“Hello? Is this the doctor?”

I’m thinking I should write “A Year In Sedona” akin to Peter Mayle’s Year In Provence. The culture and pace are different than Houston and I’m adjusting as I go.

Sedona attracts not only the retired, but the retiring or “just retired a year ago”, so some things are annoyingly adorable: finding a new doctor, for example. Neither Google Maps, Aetna Docfind, nor Yelp will help you here; instead, they will suggest making a cringeworthy call to SoAndSo MD.

I stare at the white dialog box on my touchscreen phone “Call 928-###-1234?”

Are you sure?….

The line rings.

And picks up with a long “Heeeellooo?” as if I’ve interrupted a delicious nap or jar of honey.

To which I want to answer “Grampa Pehr, Is That YOU? Come over for kaffe…”. But my city slicker kicks in somewhere in Uptown near a pink metal javelina sculpture. “Yes, Is this THE Doctor?”

The wind licks the tourist-laden corners and burbles the call.

“Oh, yes. I USED to fix injured limbs and the sort but now they only do that in Cottonwood..”

“Oh, I see.” my Southern Belle replies and listens to the story: “In it for 40 years, and now 5 dogs…my word…”

Listening to long stories is part of the deal here. I’ve been told that I’m a “fast-talker”. My reply was “Hold on, y’all. You mean to tell me that a former TEXAN talks fast?” while petting 3 new doggies.

And I wonder why Cottonwood feels so far, over hill and dale while crossing massive traffic in Houston for an hour felt seemless.

I suppose I could go to Cottonwood for a sorted knee and visit to Walmart. It could be a safer choice. Flagstaff “Flag” can be treacherous with the snow and elk, who just stand like giant statues on the highway. “Best to go ‘up the hill’ behind a semi to avoid being the first to splat 1,500 lbs of statue.” is the standard advice.

And my mind, back in the call, wonders if next the Doctor Formerly Known As will share his favourite truffle-hunting spot. And if there are truffles in the pinion desert.

And if javelinas are any good at hunting them.

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