Winding Down

Lots of things are starting to wind down in our world right now.

Our time here at McDowell Mountain Regional Park is winding down. We only have two more weeks until we head out to spend a week in Cottonwood at my brother, Danny’s place, before we make our way to South Dakota, where we will host in Visitor Centers in Custer State Park. Neither Bill nor I have ever been to South Dakota, so we are super excited to find out what all that state has to offer. We will be there from May through September, so we will have plenty of time to get out and hike, fish, and explore… all the things Bill and I love to do.

A few weeks ago I posted pictures of all the beautiful wildflowers that were in full bloom throughout the park,

but even they are starting to wind down in anticipation of the upcoming hot summer months.

And sadly, our time we get to spend with our precious daughter (baby girl) Shantel, is winding down as well. With her work schedule and ours, we really only get to see her every other Sunday while we are here from October through April. So with only one more  Sunday (Easter Sunday) left to spend time with her, we decided to bring her out to the park today to meet any of the hosts and friends that were home, and take her on a little hike to find out if any wild flowers were still blooming in abundance within the park. Even though Shantel can’t see, she still loves to go out on hikes, and enjoys having me be her sighted guide to explain what I’m seeing as we hike the trails.

We weren’t far into the hike before we discovered that the wildflowers were not near as abundant as they were a few weeks ago, but the various cactus were in various stages of bloom.


I asked Bill and Shantel to stand in front of this Ocotillo plant for a picture. They stood there looking at me and never smiled until I said “ready, set, now look like you love each other” , then they busted out laughing, and I got a great picture. Did you know the Ocotillo plant is not a cactus? No, it is a desert shrub. But, shhhhh, it doesn’t know that it isn’t a cactus…

As I said, we didn’t find an abundance of beautiful wildflowers on our hike, but I stopped to take a picture of this cactus skeleton just because I found it interesting to look at.

Just like I found the contrast of this dead tree, with a flowering bush blooming beneath it ,interesting to look at.

We didn’t do the full hike we intended because Shantel said she was getting too hot. I said “I thought you loved to hike” and she said “I do mom, but not when it’s this hot out at 9:30 in the morning. So we made a plan to go for early morning hikes when we come back next season.

After our short hike, we took Shantel out to lunch, then made our way back to Phoenix to take her home. In the car on the way to take her home, Shantel said she was surprised at how long a drive it is from her home to the park(this being the first time she has been to our park and it is an hour from her house to the park and back), and said she felt like she was back in dail-a-ride mode because it takes at least two hours to get from place to place with dail-a-ride when she is trying to get to work. I told her it is a long drive, but papa and I don’t mind it at all as long as we get to spend time with her. She smiled that beautiful smile at me that always lets me know she feels well-loved when she is with us.

We love you Shantel, and are looking forward to our traditional Easter lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack.

Stay Tuned!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    Apr 08, 2019 @ 00:08:08

    What a great time we had , got to go to the visitor center and Shantel was so worried about the snake biting her thankfully it didn’t got to introduce her to some of our hosts, at least the ones that were home.
    Long way to drive but it was worth it Easter being the last time to get together, I will miss her this summer,Love you Shantel.


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 08, 2019 @ 12:41:57

      It was a beautiful family day together. Easter will be another great family day together before we leave for the summer. I can honestly say if it were not for the fact that I can still talk to her on the phone, I wouldn’t ever leave at all! XoXo


  2. Robin
    Apr 08, 2019 @ 01:24:25

    What a wonderful posting…the wildflowers…and your wonderful visit with your girl! Can’t wait to see you – SOON – xoxoxo


  3. ellen739
    Apr 08, 2019 @ 13:09:23

    Shantel looks lovely and I’m sure she enjoyed being at your campsite just know how far and being around the two of you made her feel so love and filled with joy. Shantel is such a wonderful daughter and so independent. She has made a life for herself and I can only imagine how very proud and thankful you and Bill feel. God is always so good to answer our prayers. Continue enjoying your retirement and ongoing adventures.
    Happy Easter ❤️🙏🏻✝️🕊🐣🌷🐇


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 08, 2019 @ 14:16:04

      Thank you Aunt Ellen. We are beyond proud of Shantel, and all she has accomplished in her young life. At 25 years of of age, she is very independent and loves the life she is making for herself. God truly has answered our prayers for Shantel, and we are so very grateful for all the love and support he has given us, and Shantel, along the way. Happy Easter to your and yours. Love and hugs.XoXo


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