To all my friends, Merry Christmas. More especially I wish you good health and abundant happiness. The past two years have flown by since I’ve sent out greetings or news of the Harasty family. My thoughts were to have this out in the mail early enough that I might receive greetings from you as well.
On December 24, 2020, I purchased a beautiful four acre parcel in Hereford, Arizona, which is next to our daughter Sharon’s ranch. A photo will give you an idea of the beautiful mountains and oak trees.
By February 20th escrow closed on my Solvang house. I leased back for two months in order to sort out “stuff”, give it away, hold a yard sale and make two trips to Arizona with all that was left. Our son Dan not only moved my “stuff” in an enormous van but also brought his 37-foot RV out to Sharon’s ranch for me to live in. All my worldly possessions are now in storage. My friend Gwen helped me label every box with a number and description of contents.
Unfortunately, they are not in numerical order in storage.
In January, the whole South-eastern corner of Arizona had 4 inches of snow. By February, Sharon and her husband Jerry had started removing brush and dead tree limbs, all of which has been chipped into a magnificent mulch pile and which will be useful for a back garden. On May first I officially moved into the RV and began my new life with Walt’s cat, Whiskers. Whiskers never leaves the RV, in fact rarely moves from under the bed. Neurosis at its finest.
I’ve transferred to P.E.O. Chapter CW in Sierra Vista. This chapter enjoys monthly Bunco parties and is active in local philanthropic projects.
I am rarely seen in anything other than boots and Levi’s. And, because I don’t have a horse, I bought a golf cart which Sharon calls my Golf Ferrari. With that cute little cart, I can haul my weed eater and shovels and saws to the work project of the day.
In lieu of rent, here on Sharon’s ranch, she suggested I redesign and plant her backyard. I reconstituted her dry creek bed by washing rocks for a week. The 40-foot raised bed needed new soil and new plants. My brother brought us about 100 bearded iris rhizomes that we used for the raised beds and for new terraces.
The very old day lilies were divided and relocated. Because the rainy season in Arizona is in June and July all the new plants got off to a great start. I’m anxious to see the results in the spring.
Because of Covid, my modular house has been delayed several times. March is the new delivery date. The two units will have to come in over the neighbors’ pasture because my cattle guard is too narrow. We will have to replace several sections of fencing after the modular is set.
In the meantime, I needed some “Instant Gratification”. So, I hired a man with a Bobcat to remove some manzanita and yucca to create an oasis among a nest of multi-trunked oaks. I found an “artist” to lay a 20 x 25-foot flagstone patio. We hauled rip-rap (stones) from a local quarry and hand placed every stone around the perimeter to serve as a dam or retaining wall.
Ahh - the views through the oak branches to the Huachuca Mountains! These mountains rise up abruptly from the area behind my property about a half mile away. We are so fortunate that this area between the mountains and me is BLM land (National Forest) and will never be developed or built on. Sharon and Jerry keep this area mowed as fire prevention. The deer and javalina, rabbits and road runners freely roam through my property, tasting and devouring anything and everything. I can see that a tall fence will be necessary if I want a garden. I’ll keep one area in its natural state with hollow trees, boulders, and dense manzanita. I’ve posted a sign – “100 AKRE WOOD” from Winnie the Pooh as an adventure area for young friends who come for riding lessons.
I certainly hope to hear from my friends – to hear of good health and accomplishments. I’ll be sure to put out the welcome mat when I have a house. Please be patient as the only improvement at the moment is my well. I wait for a real address, electricity, internet and creature comforts. In the meantime, I use Sharon’s water and power and her mail box. Sharon’s five miniature horses and her handsome Arab give structure to every day with the feeding schedule and all the brushing and corral clean-up. The care and maintenance of Sharon’s fruit orchard, her vegetable garden, her orangeries and greenhouse and chickens have given me a preview of what it takes to maintain a self-sufficient ranch. That type of dedication is best left to the young. I think I will just enjoy what God has already planted and sit back and enjoy.
My love to all of you, always,
9428 S. Hwy. 92
Hereford, Arizona 85615