Trigger warning- This is a lifestyle post written during a pandemic. There will be some subject matter brought up throughout this post to what it is like during this time in our state of Arizona. This is not meant to frighten, offend or upset others…it is just me writing what I am experiencing during this time in our history. Sometimes I will even state some of my opinion on what is happening. This is my way of getting this off my chest, of getting the anger I feel out. As a mother this is normal. To be angry because the world we have put our babies into is turning ugly and cruel causes a lot of us momma bears to be mad. If this post may trigger or upset some of you being that we are overloaded with the negative right now, then skip this post. Just needed a mental health rant I guess. I try to make my message throughout my posts about loving one another, being kind to all human beings and living each day as a gift from God, but occasionally I will post real world experiences of ours here at Our Little Red House. For those of you skipping this I will have some fun posts coming up. Some DIY and room make overs I am working on plus one of my monthly garden updates next week. Have a beautiful weekend where ever you may be in the world.
Road trip to Our Little Red House Thursday May 21, 2020
“ I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.”
Let’s see, how long has it been since we have been to Our Little Red House. Since before Christmas, that’s how long. Remember when we all went up to surprise our neighbors with gifts and baskets of sweet treats?, Then that horrible Red Monster showed up, like who invited him?.
The last time we were up there, there was ice and snow on the ground.
Walking around listening to the crunchy noises the snow and ice made as I stepped on it was really peaceful. Remember that owl I heard off in the distance, how I kept walking around in the woods, looking way up in the trees for it but I couldn’t find it? Well it doesn’t look like that now.
Now everything is green and there are pretty leaves everywhere.
The day we went up north to check on Our Little Red House was also the first weekend our state was officially open after being locked down for two months. I did not know this since here in Arizona we were allowed to go to our vacation homes up north anytime we wanted. In Arizona there wasn’t that much of a lock down. A lot of people in the city have second homes or land lots to escape to from the hot summer months here.
Years back my husband had some land that his family owned, and they used to haul a tiny trailer to it during the summer months, camping out with Ponderosa pine around them, smelling clean fresh air and the fragrance of pine every day. He has great memories of him and his dad up north.
Land can run as low as 10,000 an acre or less and back in the 80’s it was even cheaper for raw land. Sadly, since the Red monster came into our world land and property values up north have become in high demand so I do not know the prices now. You don’t have to be rich to have a second piece of property here in our state. As long as you save, and are frugal with your money, you can invest in a second property without breaking the bank. It may take years of eating a lot of beans and rice, buying used clothes and saving lots of pennies, but dreams can be accomplished. Some just take a little longer with a little extra work.
There are lots of people who live in the city who have done this, investing in a little property. There are also tons of places to camp as well. Most of the people who head up north during the summer may not have property to go to but there are always plenty of camping spots or a friends place they can sleep.
Here in Arizona, as long as we stayed in our homes, where ever they were, it was okay to travel within our state during our two month lock down. But my family and I didn’t go up to the country, we decided to be extra careful and instead stayed in the city and waited things out. Then one day after more then 60 days of being locked in we all decided to head up north for a daytime road trip.
When we got into the little town on the way in I noticed all the vehicles driving in, it was starting to get very crowded and fast. We almost decided to head back to the city when I figured out which weekend it was. As a family we are still following the rules I set in place since December, little tips here and there that I have heard about, that my gut tells me is the right direction to head in when protecting my family and I against the Red Monster.
May seem over the top for some, but so far we are all okay and I thank God for that everyday. I pray that me and my family, friends, neighbors and even all you blogging friends are safe. I am constantly praying that we all stay safe and healthy during this time in our history.
Anyway, here we were up in that small town and the traffic was getting bad. It was very concerning to me to see the crowds coming. Yeah, we are opening things up again here in our state, but we all still needed to be careful when it came to catching the Red Monster.
Some people here in our state are still in serious denial. Again, no blame, with all the different suggestions coming out on how to handle this bug and that information always changing, why would some of the people out there believe anything they hear. Or why would they listen to the different daily advice they are always getting. People are getting fed up with how this pandemic was turned into a political tool and they are just ignoring how dangerous it is because of that I believe. They have even turned the medications being used as a political tool against this bug. This makes it hard for us regular people to trust anything we hear anymore. Just seems that way to me, but as always, I’m sticking with what my gut tells me and being extra careful with this one. So seeing all these vehicles heading to the lakes and woods had me very worried and concerned, I hope everyone coming up was going to practice some of what we have leaned so far about keeping healthy.
“Wait! Is this the holiday weekend and the first weekend our state is opening up?” I remember turning to my husband very worried when I watched more traffic crowding the streets.
I had been locked up for so many days that I had my days all mixed up, I didn’t even know what weekend it was. We were trying to avoid crowds after all.This isn’t only because of the Red Monster either. It gets so bad traveling up north during the hot summer months. Holidays are especially harsh, you can get stuck in traffic lines for hours.
A couple times we got stuck in those lines, waiting 5 hours with temps way over 100 degrees. It was horrible. Thank God we had extra water with us. Our vehicle has air conditioning but it doesn’t run well when the vehicle isn’t moving for too long. Stuck in the middle of a desert for hours and hours can heat up your vehicle fast.
Now here we were in another potential situation like that but this time we had a pandemic that was thrown into the mix. My family and I watched as line after line of vehicles hauling trailers were all headed to the lakes and creeks to get out in the great out doors after two months of lock downs. Who’s to blame them. After being locked up for so long everyone just wanted to get out and breath some fresh air, sleeping under giant trees I guess.
“Oh my gosh, I have never seen so many people here before.” I said to my husband while we waited at an intersection for the red light to change. We watched the traffic get more and more intense.
We decided to continue on anyway, spend that night at Our Little Red House and leave first light early in the morning to avoid the crowds that we knew would be even greater the next day which was a Friday. But first we had to stop off at the grocery store for food supplies since we were headed up away from everything in the middle of nowhere, it is always smart to have extra supplies with you. I had a sandwich lunch packed for the family and there is at least a weeks worth of dried food in Our Little Red House but I like to be extra prepared. We were going to need dinner, breakfast and a lunch for the next day.
This was the first time back inside shopping in a store after only doing home deliveries for two months. It was like the Twilight Zone in there. Arrows, the intercom playing instructions on social distancing and people with different styles and colors of masks. There were no more smiles, only smiling eyes.
Not everyone was wearing masks though, but my family and I all did, in fact we also protected our eyes too. The media and “Experts” don’t stress this enough, but our eyes are very vulnerable because not everyone wears masks.
It was a strange experience shopping during a pandemic. Then out of the corner of my eye I caught three young men walk in. One had tattoos all up and down his arms, long hair and a long beard, the other two were clean cut with short hair, t’shirt’s and jeans.
No judgement on my part with the long hair and tattoos. Remember I grew up around bikers. I was taught to always watch and study each situation I walk into. This is how it is when you are raised in a bad area and around potentially bad people. We are taught at a young age to use that peripheral vision a lot when out in the world, or as I always liked to call it…when out in the big room. Because we all are all basically just living in one room after another.
These three young men separated through the store and then would meet up in different sections of the store, all while watching the people around them. They took no shopping carts. I wonder if these were the strangers showing up in crowds, camping out way deep in the woods that the locals online were complaining about. There was something very odd with the way they were shopping, looking around at others mostly and not the products.
I was hearing rumors about the stores up there in those small towns over crowding, and more thefts happening, but I wanted to get a feel for the environment myself. Lots of rumors and gossip out there in this new world since the Red Monster showed up. And here I was witnessing a new type of stranger that I had not noticed before in all the years we had been going up north…these weren’t rumors. I got my meals and got out of there, the longer we linger in stores now, the more chance of exposure. Gone are the days of leisurely shopping.
The farther we got our of town the the quieter it got on the roads.
I didn’t see lots of campers out in the woods, maybe the reports were just rumors and gossip but those three men did make my skin crawl a bit, something odd was about. I fear for our forest and the ones who protect them.
The reports on the social media sites were writing about how our woods were filling up with lots of strangers from other states. They were driving up in cars with out of state license plates. No conspiracy theories here, they were writing down plates and even getting licence information from these groups that consisted mostly of three men at a time in small groups.
Think about that one. If you are two, then when one decides to bail, that splits up a group but with three there is always the chance of the odd man keeping the group together, either through fear or what ever.
People in town were experiencing late night knocks on their doors as well as the early morning hours. Grandma opening her door in her nightgown all alone except for the huge shotgun she had in her hands when she opened her door to a young woman crying about her boyfriend and friend hurting her. Then that same frightened young woman running off, back to her friends , the same ones where moments before she was terrified of…maybe it was the rifle that scared her away, maybe that terrified her even more then her story of her friends turning on her. Again, another group of three, this time two females and a male…strange.
These stories coming out, could be just that, just stories. Here in Arizona, which is number two with the most unsolved missing people in our country, think Alaska is number one the last I checked, well people in those small towns in the middle of no where are always armed. They use their weapons for hunting for food and protection in case they come across a bear or mountain lion up there.
Another story reported locally from those small newspapers and town websites was that a horse was shot. It belonged to a little girl for her 4-H program. Most bad people who own guns do so under the table, without registering them. You will never know what they own. They use them for illegal activities in the cover of darkness. It leaves the ones who follow the laws to become the most vulnerable.
Then there were the campsites in the areas that were being destroyed.The outhouses were being trashed and filled with all kinds of garbage.
You know all the garbage we are suppose to carry out with us when we go hiking in the woods?, well someone, all of a sudden was filling up the outhouses so bad that they could no longer be pumped because they would break the machines. They were ruined.
Also trees were being shot at and people were going to the bathroom everywhere without any regards to health issues that may cause.
Of course our national and even local new stations on television here all have their own agendas with how they report the news so none of this what I am writing about right now has been getting reported.
I have witnessed some Olympic scaled manipulative tactics from lots of so called journalist out there right now. Even local journalists that I have watched for years while having breakfast early in the morning are following the same pattern of reporting like everyone else in the media.
All of this hate they have been generating in the media over the years has finally come back and hurt us all. These games the media is playing right now are so dangerous in the big picture of things. I am thankful there are still a few good journalists out there who actually know what they are doing and report as such, but sadly, these are the amateurs on social media that just record things as they happen. More people are trusting and turning to them over the real reporters.
Driving up in the woods, lets just say we kept alert at all times. These are strange times we are living in.
The tension is so high out there, we all need to be extra careful and be aware of that and that is why I am sharing this whole experience with you all right now. Some day when I look back on this time in history I don’t want my children to say I was one of those people who turned my back on things and shut the door to what was happening right outside my window everyday.
“ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Not everyone is bad, not everything is bad, but there are bad things happening right now. Please, just keep your head high and your eyes always opened. I am seeing many mistakes all around me and it hurts my heart to watch this all play out as I know it hurts your hearts too.
When we got to Our Little Red House we had to clean up. There was dust everywhere.
Lots of dusting, vacuuming, and unpacking bedding, and making beds up for the night.
We were already tired from getting up at 4 am to feed chickens, quail, and tend to the garden back in the city. To packing extra supplies to store up north, a three hour long drive, shopping during a pandemic, then coming into a dirty house that had been closed up for months…let’s just say it can be exhausting these little road trips.
But we got it done and everything was clean and ready for a good nights rest.
Our neighbor next door who watches our place and keeps an eye on things was as happy to see us as we were to see him. Anymore we don’t know who will make it and who won’t. At least this is how it is starting to feel.
Our neighbor said he lost 4 friends in 5 months, or was it 5 friends in 4 months…there’s that dyslexic thing again. Either way, that’s bad. He said it wasn’t Corona though. Which got me thinking. Maybe our state just reports Corona cases in a different way. Each state seems to run it’s own way, maybe some states over report everything as Corona where some states under report cases and look for preexisting conditions to blame it on instead…something does not match up. That is a lot of friends to loose in such a short time and all during a pandemic…hmm?
“Watch the woods, there are out of state cars and strangers camping way out in them, not sure why they are here, and such a huge group of them too.” our neighbor would tell my husband. At least this was how it was explained to me later from my husband, maybe not word for word but a tip all the same.
Then there are the locals in the area, driving those back roads through the woods, checking for illegal campfires and policing things themselves when the law enforcement is busy. Like a giant neighborhood watch of sorts. Everyone is coming together checking up and looking out for one another.
We finally got the house all cleaned up and ready for a good nights rest but before it got dark we went out exploring some. My son decided to stay in and get some rest, he was just too tired to go exploring.
Stopped off at the Rock House that always reminds me of my Swedish Uncle. Nothing has changed here, still the peaceful place I remember from all the years I have been coming up to visit it, since my teens. I will definitely be adding a coloring page in my book of this beautiful old building. The local children in town will come down during the holidays and leave wreaths and Christmas decorations on it. The rancher that owns this old home will even leave some of his horses around to keep it company at times.
Said hello to some friendly horses. Feels good to touch life again. With the Pandemic there is not a lot of touching going on. The horses seemed to love it too.
Saw lots of pretty wild flowers out.
God is still leaving these little gifts for us to enjoy. Something our hearts need more then ever right now.
And then we stopped off to do some social distancing with our neighbors down the street. There is more to come, I will end this part here. Visiting Our Little Red House is like going back in time. It always reminds me of my favorite show as a little girl, Little house on the prairie. Lots of old buildings and history around.
To be continued…
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