Marana, Arizona

The development where Carl and Elise live in Marana near Tucson is very pleasant.  The developers were careful to leave nature intact whenever possible, so the houses blend in with their surroundings.    The area in back of their house is devoted to natural desert landscape and will not be developed.  Elise and Carl told me that they have seen or seen the signs of many sorts of animals, including bobcats, coyotes, lots of snakes, hawks and even cougars.  In fact, they worry that some of the local wildlife might make a meal of their little dog.   

Elise makes custom Jewelry, concentrating on unique styles and colors.  Some are very attractive as you can see in the nearby picture.  I got Chrissy a nice bracelet with a colorful interplay of silver and copper.  I am not a big fan of jewelry in general, but I do like it when it is unique and/or has some significant back story.   The bracelet met both of these criteria.

Carl has a passion for genealogy and was interesting in hearing whatever I knew about my family history.  Much of it overlaps with Elise’s family, but he was also interested in my father’s side of the family.  He quickly found a record that recorded my grandfather’s arrival from Russian Poland, via the Port of Hamburg, on March 19, 1899.   He arrived with his brother, Felix.   Interestingly, the record records Matel spelled with a double l on the end – Matell.   It appears like that again in census records and then we lost the extra l sometime after 1910.  It lists his residence in Sakolle in Russia and lists his nationality as Russian.  Of course most of Poland was under Russian control in those days.

Elise and Carl were very hospitable.  Among the rare and wonderful things they had around the house was Mexican Coca-Cola.  It is evidently made with sugar-cane instead of the corn fructose we use in ours and it tastes subtly different.  My pallet for “real” coke has atrophied since I started to drink mostly Coke-Zero, but I can still taste the difference.

Carl took me around to look at the whole development.  The Ritz-Carlton is developing a whole complex.  Even though it is only a couple hours difference, I am feeling a little tired from travel and jet-lag, so I will write about that and show some pictures next time. 

BTW – the picture up top is the view from Elise and Carl’s back yard.  You see Elise in the next picture and some of her creations below that.  Caril is working on his genealogy in the next picture and at the bottom is Mexican Coke.  Maybe I should restate that, Mexican Coca-Cola.