Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We have been here for over a month and this feels familiar, almost comfortable, like a home. The past few weeks we have been working through illness, establishing our new schedules, visiting with friends and travelling out from Chandler.

I went to a Diamonbacks game atChase Field, then backpacking and fishing in Idaho. Mom flew to Santa Fe to work on her wedding duties as matron of honor for her friend's wedding. Savannah, Shane and Sophia have all started in school. We went north of Payson with our friends to their cabin. The majority of the time here has been at home. Once we defeated the illnesses we succumbed to we have had few hours to extend our Arizona explorations. We have calculated about three weekends where we may all have time together as a family. It feels wierd, we have tried to escape the feelings of running circles around ourselves and now we have found ourselves once again trying to catch up with each other. The brief time we have to be together as a family has proved preciously scarce with no respect to where we live.

Traci and I have had some Wednesdays together to visit museums and sight see in Phoenix. This Wednesday we visited the Heard Native American museum. The exhibits showcased the cultures, craftmanship and lifestyles of the tribes of North America. The museum has an impressive collection and interpretation of tools, clothing, art work and history of the people who originally inhabited and settled this continent. The time with Traci has been incredible. We have had so little time to share alone.

One exhibit described the indian boarding school program designed to educate natives and prepare them for modern life. The kids were rounded up, shipped off to schools, forced to speak English and forsake any of their cultural practices and attempts were made to change their appearance to make them more suitable for American life. Children were forced from their homes, their families, and their lifestyle with immediately imposed changes in diet, religion, language and culture. Many children died. More children were humiliated. Tuberculosis spread in the schools. The boys and girls' hair was cut. They were scrubbed with lye soap and doused with kerosene. Another reminder of poor choices attributable to our history.

We'll try to pick up the pace again and share some of the amazing and unique sights Arizona offers. We may just settle in, watch t.v. or play cards.