Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Singing Wind ...... Don't Miss This One!

When I mentioned I was looking for a book on the Tombstone era, Lynn and Dave told me about Singing Wind.  Around these parts, directions are difficult at best ... go over the train tracks, then over the cattle guard, go around the curve about a mile, there's a big tree on the right ..... so after dinner the other night, they took me part way down a dirt road so I'd know exactly where it was.   We quickly came to a locked gate.  Closed!
Who would have thought there really was a bookstore out in the middle of the desert.  Don't they belong in town?  So yesterday, since it appears UPS delivered my Amazon book order to General Delivery Benson Az, signed by someone named Kelly (there's no Kelly at the post office), I figured I might as well try to find Singing Wind again.
This time the gate was open as I drove past this sign.  It looked like it was right up my alley ... just the kind of books I was looking for.
When I got to the end of the road, I wasn't sure which building I should knock on.  Everything to the left was big, agricultural like ... and then there was this house.  I knocked on the door, but no one answered.  I think I'm barking up the wrong tree!!
As I started to leave, I noticed this sign ... Singing Wind Bookshop ... with barely readable Ring The Bell at the bottom ... so I did!!  Boy was it LOUD!!  That prompted lots of dog barking from inside, and shortly, the BIG dog came to see me.  Behind him was a little lady, maybe 80 something years old, with long gray hair, bundled up like it was 30 degrees out.  
Although a little hesitant, I followed her inside, to be immediately shushed while she gave me the hour long tour.  Wall to wall, ceiling to floor, this is a bookstore like no other, all stored on rough sawn tree shelves.  As she pointed with her cane, she went through every single type of book, all in perfect order.  From how to speak Chinese, to philosophy, to painting masters, to Indian languages, to mustache books (written by men) and women books, she has it all.  

When I tried to ask about Tombstone and Bisbee books, I was again shushed until the tour was over.  Then I would be allowed to ask questions.  Finally able to browse the books, she hovered over me like a mother hen, saying "that's a good one" about every book I took from the shelf.  

It appears she knows a lot of the authors too, as she told me stories about several.  In the second room I spent more time petting the half dalmatian puppy than looking at books, but it seems she had a few authors to a "reading" a couple days before and they had signed several of the books, including three of the four I ended up purchasing.  

I dropped a bundle here ..... her books are NOT inexpensive nor discounted in any way, but I figured if she can give up half of her entire house for a bookshop in the middle of nowhere, I could donate a little more than usual.  

As she tallied the bill and scrounged for a bag, I told her to save a tree and not use a bag.  I got my comeuppance pretty swiftly.  YOU NEED A BAG!!  Because later, when you want to give a book away as a gift, you can decorate the bag and use it for wrapping paper, instead of buying paper.  Take the books OUT first so you don't ruin them!!!  I quietly took the huge grocery bag with my books inside, petted the puppy one more time and waved goodbye!!  Singing Wind Bookshop is a definite stop if you are in the area.  Just ask around, someone will tell you how to get there.
For dinner the other night, Lynn and Dave took me to Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant.  Yes, I was thinking the same thing you are when I saw this destination.  It's a tiny house set back off the street, looking more like an old residence than anything.
In fact, it probably was someone's house before it became this restaurant, owned and operated by a couple from Southern California.  It's pretty small with low ceilings, but the first class food makes all your reservations disappear.  In a quick ten minutes, the place was packed with people and there was a line waiting for tables.
I ordered the Enchiladas Bandera ... three enchiladas, each with different fillings and sauces.  It came on a plate 12" by 18"!!!  I'm not kidding, the plate is HUGE!!  The food is traditional Mexican and beyond delicious, besides being priced right.  It's so cool to find such a gem in this setting!!
I heard the table next door order carrot cake for dessert.  I could devour carrot cake, but when they told me it had no frosting, just a sweet cream sauce, I was a little confused.  What the heck ... order it anyway!!

I got it in a to-go box since I was already stuffed ... figuring I would just have a bite or two and take it home.  This is NOT your mothers carrot cake .... it is WAY better!!  This almost rivals the bread pudding in Jerome!!
Obviously, I was full and miserable, but since Lynn and Dave didn't go for the huge piece of cake, we stopped in at the Ice Cream Stop on the way home.  I moaned and groaned while we sat at a picnic table, as they finished off their dessert in the beautiful desert air.  
I got home to find the puppies crashed on the couch, whereupon I did the same.  I couldn't wait to have enchiladas and carrot cake for breakfast!!
I spent some time yesterday at the Historical Society's Museum in Benson that I'll tell you about tomorrow.  Today I'm on the hunt for cemeteries and my books which I hope magically appear at the Post Office!


  1. Love the story about the bookstore. I plan my travels around bookstores! Will have to remember this one.

    1. It's a good one, trust me. In Benson, go North on Ocotillo, maybe two miles the road makes a left hand turn ... not far past that Singing Wind Road is just across from a large wood fenced driveway. Just keep going ... the ranch is on the left.