It was a crazy, wonderful, beautiful day in the Greater Phoenix area. Clean, clear, and cool. I grabbed my rake and headed first for the front yard, where I cleaned up piles of pine needles I'd left last evening. It got dark too early and I had to quit raking. Once I completed my work, I jumped in my red Kia Soul and headed for a favorite shopping area on McDowell Road in Avondale. On the way, I passed fields of lush green sorghum, and stopped to take a few shots. I stopped further south and took some shots of a huge cotton field, but those pix didn't turn out that well. On to shopping, then back north. I drove through the Glendale Industrial Park to check out the duck and goose population in one of the ponds. Got a few good shots, but my favorites, the white-crested ducks, were missing, as were all geese. The city had emptied the pond recently and perhaps they bring back the various species at different times. Or not. I'm going over tomorrow morning when the sun is lower in the sky, and hope to get a few really good shots. Back to work, then time for lunch. Front door wide open. Cats parked contentedly at the front door watching birds, people, vehicles, and who knows what else. All through the day, I kept thinking of my son, Ron Simpson, who celebrated his birthday today. He is something special. Happy Birthday again, Ron! I didn't have to close the house up until late this afternoon. Eighty-four inside was a bit much.
I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with my son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Kerrie Simpson, and their four pets: Nellie, Gracie, Nuggett, and Sneakers. We had ideal weather...light rain and moderate temperatures. My first full day I was raring to go, and had a nice little nature walk while Kerrie was cleaning up the yard. I got a few good shots of Nellie and Nuggett and Gracie. Then we wandered down to the woodsy section of the property, and I became enchanted with the beautiful patterns of fallen leaves and the raindrops/moisture that covered everything. I had some work assignments awaiting me on my return to the Phoenix area, and just yesterday was able to look at the pictures I took. Here's one of my favorites, which is edited in Virtual Painter (Gothic Oil Painting mode): And here's a picture of their woods on a bleakly beautiful Pacific Northwest day:
My illustrious, multi-talented daughter-in-law just passed the Washington State bar, and was sworn in on November 6, 2008. It was an arduous journey, but well worth it, as people with disabilities in Washington State will benefit. She passed the bar in Arizona in 1982. She was at the Attorney General's office for about two-and-a-half years, and was the Maricopa County Volunteer Lawyers Program Director for about three years. While there, she initiated several programs with the help of her staff. Her major area of concentration after the volunteer lawyers program, was workers' compensation law, which involves disability and rehabilitation, etc. She spent several years representing injured employees and several years representing employers/insurance carriers. Then, in April, 2002, Kerrie left the practice to be the president and director of the Meyerson Foundation. Her husband (and my son), Ron Simpson, took over the directorship in October, 2006, but she's remained active as president. She took the bar in Washington so that she can help families with guardianship applications and consult with the foundation's various projects in a legal capacity. Kerrie has many talents. She is a devoted pet lover, and she and my son, Ron, currently have two golden retrievers, a St. Bernard, and a beautiful cat, Sneakers. They recently lost Ms. Higgins, a cat, and Shimmy, a cocker spaniel. The all-time combination of dogs is Boz and Micus (Amicus), which Ron and Kerrie owned when they met over 10 years ago. An unbeatable team, and remembered with fondness and chuckles. Kerrie spins some of her own yarn, sometimes using the combed-out fur from her dogs, and knits hats, gloves, scarves, ponchos, booties (she even created some Pekingese booties for two cute dogs in Peoria), socks, and more. She is also a certified Personal Fitness Coach, and monitors my strength training. In addition, she's an encyclopedia of knowledge on nutrition and health. When Kerrie was six months old, her mother, Nancy Joy Kerr, developed polio, and was wheelchair bound for the remainder of her life. Nancy also had diabetes, and in her last years, a stroke. Her recovery was due in large part to Kerrie's devotion to her. Kerrie's stepfather, Lee Meyerson, had severe physical disabilities as well. Both parents were professors of psychology at ASU, and very committed to helping people in the disability community. They left a legacy of inspired family and students, and founded the David and Minnie Meyerson Foundation for people with disabilities. My interest in supporting the needs of people with disabilities is a direct result of the Kerr-Meyerson influence that Kerrie and my son, Ron Simpson, are currently involved in. The four of them are my heroes.
What a sad day, yet one that wasn't unexpected. My dear little granddog, Shimmy, died today. Little Shimmy had finished all his assignments, and it was time to go. He was simply worn out. Kerrie's mother, Dr. Nancy Kerr, took him in years ago in Tempe, Arizona. Shimmy stayed with her until her death, and then stayed with Dr. Lee Meyerson, Kerrie's stepfather, until his death. Then Shimmy began his adventures in Simpson Land. He stayed with them in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and finally Monroe, Washington. It was very important for him to be part of the Simpson tribe. And he was that. No matter that he couldn't see much or hear much or understand much, he always knew he belonged.