Monday, April 27, 2015

The Kolden Report: It's a family affair, part four.

     Hello, kids!

I forgot to mention our exit from Mexico!   We were carrying on in the car, like a bunch of teenagers, with me driving.  I was NOT paying attention and drove right up behind the car currently at the guard shack.  Apparently this is NOT CONDONED and for a bit I thought surely I was going to Mexican jail forever.  The female guard chastised me soundly and I apologized, pleading first timers excitement.  A cone was placed between us and the car ahead and I was quite sure we were going NOWHERE, until SHE was good and ready for us to.  This was a correct assumption.  Eventually we did get a turn and were let out of Mexico, much to my relief.  My parting words were, "See you tomorrow, if you are working.  I'll get it right THEN.  You'll see!" 

The next day:

Today was the day we would head north.  Cindy would take the motor home to Lake Havasu, followed by Penny and Mom in the rented, red Dodge charger.  Dad and I would return to Mexico for the last of his dental work and then high tail it North for a doctor appointment in Lake Havasu City.  We would stay with Jane.  Sounds simple right?  Wellllllll.  Not so much. 

It all started out fine.  And the girls made it to Havasu in record time with no problems other than the stench of sewer in the Motor home.  Dad and I didn't fare as well.  We got into Mexico easily enough and  parked only to find out his appointment was not at 8 but 9, which was okay as Mom and I  wanted pine needle baskets.  Dad and I found the booth, purchased the baskets and returned only to find that I had to move the car onto the street into a spot barely large enough for the car.  After a 96 point turn, I FINALLY managed to get the car into the space, wondering if I could shave a few points off of that to get back out? 

We settled into the waiting room at the dentist office.  Eventually the dentist arrived and work began.  It wasn't long and we were back on the road again, to find a woman, frantically trying to "cut" into the long line of traffic waiting to exit Mexico.  She ran up to several cars in front of us, beating on windows trying to convince someone to let her in line.  Soon, she did the same to us and Dad said, "DON'T LET HER IN!"  The old lady behind us laid on her horn, shaking her fist, insistent that we NOT let her in.  And so it was.  We ignored her and she finally left, only to return later with a driver in HER car.  She then hopped into the pickup in front of us.  The young man who was being ousted from the pickup,  retrieved his belongings, got into her car with the other driver and so it was.  She was now leaving Mexico in another vehicle.  Ahead of us. 

We inched toward the border station and I watched the woman in the pickup ahead of us conversing animatedly to the uniformed soldiers with guns, who then waved us aside and ordered us out of the car.  I got my purse, got out and went around to Dad's side.  A thorough search was performed of the car and Mom's bottle of diabetes medication was found in the glove box.  We were questioned about it and thankfully it had come from Mexico.  Next, I had to open my purse and describe the contents to the guard.  Eventually we were allowed back into line.  I'm still not sure what happened but I have my suspicions.  Perhaps the woman in the truck ahead was feeling out of sorts because we didn't let her in line and reported us as drug running gringo's?  Perhaps the handicap parking card was a red flag, since I was driving?  I'll never know, but it was a wake up call. 

And guess WHO was at the guard shack when I approached appropriately?  You got it.  I greeted her as if we were old friends and she said, "I thought I'd never see you again!"  My reply was, "Do you mean you HOPED you'd never see us again?"  She laughed and told us she was not to be working that day, and not outside in the booth in particular.  Crazy , huh?  Eventually she told us she was moving North to be with her fiance' who was at a border crossing in North Dakota.  Small world! 

Soon, Dad and I were on our way North, making it to Havasu with a whole 45 minutes to spare.  I love it when a plan comes together!

We arrive at Jane's to find her "guard dog", on duty.

Sweet sister Lillian came to visit.

The next day, Jane and Lillian again entertained the family during a wonderful breakfast before we "broke camp" and headed north.

Three amigos.  (It was touching to watch the love between old friends.)

Lillian and Jane cut up for the camera.

Miss Lillian.  (Yes, the "pistol" personality runs in the family.)

On the road:   Dad and I in the motor home, Penny and Mom in the red rented charger and Cindy in the folk's Prius.  At Hoover Dam, Dad and I cut off through the park, along the lake,  to avoid Las Vegas while the girls headed into Las Vegas to return the rental car.  We were to meet up in Ely, Nevada for the night.   Needing a rest break, Penny, took a "short cut" to the rest avoiding the exit completely.  She just did an "exit, stage right!"  Mom, not normally a calm traveler, just reached up and grabbed the panic handle as Penny drove off the interstate and into the ditch in a cloud of dust.  Cindy, in the Prius, wondered WHAT  they were doing just bailing off the road Dukes of Hazzard style,  but kept going to the "REAL" exit.  Penny, realizing the error of her ways as Cindy drove on by, did a u-turn in the weeds and found her way back onto the interstate.    Much to Penny's delight, Mom's comment to all of this commotion was, "If we'd have just kept going the way we were.....we'd be "sitting" by now." 

Park ranger panache.

Road less traveled. 

Red rocks ahead.

Color pop.

Goodnight, everybody.

Up next:  God's country.

"Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do." - Rumi


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Kolden Report: It's a family affair, part three.

                    Hello, kids!

After a fun filled day in Los Algodones, Mexico...we made a run for the border.

New construction?  (Love the colors and textures of this one.)

Sellers paraded past the line of cars waiting their turn at the border station.  This elderly man was so full of character.

I found it sweet that he was selling hand made flowers.

All sorts of food items were available for purchase.

Even Freshly peeled cactus!

I was intrigued by the pottery.

I love the finish on the Mayan calendar.

Many beggars were also on the street.  This fella had quite the cart that he pedaled along by hand. 

I wondered who engineered this mode of transportation for him?  Quite clever (and colorful)...and gave him a level of independence he could not have had without it. 

Up next:  Havasu Sisters.

"Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step in purifying the mind." - Amit Ray


The Kolden Report: It's a family affair, part two.

 Hello, kids!

Back in Las Vegas....

Sin City Sunrise.  

Leaving Las Vegas.  ( I found the stark contrast between departing jet over the city and the serene silhouette of the hills in the background, interesting.)

Past meets present.  (Sister Penny and I took the GPS route that was shortest and drove some rather rural roads, on our way to Winterhaven.  It was scenic!)

Peaceful Penny.

Still going after all these years!  (Our parents, Dewey and JoAnn)

Colors of Los Algodones.  (We gathered here for breakfast before shopping and had the place to ourselves!)

Toilet for tips.  (Because we hold you in HIGH esteem.  Love it!)

Sister shopping.  The vendors came to us as we were the only game in town.  Oddly, they are not allowed to place their wares on the table.  

Vendor space.  Must be running late today!

Family conference.  They are some SERIOUS shoppers.


Vendor parking.

Tiny treasure.  (She eats her cookie contentedly, while the family tends to the booth in the marketplace.)

Up next:  Leaving Los Algodones.

"Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all of your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." - Golda Meir


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Kolden Report: It's a family affair, part one.

Hello, kids!

Some of you may remember that last year I went on a sister's trip south, so that we might travel back North with our parents who were returning for the summer.  It was so much fun, we decided to do it again this year.

Sister Cindy had flown to Winterhaven previously and  my plan was to meet sister Penny, in Las Vegas and drive to Winterhaven.  I caught the early flight to Billings and hailed a cab downtown.  As it turns out, Friday the 13th is a VERY lucky day for me. 

This is Cabbie Keith.  He's kind, polite and drives well. 

Meet Ossie,  a true gem.  I'm stunned and pleased to report that I now am the proud owner of this lovely string of Vietnamese pearls you see about her neck.  Her generosity brought tears of joy!  Thank you, Ossie...for your kindness.  I look forward to seeing you again soon.

The day ended just as smoothly as it started with a shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel in Vegas.

Flowers are quite lovely at night.  These surrounded the rooftop pool.

Branch bliss.

Peach passion.


Jolly holly.

The hunt for ice.  (Sister Penny and I traveled the hotel in search of ice, only to discover the machine was right across the hall from our room!)

Sculptural steel.  (This is life size.  I love it!)

 Hawaii, or Vegas?  (Nori wrapped spam and rice was on every convenience store counter when I lived in Hawaii.)

Up next:  Leaving Las Vegas.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama


Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Kolden Report: How much can the heart hold?

Hello, kids!

Today, I wish you a heart filled with gratitude and joy and that peace and love follow you all the days of your life.  Happy Easter!

Easter "bunny".






Fly by.

I have always wanted to stop at this church.  FINALLY! 

Roof line.

And I wondered....

Remnants of many lives.

Artistry.  (I imagined Walking Day Woman delighting in this tribute to her life.)

Looks amazing, if it was created in 1935!

Ruby was much loved.

Creativity abounds.

Thank you for your service, Sir. 

In the arms of the Angel.

Resting place.

The power of two.

Lone soldier.

"X", marks the spot.

Morning glory.


"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" - Psalm 133:1