Shelley: Hi there, mind if my husband and I join you?
Couple: No problem.
Shelley: I’m Shelley. Boy, we didn’t think we would make it back in time for Bingo. We went out for pizza and a few beers. Just between you and me, I don’t usually drink beer. I’m more of a wine person myself. Not going to lie, I feel a little bit tipsy. Shhhhh….
Shelley: My husband, huh, now where did he go? Anyhoo, his name is John. John Smith. Bet you never heard of that name before. My dad couldn’t believe that John was his real name. Dad did say that John was better than the last boyfriend I brought home, though. Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha! What are your names?
Couple: Jim and Judy.
Shelley: Kinda like Punch and Judy, you know, the puppet show from England. Ever heard of them?
Jim and Judy: Can’t say we have.
Shelley: They’re real famous. Very very funny, although “I” haven’t actually seen them myself. Where are you guys from?
Jim and Judy: Northern Ontario. How about you?
Shelley: We’re from the Comox Valley. It’s on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Beautiful in the summer, but cold, wet, rainy and windy in the winter. Unless you head up to Mount Washington to ski, that is. If you’re lucky, you get above the clouds or they disappear.
Ughhhh. So depressing. I was convinced I had SAD last November. Have you ever had SAD?
Jim and Judy: No.
Shelley: You are sooo lucky. Seasonal Affective Disorder is not fun. Trust me on that. Not like today, though. Right? Whooheeee!!!! Was it hot or what? Can you believe we chose today, of all days, to visit the Casa Grande Ruins.
As soon as we got back, we jumped right in the pool.
Have you ever been to the ruins?
Jim and Judy: No. We haven’t had the chance, but…
Shelley: It’s crazy. In 300 BC, the “Ancestral People” or “First Masters of the American Desert” lived along the Salt and Gila rivers until the 1400’s. At some point, they built canals so they could farm, compounds and a four story Great House, which was eventually named “Casa Grande” by early Spanish Explorers.
Apparently, no one knows for sure why they left the area. Hmmmmm…. I’ll take a wild guess, summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, severe droughts, floods, not to mention snakes, tarantulas, and scorpions, might have something to do with it. What do you think?
Jim and Judy: Well…
Shelley: Tell you what, though, I wouldn’t have lasted a week, never mind years. This one time, when we lived in Malaysia, we went to the East Coast for a vacation. We stayed in this crappy room that had no air conditioning, just a small fan. John went for a run and when he came back, the boys and I were gone. Guess where we were?
Jim and Judy: Swimming?
Shelley: Wrong. Guess again.
Jim and Judy: Uhhhh….
Shelley: Never mind. I’ll tell you. We had packed up our suitcases and dragged them down the beach to a Five Star Hotel. This princess has standards. Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Here’s John now. John, say “Hi to Jim and Judy,”
John: Hey. How’s it going?
Jim and Judy: Good. Good. We’re just going to run to the bathroom before Bingo begins. Be right back.
Shelley: (Whispering) Thank God you’re here. You’ve got to help me out. They’re really quiet and I’ve run out of things to say.
Shelley and John