My family made an Easter pilgrimage to my mother's winter/spring residence in the Valley of the Sun, Scottsdale, Arizona. Her parents lived here before her, and she and her husband have a lovely little condo just off the canal near Scottsdale Road. Our family has been descending upon the area to visit grandparents since th 1970s. This year was no exception to the tradition.
My sister and her family drove from Montana. My aunt and uncle flew from Indianapolis. My cousin flew in from Albuquerque. We haunted our favorite eating spots, relaxed around the swimming pool at our hotel, and made the obligatory climb up Camelback Mountain.
St. Barnabas-on-the-Desert. My grandfather was buried there in 1980. My mother's marriage was blessed there in 1998. My grandmother was buried there in 1999. I visit there every time I visit the valley. This particular Easter Sunday was no disappointment, even in the midst of a reconstruction project that has the Nave and Sanctuary closed for a time.
We had to split up but were all in the music hall where the rector, Jim Clark, preached an excellent sermon. (Funny, my rather irreligious father's name is Jim Clark, too!) My cousin Melissa was feeling the presence of her father, too. The Rev. Thomas F. Stoll, deceased in 2001, was an Episcopal priest many places, including Traverse City, Michigan, during the 70's and Indianapolis during the 80's. He also attended boarding school in Paradise Valley at the now closed Judson, just across the street from St. Barnabas.
It was a weekend of holy reunions; family and religious celebrations.
Thanks be to God!