Early Sunday morning while rummaging through the food-sparse kitchen in our Scottsdale condo, I realized we had little time to go out to eat with packing, the utmost in our minds. Having given away most of our food supplies, we had few ingredients on hand to make breakfast.
With a plan to go to Tom’s sister’s birthday party in Apache Junction, I started cooking a rack of baby back ribs I had taken out of the freezer the night before in an effort to wipe out the remnants of any unused food.
With a bottle of barbecue sauce on hand (no time to make homemade) I could make the ribs to bring to the party, along with additional chicken and ribs we had promptly frozen, leftovers from Christmas. Perfect! Any easy dinner for all!
Breakfast was another matter. Scrounging through the fridge, I found a package of organic grass-fed hamburger I had also thrown in the refrigerator to defrost the night before. With no ketchup, no salad, and of course, no buns and only hamburger patties and cheese it could be a hearty, albeit boring, breakfast.
As the ribs cooked, I fashioned three uneven hamburger patties adding only salt and pepper (the only seasonings left on hand) tossing them into the pan with the ribs.
Fifteen minutes later, Tom and I sat at the dining room table overlooking the pool, with a paltry single burger laden with three squares of unknown cheese for me and two for Tom. We looked at each other, then our plates, then back at each other again. We smiled at the exact same moment, improvise, we most certainly thought at exactly the same moment.
We knew we were getting “it” under control, “it” is the ability to make do with what we have on hand, a process we surely will master in time. We started it two months ago when we came here and the low profile toilets became plugged every other day and we came to discover that drinking the tap water was at “one’s own risk.”
We muddled through when the frying pan was too small to make a decent breakfast so I learned to “bake” omelets in a glass pie pan covered with no-stick foil along with a giant single baked coconut flour pancake to-die-for baked in a 9 x 11 Pyrex glass baking pan.
Eventually, I purchased a lightweight frying pan that now feels like a burden when trying to find a place to pack it today. There’s simply no room in our bags for a frying pan. Bye, bye, frying pan. No more of this foolishness. We’ll make do with what we have. We’ve learned our lesson.
After eating the cheesy burger balls, we returned to the repacking of our stuff, sucking the air out of the space bags finding we needed to use the seventh bag, an older black Samsonite we had brought along for the warmer clothing we needed while here.
It would have been great to fit everything into the six orange bags. We mutually agreed that we’ll ditch the black bag as we learn to pack leaner along the way, a necessary evil for homeless travelers such as ourselves. We’ll get better at this.
Later in the day, we were out the door to the party a mere half-hour drive to Apache Junction, leftovers in tow, a little tired, a little anxious, and definitely a little preoccupied. Tomorrow, Tuesday, we leave for San Diego. Two days later, we board the Celebrity Century to begin our worldwide journey.
After an enjoyable evening with Tom’s three sisters and two brothers-in-law, ending with a heartfelt round of goodbyes, we headed back to our condo for the last time. These two months proved to be valuable, to gather and learn our digital equipment, to organize financial matters, to prepare and execute our wills and living wills, to prepare our taxes, and to arrange our insurance.
More than anything, these two months were used to prepare our hearts and souls for this life-changing and mind and heart-wrenching experience of a lifetime that we enter cautiously optimistic, with a little fear, a lot of hope, and a wild sense of adventure.
So, we say goodbye Arizona. We don’t know when we’ll see you again. We say hello world, we’re on our way. We’ll see you soon!
May all of our readers have a very happy New Year filled with opportunities for personal growth and discovery. We’re never too old to learn.