'If you really must know why you're here, it's because you told one-too-many lies about the size of those fish you caught.'

The Neil Blog continues.   Another day:   It continues.     I am still working to get my life in order.   The house, three weeks out.   Power, any day now.    Progress is steady.    If I knew how hard they make it in Arizona, I probably would have gone somewhere else.    Little Colorado Sanitation has to be the worst organization I have ever encountered.  Additions:   Space heaters, lights and a desk.    Future additions:   Tables.     All getting there.    I buy used and cheap.    It works.    Now, this is where I live and what I do.    Winter coming, less people around my area which is fine with me.    I own outright.    I’d have more money if I got a cheaper vehicle but I’m satisfied with my choices.   Also eventual:  TV, internet.   There is no hurry.   Summer is over.   Now, how cold will it get and when??

Crescent Lake still deserted..    You can almost walk across it.   The Greer lakes, going up slowly.   Very slowly.    Need 200 inches of snow or two months of heavy rain.   Can’t water be diverted from the Colorado River??    I think part of that problem is “going up” in elevation.    Something needs to be done.   

Abondonment:  I survived.    My father would say “You should have known better.”   He was always right.

Patience.    Waiting.   I have done enough of it.   Now, it is time to get things done, once and for all.    In four weeks, life goes back to normal.    Six months, things should be really good.   A year, even better.  

The proposed return to Florida:   There is excitement.   How much?   I want it to be more.   If I am going to make that drive, I want it to be worth it.   It’s close.   I do miss making money.    That will be a positive in my life.   

Big Lake, still pretty good.   It will be snowed in when winter starts.    The snow that has fallen lasted in the shade for a while but melted off fast in the sun.   A good forecast for a solid week.   No precipitation and decent warmth.

Tunnel in Greer, mostly dead, one guy got a 16 inch rainbow.    Birds.   We called them coots when I was a kid.   They’re around.   Mostly at Becker.  

Colin Powell one of my favorites. He lived the same number of years as Dad. Another one gone. I never met him.  Part of life:  He, like my father, had his time.

University of Arizona football.   Dreadful.    It used to be a solid program.     They are without a win.    Losing to NAU?     Worse than dreadful.

Also from my past:   Litchfield Park.    I went there twice.    Did the tour.   Driving around I see S and S Tire.   I pulled in.    Danny Slagle isn’t at this location.   I leave my card and tell them to give it to him.   An hour later, I get a message from him.   “Call me.”   I haven’t connected with him yet but I will.   The previous time, parked at Litchfield Lake, a guy out jogging goes by.   I said something and he stopped.    Old teammate Mike Hirth.   His sister was in my class.    We talked quite a while.   He was aware of my doings in life.    There are all of those I haven’t seen yet.    It will come.  

Oddities in Arizona:   Potatoes with Mexican food?    Never heard that one.    Not that it’s bad, I just didn’t have that compute with me.  

I think sometimes:   I should have hiked that.    All my years here, the time I had, I should have done more but you look back:   I went fishing.    Four months now and I have not made a cast.   None   

Arizona lacks in other ways.   Rest areas.     The one halfway Phoenix to Tucson works for me.    Other areas “closed” or not at all.

On the road.    The McDonalds in Payson.   I haven’t stopped there.    Dad used to get us dinner there on the drive back to Litchfield after fishing.   I become more like Dad all the time.    He would sleep a couple of house, wake up and 100% alert.    That was me at midnight the other night.  Drove to town.   The problem:  Nothing is open.

Back in Florida:   Bill Jackson’s got hit hard by the virus after I left.   Two deaths.   A lot of the staff out.   

My mother.   Still plugging along.   She is not pleased with my move to Arizona.    Strange to me her worry.   And, she hates it that I have a mountain man beard.   Just hates it.   

Me, four months:   Three nights in hotels.    That’s it.    Power comes on, there won’t be a hotel anytime in my future.    I have made it work.   Money, not great but I am surviving.   If I go to Florida, money should go up.   

For me, a full tank of gas is the way I live life.    Bored, I drove south.   Got to Scottsdale, turned around and drove the 3 and a half hours back.    Driving at night:   Using the brights makes it less likely to hit an animal.  

My time in Greer, trips to town the buckets go along.  I have a source of rock.   I bring the rock back and repair the road that goes up the hill.   Four buckets of rock at a time in another week, the lower road is done.    The upper road also needs some attention.

Neil’s Point, vacant most of my trips to Big Lake, finally had three people there.    With the binoculars, I watched them catch fish.

Completion of the house:  Sink, shower, toilet.   It’s coming.   Laundry will continue at the laundromat to start.   I’ll talk to the plumbing guy about my options after things move along.

In driving around, I still think about my father.    When he drove these same roads, what was he thinking?     He caught fish here.   Better than people are now.   Mountains that are billions of years old, unchanged since I lived here 28 years ago.  

Lily and her boyfriend will be among the next visitors to my place.    Stoney’s “daughter”, they like the outdoors and they will be helpful in me getting some things done up there.    That should be in the next two weeks.    Stoney’s sister, also interested in coming up.    She is looking for stoves and La Z Boy chairs for me.  

Going to have the fire department come up and do a supervised burn.    Want to get rid of this one pile of old rotten wood.    No rain, fire danger increasing, I’d like to have them handle it for me.

The trip to Phoenix, a bad driver.   My deductible $500.   Cost me money that someone else is a jerk.   So it life.   202 is a road I’ve been using.   I’m confused by it partially.   New roads:   Also somewhat confusing.   Some of it is good progress, some of it is change I would rather not see.  

My blood pressure is good.    Elevated for like six years, it’s finally under control.    I have to get some other things set up with my medical stuff.

The people fishing.   Float tubes?   I like my way better.   Not that it matters.     I’d rather paddle a kayak than do the work I see these people doing.     I haven’t sat in a kayak in the state of Arizona.

Things continue to move along.    I have done the work.    It is arriving to completion.   I will enjoy it when I have that ultimate success.   Just days away:   Pleased that all the battles are done.     Life will start anew.   Then, it’s small steps.  A larger house later.   I will have everything I need for now.    It works.    I’ll move towards better and better over time.  

Florida:   If it is icy and snowy, trying to get up and down my hill may not be the best thing.    But, if I stay, I’ll just supply up right and not go anywhere at all.    The space heaters, tested.    I should be able to keep that place really warm.    If I stay, internet and TV will be set up sooner.    The oven:   Sooner.   If I go to Florida there are things that can wait.    Time will tell.  

I’ll make progress toward connecting with people I haven’t seen yet.    I’ll have my place better for visitors. Now:   It’s not there yet.   In ten days, things change.    In four weeks, things REALLY change.    Part of life:   I’m getting there.  

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