Follow Up on Signing…and a Quick, Cool Getaway.

by

Because neither of this post’s topics seems to hold the promise of 700 words of deep insight, I am breaking the rule (mine) and covering two totally different subjects.

A few months ago Betty and I took on the challenge of learning sign language. Using the ASL method, we have spent some time each week working together to master many of the basic signs we may need to communicate between ourselves or others.

There are dozens of apps and hundreds of YouTube videos that have made this easier than I first assumed. Of course, like any language, those proficient in it flash signs much more quickly than we can decipher. Even with the ability to slow down the playback speed, there are times when we are left scratching our heads or taking our best guess.

I find it interesting so many of the signs are intuitive. The rocking of your arms for a baby, turning a steering wheel to represent a car, waving goodbye for…Bye, are obvious and part of the language. Of course, some are more complex and some are purely invented to communicate something. 

ASL doesn’t use verbs or articles. So, if I point to myself and give the rocking motion, I am rocking/holding a baby, assuming the person watching will fill in the am and a part of that statement. English sign language does use symbols for verbs and such so their signing is more complete. But, for our purposes, filling in the obvious words to complete a sentence or thought is so much easier.

Bottom line: While neither of us could communicate very well with another hearing-impaired person yet, we are beginning to make each other’s desires or actions known. Like anything else, ASL will require regular practice and use. Betty and I know enough now to tell the other person to take a hike…no, just kidding. I don’t know the sign yet for hiking, but the one at the top of the post means, “I love you.”


After three weeks of dealing with temperatures between 105 and 116, we finally hightailed it out of town for an all-too-brief getaway. At 8,900 feet, the tiny town of Greer, AZ is usually 40 degrees cooler than the Valley. Daytime highs in the low 70s or upper 60s meant we could wear long pants and sweatshirts for the first time since early May. With one general store and two restaurants, there are few distractions. 

It rained every day, generally showers or overnight thunderstorms. This time of year is considered the monsoon season in Arizona, A flow of moisture from Mexico is responsible for rain all over the state, but the White Mountains tend to soak up a lot of it.

Our cabin was perfect for the seven of us. Our youngest daughter was supposed to be with us, but her business required a trip to Quebec. I don’t feel too sorry for her! We kept the days open for games, hikes, movie-watching, reading, and eating simple, filling fare. We had two dogs with us who were kept more than busy by the new smells. 

Here are some pictures to help you take a quick mental vacation  A special thanks to granddaughter, Kassidy, for providing many of the photos for this post:

Mother and child reunion


Betty is in charge
Yes, Main St is always this busy

Kaylee contemplating High School

Kassidy thinking about Junior High

Daddy enjoying the solitude

Josh thinking about the start of football

All of us enjoying time together

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