Relaxing.

Among many other perks, I enjoy being able to step out onto the roof and enjoy the view after a day back at work. Being able to hear the sound of the wind as it blows across the desert is a wonderful thing. I find it very relaxing.

The photo above shows the view from this relaxing spot as I look to the south. Without the urban sounds of living in a major city, I can almost hear Mother Nature sing.

Visitors.

We had a group (or squadron) of javelinas stop by the gazebo this morning. They apparently enjoy our rosemary bush and other small plants in the area. Truman was not amused, opted to puff up and then went running upstairs. They stayed around for a few minutes before sunrise, making a stop around front in the landscaping near the driveway before moving on to their next activity.

Truman remains upstairs.

Twice.

I did two days of cycling this weekend. These were my first rides in the desert and I can say without hesitation that the air is quite dry.

Tucson has a nice assortment of cycling paths and lanes, at least in our little corner of the city limits. It can also be quite hilly in spots. Today I reached 31 MPH on a downhill. Coming back up the hill to get home was a bit of challenge but I was able to get my act together by taking it in “chunks” and riding from shady spot to shady spot along to road. Before I knew it I had completed 11 miles in 48 minutes. Not awful for an old guy.

It’s quite nice to ride bike again, but I already know I have to do it early in the morning. It’s a good thing this Mountain Standard Time thing has me on an earlier schedule during the work week; I just maintain the fun on the weekend.

Anxiety.

Earl and I went shopping at one of the many locations of The Home Depot in Tucson today. There were a lot of people milling about doing their Saturday chores. The vast majority of them were wearing masks, as required by Pima County and The Home Depot (despite what the governor says).

A few folks were not wearing masks and I maintained an extra amount of distance from them and gave them an eye roll. They probably didn’t notice, they were too wrapped up in their false sense of importance in this world.

Even though I was wearing a mask, maintaining distance, and on the vaccination path for COVID-19, I still feel a great deal of anxiety when out in public. Every person I see, masked or not, is a walking petri dish of God knows what and I have not desire to sample their sickly soup. As a society we have too many people that can’t be bothered to park in one parking space let alone take care of one another by wearing a mask during a global pandemic.

I hope that I’ll be over this anxiety by the end of the summer so we can enjoy all our desert home city has to offer.

Right now I’ll just maintain my distance.

Instasnap.

I’ve been following folks without abandon on Instagram lately. Here’s a picture of Tom Holland (the latest Spider-man, among other things) foaming at the mouth. He seems bewildered by the acts of shaving.

City Lights.

I do love the City of Tucson’s desire to control light pollution. In Chicago I always felt like the new LED street lights would sear my retinas; here in Tucson the lights are doing their job but not intrusively. Plus, it’s wonderful to be able to see stars again.

Wait, Weight, Don’t Tell Me.

My husband unpacked our bathroom scale today. It’s awaiting the great revealing in the morning. I haven’t weighed myself in over three weeks.

I’m terrified to see what numbers are going to spin up on the display. I’m hoping for something that will be like winning at the casino. I’m probably not even going to get my quarter back.

Fast.

While out for my morning walk I was awestruck by the scene of this routine day in the neighborhood. Garbage and recycling bins are out, per the Tuesday routine, neighbors were cleaning brush out off their property, and the ambiance was subdued.

This is life on a weekday in our little corner of the desert.

I remarked to my husband that we managed to move out here so quickly that my I feel like while I thoroughly enjoy the concept, my brain has not completely realized that we live in Arizona. The Real ID in my wallet is from Arizona. The temporary license plate is from Arizona. The computer time zone says “America/Phoenix”, the air is dry, and the temperatures are warm. There’s no “ding dong, doors closing” coming from the nearby Brown Line and the vibe is so much more relaxed.

I love it here. I just feel like it’s not quite permanent yet. However, it is permanent and I’m quite happy. It’s an odd feeling but nonetheless joyous.

Our rather limited interactions with our fellow citizens have been very friendly. I’ve always considered Chicago to be quite friendly for a major city, but folks here seem really laid back. On my one pass through a drive thru (for a drink) the attendant apologized profusely for neglecting to give me a straw without a reminder. All of our neighbors wave to one another. Several of our neighbors have come up to the house with a pastry or such and introduced themselves.

I wasn’t expecting that; it was a very pleasant surprise.

I have to keep reminding myself that COVID-19 is still out there and the country should be functioning in relative isolation. I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring all there is to explore in our desert home. We have online friends to meet in person and airplanes to fly and canyons to hike and rocks to climb and trails to ride bikes on. We’re almost done unpacking boxes.

I’m ready to unpack life in the desert.

5:30 AM.

My body seems OK with getting up at 5:30 AM Mountain Standard Time for my weekday schedule. Truman stays quiet and still on the bed until I show signs of being awake. My husband doesn’t get up until later, but I tip toe around the room, do my business in the washroom, and then throw on yesterday’s clothes so I can tackle the early morning team meetings.

I wonder if my colleagues notice that I’ve showered, shaved, and changed clothes between my first and second meetings of the morning?

My mood has been surprisingly pleasant with early rising. I’m starting to feel this new routine and it’s not a bad feeling. I’m pretty sure I can do this morning thing for as long as necessary.

Someone just hook up a device to my Zoom meetings so I can be jolted awake.

Actually, I’m kidding. The only stumbling block I have with these early morning meetings, other than being unshowered and unshaven, is my speech patterns. Speaking coherently and trying to keep my mild stammer this side of outrageous in the early morning can be a bit of a challenge. Like President Biden, I have little tricks I use to try to keep things running in the same direction, but once in a while my words and phrases and such can go in six directions at once with a repetitive stammer.

I’m like Bob Newhart without the groovy theme song.

Once I get the cylinders firing on all thrusters, though, I’m in my element and not feeling any bad effects from being up so early. I used to think getting up early was a thing grandparents did.

I’m now shocked to realize I’m the age my grandparents were at when I thought these things about getting up early.

Truth.

Work hard, never take anything for granted, and enjoy life while you can. Happy Easter to everyone that has stopped by!