Monday, January 17, 2011

Yarnell, Arizona + Scorpions

IMG_1160 Yarnell, Arizona is a quirky, artsy community with good restaurants and antique stores.  Mike’s brother, John, and his wife, Debi, took us to eat at the Ranch House restaurant (lots of bikers and locals eat here) and we made a few antique store stops.  John and Debi’s home is decorated with interesting finds from the desert and antique furnishings—it has a great western feel.  That’s Debi with another purchase for their home at the Emporium Antique Store.

Yarnell is settled among those huge boulders famous in these parts.  The terrain makes for some beautiful landscaping, but it has a downside.  Scorpions.

Did I ever tell you about the time I was stung by a scorpion?
President John F. Kennedy visited the Hanford Nuclear to dedicate the groundbreaking of the steam generator for the N-reactorI grew up in the town of Richland, Washington.  Home to the World War II Manhattan Project at the Hanford Site, Cold War plutonium processing and, today, a massive nuclear clean-up site. In 1959, construction began on the ninth Hanford reactor, called the N Reactor.  N was a dual purpose reactor producing plutonium for atomic weapons and steam for generating electricity.  It was the only dual purpose reactor in the United States and was so advanced that President John F. Kennedy came to Hanford in September of 1963 to dedicate the reactor. 

I was eight years old and my father took me to witness the event.  I was a little bored with the whole thing.  So, I played in the desert and dug in the sand disturbing an angry scorpion.  When I was stung, of course, I screamed like a banshee causing a scene.  The military police on site scooped me up and took me to a makeshift hospital tent.  I was fine—the scorpions in south-central Washington are not poisonous, but at eight years old I was quite the drama queen, so I certainly basked in the attention.

Just one of those memories that sticks with you.  My husband likes to embellish the story by saying President Kennedy came to see how I was doing….but that part did not happen.  He WAS going to visit me, but he had previous plans with another blond.

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