Thursday, December 01, 2016

A Somber Visit

Wednesday we visited the Holocaust Museum in El Paso, Texas. It was very thought provoking. But first, why is there a there a Holocaust museum in El Paso? After World War II, El Paso became home to nearly 100 Holocaust survivors, including Henry Kellen.  He established the museum.

The museum looks at pre-war Jewish life, the rise of Nazism, the escalation of terror and "The Final Solution" and resistance and rescue.  I gained new insight into the extent of restrictions faced by Jews in Germany, and details of mass killings--I knew about the gas chambers but wasn't aware of the trenches where Jews were shot. I knew a little about resistance to the Nazis in some countries but wasn't aware of the uprisings in Polish ghettos and some of the concentration camps.

These are propaganda headlines and magazine covers with anti-Jewish messages.

Doors of homes where Jews lived were often marked with the German word for Jew.

I didn't realize that the Nazis used the hair cut off Jews to fill mattresses.

Jews had to remove their shoes and clothes in the concentration camps.  These children's shoes were found in one of the camps.

This is the yellow Star of David that was worn by Henry Kellen before he escaped the Nazis in Germany.

These are actual shower heads from a Nazi concentration camp.  I always thought they sprayed out gas.  In truth, they were fake.  Pellets of rat poison were dropped from the ceiling.  When the pellets were exposed to air, they gave off poison gas.

This the front off one of the cremation ovens used in a concentration camp.

If you click on this image you can read about the massive extermination of Jews in European ghettos.

The Nazi guards used "Collective Responsibility" to control behavior in concentration camps.  Click on this photo to see the extent they went to in retaliation of the death of Nazi personnel.  It would have been a very hard decision to revolt or attempt escape under these policies.

For a long time people in the rest of Europe and in the US were blind to what was going on in Germany.  In Germany and the rest of the world, many who at least suspected what was happening chose to do nothing.  This quote we saw at the end of the tour of the museum really spoke to me.

If you are in El Paso, a visit to the Holocaust Museum is well worth your time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Trip Begins

We will be spending December in Texas and we began our travels Monday, driving from Gold Canyon to Willcox, Arizona. There are interesting sights along the way. These are the rock formations in Texas Canyon along I-10.

Today we drove from Willcox to Anthony, Texas, just west of El Paso.

We saw these mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

This roadrunner statue was on a hill above the interstate.  The real roadrunners are one of the wonderful sights in Texas.

It is still fall down here, with trees turning yellow.

These mountains lined the route east of Las Cruces.

 These yucca plants were the tallest vegetation in Southeastern New Mexico.

Not far from Anthony, we passed a sign that read "Eat More Ice Cream, Drink More Milk." It wasn't long before we came to this dairy farm.

The wind picked up as we approached the El Paso area.  We could hardly see the mountains and realized there was a lot of dust in the air.  Then we passed a sign warning of dust storms for 15 miles.

We have a lot more to see and do between now and Christmas.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks

We are thankful for our life together, our life of traveling and sitting still in places we enjoy, for Doug, Eric, Liz and our grandchildren, as well as the rest of our extended family. We are thankful for our health and our country and our faith in Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving at a dinner with our neighbors. We are really becoming a community here in Superstition Views at Canyon Vistas.

I hope all of you had lots to be thankful for on this truly American celebration.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another hike

Tuesday we went on a hike with friends Barbara and Ron. Our destination was the Cats Peak and Cat's Peak Pass in Usery Mountain Park. The desert there is just beautiful.

There was a forest of cholla cactus.

Barbara likes taking pictures of the cholla, too.

Here are my three hiking companions.

It was a great hike and we finished with lunch at Village Inn in Apache Junction.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Family and Friends

Southern Arizona is a wonderful place to come during the colder part of the year. We know all about that. Our first winter visit was 9 years ago. It seems we see more of our Colorado friends in Arizona during the winter than we do during our summer travels to Colorado.

Yesterday our niece Tina and her husband Vance came for dinner. They have been to the Grand Canyon and are now visiting friends and family in the Phoenix area before returning to work this weekend. We had a good time talking to them and showing them around our resort.  Who knows, will they become snowbirds in the next few years?

Our long-time Colorado friends David and Alice have a winter home about 3 miles from our and they came for lunch yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them. I know we will see them again this winter so I will have another chance.

We look forward to catching up with other family and friends in the next few months, as well.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cooking on the Trail

We have been traveling around in the country in an RV since 1988. Most of the time I prepare our meals in the trailer. So I guess you could say we have been cooking on the trail. But that has been going on for long before we began. Saturday we attended the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off where contestants prepare meals as the folks driving cattle did in past centuries. They have built authentic chuck wagons and cook as people did then, over an open fire built in a trench in the prairie.

Each team prepared a meat, beans, biscuits, potatoes and a dessert. In our current trailer we have a 3-burner stove. Some have had 4 burners. But look at all these pots--several ovens as well as pots cooking like I do on the stove top.

About half the wagons served chicken fried steak; the others cooked beef tips or chili beef. One wagon was cooking a meal for the contestants to eat after the contest ended. They were roasting pork.

Do you think those biscuits are a little over-browned?

Cowboys and cowgirls need beans and potatoes, of course.

An odd factoid we learned.  Do you know why iron spoons like this are twisted?  It is so the heat from the bowl of the spoon doesn't make the handle hot.  This cook said he learned that from his 8-year-old granddaughter who had attended a class in blacksmithing.  (He checked it out with another blacksmith, as well.)

And then there are the chuck wagons.

We had a fun day. This is the third time we have attended this cookoff. It is getting so popular that the line to buy lunch tickets begins forming at 9 and tickets go on sale at 10. Only 550 tickets are sold. Each wagon serves 50 meals. By the way, the food is good. Those cowboys on cattle drives must have eaten well.

Friday, November 11, 2016

John's Been Busy

John likes to carve. He makes figures, relief carvings and walking sticks.  He really enjoys removing the bark from diamond willow sticks.  We use them when we hike. And look at this great bouquet of diamond willows in our living room.

About two years ago he started making a nativity set. Part of it was available for us to display last year. Look at it now! And he's not done yet.  I love it!

(I am having computer problems. Would you believe I did this post on my phone.  I don't recommend it but I wanted to post something.  I look forward to seeing it on the computer when it's fixed.

M ,