A Giving Tuesday Black Friday Photoblog

IMG_3924I find myself, once again, apologizing for light bloggage. Oh, excuses aplenty: mainly that the kids were here for Thanksgiving, but I can come up with more if pressed.

Oh, man, “days” sure bunch up after Thanksgiving: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday (which the travel industry wants to label “Travel Deal Tuesday”). It’s an outright assault!

So why the Black Friday in this post’s title? I did most of my Christmas shopping on Black Friday is why, using an iPad in the comfort of an easy chair (so should you, if you’re agoraphobic like me). When we shop online, our purchases sometimes come as early as the next day. Imagine my surprise, though, when the UPS truck pulled up in front of our house two hours after I clicked the “buy now” button!

Turns out Amazon isn’t that fast … at least not yet. Donna ran out to talk to the driver, a friend of hers through mutual interests: they both have home embroidery businesses and often talk shop when he’s in the neighborhood. Actually, the first of the gifts I ordered came the next day, and two more have arrived since.

So the kids were here: our daughter Polly of course, joined by our son Gregory, who drove down from Las Vegas with our daughter in law Beth and our grandson Quentin. Granddaughter Taylor, who just moved to Phoenix with her boyfriend Jordan, was supposed to come for Thanksgiving dinner, but they both had to work that day and didn’t get off until late in the afternoon. They offered to drive down anyway, but we didn’t want to put any pressure on them, especially with the heavy holiday traffic on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson, so Taylor, sadly, wasn’t here. But still, we had a crowd: our own family, joined by our friend Mary Anne, her son Andrew, his fiancee Chris, and two of his children, Andrew and Jade:

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Our Black Friday also featured a family photo session, with everyone squinting into the bright sun in our front yard:

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Quentin, as you can see, towers over everyone. My shrinkage has become undeniable; I once stood 6’4″, Quentin’s current height, an inch taller than my 6’3″ son Gregory. I’m now visibly shorter than Gregory and positively diminutive next to Quentin (as long as we’re counting feet and inches, Polly is 5’9″, Beth 5’11”, and Donna is or was (she may be shrinking too) 5’2″.

Gregory and I drug Quentin to the local Hooters for a photo op on Black Friday, an annual tradition we started when he was three or four. He’s old enough now to be less embarrassed and more interested in the girls and their tight t-shirts, but who’s the horn dog with his arm around one of them?

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Of the five post-Thanksgiving days, only one has not been given a catchy consumerist-propaganda tag, but for a blessed few of us it was #MotorcycleSunday. My friends and I … Molly, Dave, and Patrick … met at a truck stop south of town, rode back roads through cattle country to Arivaca, stopped for lunch in Green Valley, and returned to Tucson late in the afternoon. Here we are posing in front of the old Longhorn Saloon in Amado, because how could we pass up a landmark like that?

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By the way, Arivaca is very close to the Arizona-Mexico border, right in the middle of a major human- and drug-smuggling corridor. There’s a Border Patrol checkpoint on the road between Amado and Arivaca, and agents in trucks and on all-terrain vehicles just about everywhere you look. For what it’s worth, we didn’t see any military personnel, even though many are still deployed along the border.

The air museum wants us to cut our tram tours from one hour to 45 minutes. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but now that I’ve done a few of the shortened tours find myself liking them. Most museum visitors seem to like them too … as hard as it is for me to understand, other people are not as interested in flying as I am! Speaking of the air museum, here’s a spy shot of our most recent acquisition, a Boeing 747 that was once an engine testbed for General Electric, hiding back in restoration:

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Well, here’s to you and your Christmas shopping, and may yours be over soon if not done already. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends. If you traveled, I hope you’re now home safe and sound, and not trapped in the blizzard. If you are trapped in the blizzard, I hope you get home soon, and remember, no matter how bad it is, things could always be worse!

© 2018, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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