Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tucson, Arizona: Get Back To Where You Once Belonged

Saguaro National Monument (West)

I have moved to many places in my life, including four countries outside the USA, but this was indeed in record breaking time for me.

I found a place on Sunday, February 22nd. More on that later. I drove back on Monday, hired my friend Heather's teenage son to act as my "production assistant" on Tuesday. Packed everything that day and put it in storage. I cleaned the place Wednesday morning and drove back to Tucson in the afternoon.

Desert Bloom

In a weird way I guess I am lucky not to be in a career, or relationship, or a property owner. If I were, I would not have been able to pick up and leave like I just did.

I was thinking of the Beatles song Get Back on my drive back to Tucson. You know..."Jo Jo left her home in Tucson, Arizona for some California grass...Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged."

Tucson Sunset

My dad has made a remarkable recovery. He is using a cane now rather than the walker. He had a doctor's appointment on March 4th. The doctor told my dad he no longer needs the catheter. Oh happy day.

My dad has been going to lunch at the country club with his buddies. My dad has also been hanging with his "lady friend" so much that he is never home when I call to check on him. Rumor has it they may be shacking up soon and living in sin. She is 75, my dad is 81.

San Xavier Mission

I found a place through my friends Tim and Mary. Tim is a fantastic journalist who writes for the Tucson Weekly. He writes a lot on border issues. His wife, Mary, is a playwright and teacher. They hooked me up to this woman I am sharing a condo. Her husband just left and so she wanted a roommate.

La Placita Village in Tucson

It is a gorgeous Spanish-style condo in central Tucson, Speedway and Alvernon area. This is five minutes from my dad's place. When I drove up to look at the place, I saw the name of the condos are Cuernavaca Villas . I knew it was a good sign.

That fab summer of 1990 I spent in Mexico while in college where I had the affair with the sexy lawyer... well I spent 3 weeks in Cuernavaca. Absolutely loved that city. Gorgeous.

My rent $350. Yes way.

City of Tucson

Anyway, my roomie is from Mexico and a department manager for Barnes and Noble. She has maid service twice a week. Man I feel like I am in Bogota, Colombia again. The maid asked if I wanted her to make my bed. I said, "no, gracias." The next time she came she made breakfast. She asked if I wanted some breakfast. I said, "si gracias." The maid does not speak English so I have been practicing my Spanish with her. I swear, I feel so lucky that everything fell into place so easily.

One last thing about my condo, I have an assigned covered parking space. Very good to have in this Arizona heat. Also, it is gated. So I feel safe. And we have a pool. Important to have one here in the desert.

One more last thing about my roomie. She gets advanced copies of books from Barnes and Nobles. This condo is full of new books. I am in heaven. I have about eleven books by my bed right now that I am trying to power through. I have not watched TV since I have been here, except once. The tennis match in Dubai.

My roomie gets the Tennis Channel. I am in heaven. Watched the men's final. David Ferrer lost to Novak Djokovic. I love David Ferrer. He was not playing his best tennis and consequently lost. Anyway, I can't believe I have the Tennis Channel now.

Monsoon Season in Tucson

Now I just need a job. Signed up with a temp agency, will start the process to sub teach, and have been applying to non-profits. There are four agencies who help refugees right here in Tucson. So have been applying.

Lastly, I hung out with Tim and Mary Saturday night. I met a guy named Ted. He is a filmmaker. And guess what? He volunteers with a couple of orgs that help the immigrants who are crossing over by leaving water and food. I told him I want to volunteer. Tucson summers are brutal and folks die out there.

I went to a meeting for Humane Borders Wednesday night. I signed up to go out to Three Points next Saturday. Three Points is out on the Tohono O'Odham Nation. I used to teach out there so know the area well. Unfortunately, the drug runners are going through there now making it a dangerous place.

I learned at the meeting on Tuesday Humane Borders is going down to Mexico via Sasabe. They said a big time director is shooting a documentary about border crossings and Humane Borders for HBO. Always thought this would make a great story. Wonder who it is.

A friend of Tim and Mary's bartends down at the swanky Marriot out at Starr Pass. She said she gabbed with Sam Mendes last week for about three hours. I asked her what he was doing in Tucson. she said, "shooting a film." Wonder if it is him. He is the director of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road .

The folks at Humane Borders asked if I wanted to come out on Tuesday. I sure would love to but my passport expired over the summer. It was on my list of "thing to do." Damn.

I stopped by the International Rescue Committee last Tuesday. I am going to a full day training today for volunteers. I will be a mentor to recently arrived refugee families. I will love this.

The volunteer coordinator told me that 45% of the refugees they are receiving are from Iraq now. Imagine that? We go and blow up their cities, and then accept them with open arms into our country when all they want to be is in their homes in their own country. Reminds me of the Vietnam era. We go in in slaughter and then invite them into our country.

Bisbee, AZ

Lastly, to my friends who read my blog, I am giving you all an open invitation to come out and visit. Best time of year would be spring or fall. I also love the monsoon season in the summer. But it is deadly hot and my English friends I think would melt.

I would love to show you my city and state. I took a drive out to Bisbee and Douglas last weekend. I will take you there. And depending on my work schedule, once I get a job, I will take you as far as the Grand Canyon. If work does not allow, then I'll give you a map. Just head north until you run into a giant hole in the ground.

Hotel Gadsden, Douglas, AZ

The first photo at the top of this post is Saguaro National Monument, West. It is not far from where I live. There is great hiking within minutes of my home.

The Hotel Gadsden Coffee Shop

And the Hotel Gadsden Coffee Shop and staircase are a sight to see. I had lunch in the coffee shop last weekend. A most excellent tuna melt with bacon. The two waitresses working in the empty coffee shop were very friendly... and bored. I learned that one lived on a ranch 15 miles outside Douglas. The other was 20 and married with a two year old daughter. Very sweet young women.

Hotel Gadsden Coffee Shop

The drive out there is full of wide open space and skies that go on for miles.

I have seen about a billion stars in the sky every night. One night last week Venus was shining so bright next to the moon. I have never seen her shine so bright.

I knew then that I have come home to where I belong. It has been a long journey. The journey still continues, but this time in the place where it all began.
Hotel Gadsden staircase, Douglas, AZ


sas said...

So pleased you arrived ok and settling into Arizona life. It looks beautiful!

Mary Cuevas said...

thanks sas,
and i noticed science guy arrived.:) did you get the house in chiswick? it looked so lovely.