Saturday, January 05, 2013

Moods of Tucson

 If we can let go, relax and fall into the center of now, we can encounter directly the freedom that we have all been seeking.               Adyashanti

With this being the beginning of a new year, I like to find something that indicates my thoughts. The quote above pretty well says how I hope to live this year (how I always hope to live). It's on my new calendar for January.

Our little ranch did well with us being gone for a month totally because we have the best possible guy looking after it. In the years of owning it, the business of finding the right person to check on it, put out hay, monitor the livestock hasn't been easy. The man who does it now is strong, tough, knows this world and basically is so responsible that it's hard to imagine ever having anybody else if he stops wanting to do it-- I won't think about that since for now he does.

at Signal Hill

Arizona was wonderful, but I always wish I had more time there. So many things I'd have loved to do, but there was also a ton of work that the house needed, and it's the reason we were there: outside watering system repair, new dishwasher (what's with these energy efficient ones that save energy by not actually drying?), garbage disposal replaced, new blinds for living room and two bedrooms, kilns removed with one given away and the other brought back here, rental tractor to grade and repair driveway, clearing back invasive cactus to enable bringing our vacation trailer next time, some odds and ends, and my writing my first novella, A Montana Christmas.  It's amazing it all got done in the three weeks we were able to be in Tucson.

rented tractor and grading work-- hereby proving you can take the rancher off the ranch but not take the ranch out of the rancher.

Our oldest cat, BB, was in heaven to be there again. This is where he spent the first five years of his life, most of them as a stray where he scrounged and caught his own food. This time, as a pampered pussy cat, he didn't get freedom to run around by himself. He's deaf and old. He no longer can leap to the top of the wood fence and then onto the roof. Still he enjoyed his time outside with us and kept sniffing the air and rolling in the dirt. He wanted to visit all his old haunts.

Blackie and Pepper weren't so thrilled. Actually the female got along better with travel than the males, but she didn't like being outside which surprised me since she loves it on the ranch. I carried her out to the enclosed pool area, set her down, and heard the most pitiful merrrrows. She was terrified. As to why, who can ask a cat?

BB in the ironwood tree he climbed as a young cat and surprised us both by jumping up and doing again

The last day of 2012 had me on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor for the renters who were coming in that night as we would be driving north. Usually we have a neighboring couple readying it; but this time, they were gone to spend the holidays with their family in Florida. So doing it made me once again appreciate how wonderful they are and what a great job they do. If they ever stop wanting to do it, we might find it impossible to continue the vacation rental there.

Sometimes I think about how it'd be to have the house available to us in the winter and not be renting it out. Being able to hike in a desert where maybe you need a sweater and maybe not, that's a big plus. Then I think of our grandchildren and kids in Oregon, the farm. I also remember the benefits of the Tucson house as a rental with other people getting to enjoy what we do, with the rental money that enables improvements as well as pays all the insurance and taxes, and I know it's as it should be for now at least. I LOVE Arizona. I LOVE Oregon. Too bad they are so far apart.

We didn't get out of the Tucson valley this trip and had no time for a lot of our usual enjoyments. We did take many photos some of which will be quite useful in the future. We worked in some hikes but not nearly as many as we had hoped. We did get to Old Tucson where I hadn't been for years, not at all since an arsonist had destroyed the historic sets. I was surprised at how wonderful it now was with backdrops that made for great photos as well as useful for future eBook trailers. It was recreated with an artist's eye and is still being used for movie sets.

 Old Tucson

I know I've said how much I love Tucson but I want to repeat it. The energy, the diverse cultures that came to this place, the landscape that changes with only a few feet of elevation, the beauty of an autumn in the river and creek bottoms, the history, the magic of the sky, well it's just a wonderful place to be. I spend as much time as possible out on the desert, but it has a very nice city attached to it with all the cultural advantages of such a place.

Tucson is a place of extremes, of beauty and danger, of mystery and creative energy, of history and the moment. From the first time I saw it in 1965, I loved that area, have been there many many times even before we owned the house, but never felt I could live there full time. I don't really see myself as a snowbird either as I love the monsoon season, the spring, the fall, but for me, it's more a place to touch down, to have part of my soul be rather than the place I live.

With a new video of the Tucson desert, I wanted to pick up some pieces of its wonder, of what makes it what it is, of that diverse culture. Words don't do it justice. Tucson really is a mystical place for me-- the thing I can touch but never own.


Since I am sharing videos, here's one I created for our VRBO site and the Tucson home we call Casa Espiritu. It depicts spring, different colors and moods.

6 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

These videos are so very very Beautiful! It is a paradise in every way....!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed looking at your photographs of Arizona sunrises/sunsets and ancient petroglyphs. -- Julie

robin andrea said...

It really is so beautiful there. I've never been to Tucson, but your photo montage makes me want to go and spend some time. Really lovely.

Celia said...

Makes me want to visit also, really enjoyed your choice of music on your videos as well. What a lovely break even with the work.

Anonymous said...

You are reinforcing my homesickness for the desert, Rain. Beautiful!
Cop Car

Hattie said...

A lovely tribute to a fascinating place. I was there once but not long enough to get into the spirit. Maybe some day...