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home : columnists : columnists July 25, 2017

2/20/2014 2:16:00 PM
View from the Valley

I just ate my last Valentine candy and it was so good. The holiday was a huge success here with flower shops filled to the brim with blooms and  the local chocolate candy maker was  overwhelmed with orders. The store is called Chocofin and the candy is to die for. Stores had many coupon offers for flowers, candy and sweetheart jewelry. It is one of the biggest  holidays for merchants to make a killing. I see on the east coast that flower deliveries were treacherous due to ice and snow. Here, where it is 87 degrees, business was crazy. Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day a little late.


Do you remember when we decorated shoe boxes in school to hold all of our Valentine cards. My  mom always believed that the cards should be homemade, so I was making cards weeks before the big day. The teacher would keep all of our boxes for the special day and then one afternoon we would gather in the room and distribute our cards. Then secretly after school we would count our cards to see who got the most greetings. My mom made me make a card for every child in the class. She did not want anyone to go without a card. It was a great custom, but as things go, it is a dead tradition.


This is the land of collector car shows. There are several every weekend and this weekend it is Fountain  Hills' turn. This show consists of very rare automobiles. They form a parade in Scottsdale and drive into the town to the beautiful park and line up for all to see. Entry fee is 50 dollars, 60 if you register the day of the show. Spectators enter free. The cars that are driven around the roads here are all luxury models, devoid of rust and dents. However, we have had two fender benders within a two month period and our Lexus has suffered damage twice. It hurts me to see the dents and we are on a first name basis with the body shop guy. We never have an accident at home with the ice and snow; no, we have to have our problems in the sun. It is a mystery.


The Olympics have captivated our interest and the USA teams are doing fairly well. Many favorites have had trouble performing, but they say the snow conditions are brutal. I really think we are not going to see the best performances because of the warm weather. The fact that many of the rooms were not finished, plumbing was far below standards, security stifled free movement about the grounds and just the atmosphere of a  police state did nothing to allay the fears of a terrorist attack. I have been to Russia and I do not ever want to return. You are being watched every minute.


I am deeply engrossed in the book titled "Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent. Charged with the brutal murder of two men, Agnes Magnusdottir, has been removed to her homeland's farthest reaches, to an isolated  farm in northern Iceland, to await execution. Inspired by true events, this is an astonishing and exhilarating read that gives voice to a fierce and daring heroine and heralds the arrival of a great new talent. The people's names are a bugger to pronounce but it is worth the struggle.


We wish you warmer days filled with sun and blue skies. This is the winter from hell and so I bid you SHALOM.

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