something you write. I’m sure you know that!

  15. Nice recap of your travels, Luanne. Thanks for sharing the joys of family and these special times with us! I love the scarf. As for the elevator, congrats! And from a sister chardonnay lover, cheers!

    • Thank you so much, Carla. I think the chardonnay is doing me in–acid reflux? Maybe I’ll switch to milk. Nope, I have lactose intolerance. I’ll switch to sake!

  16. I think the art of living is so important, Luanne. Writing will come along and be inspired by something seen or experienced. The hubby is a “keeper,” Luanne. The scarf he bought your mother is lovely and colorful. 🙂 I enjoyed this trip with the 3 of you so much! ♡

    • Robin, he better be a keeper after all these years. 41 haha. I can hardly believe it when I think of all the times i wanted to kill him ;). We’ve been doing more travels, too, and now I’m sick because I got too overtired. I hope all is well with you. I hope to be back to reading blogs soon!

  17. OMG, Luanne, when are you going to give your poor mother a day off?? 🙂 The trip sounds really fun – Jerome was one of the places we wanted to visit when we were there but didn’t have time so thanks for the info. Sedona was the place we drove to wearing summer clothes and sandals and while we were sitting at a Mexican restaurant having lunch, we looked out and it was snowing. Needless to say, we made a fast exit!
    So glad you and your mom are having fun together!!
    Have a great weekend!!

  18. What a lovely trip, Luanne and that scarf is beautiful!

    PS – what is Bananagrams?

    • Thanks, Dianne! Bananagrams is a little banana shaped fabric sack filled with letter tiles very similar to Scrabble tiles. You play it sort of like Scrabble except instead of working off words other build you build your own grid of words in front of you. First person out of tiles and all the words are correct wins.

  19. What a wonderful time you’re having with your dear mom Luanne…and her scarf is beautiful! I need scarf lessons, can I come over, pretty please? 🙂 xoxo

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