The Journey Home Is Underway


I’m at that bar-like table at the airport. You know, the one with plugs. I am taking full advantage.

It looks like a geek’s campout! Laptop plugged in. Compact Flash card from the camera plugged into it. Cellphone plugged in and charging too.

Thank you Tucson International for free WiFi. It’s the cherry on top of a brief, but fun weekend.

If you’re just joining us, it was Orange County first with a little house recon. Next a few great days in nearby Los Angeles with Stef. Finally, two nights, but really just one full day in Tucson for Aunt Sue’s 100th birthday.

Aunt Sue is Helaine’s aunt. We both have very small families (number and height), so events like this are cherished.

We came to Tucson with some apprehension. We hadn’t seen any of the party goers in thirteen years! And, of course, having been on the news I’ve seen more than my fair share of hundredth birthday party stories. You know the one where the birthday girl (seldom birthday boy) is wheeled into a common room at a ‘facility’.

This was anything but! Aunt Sue was vibrant. She drove until she was 91. Yesterday she held court with the three generations beneath her on the family tree. Her memory isn’t quite what it once was, but everything else was firing on all cylinders.

She walked around. She played with the kids. She served herself punch and food.

Being 100 like Aunt Sue seems less daunting than being 100 should be.

The party was held at Sharon and Arthur’s (Helaine’s cousins) house north of the city. We went through lots of nothing to get there! Lots of pretty, stark, majestic nothing.

Here’s where Connecticut and the West differ. Much of our tiny state features homes on large lots. In wide open Arizona (and California) the homes are on tiny lots, surrounded by scrubland. Each is distinct and beautiful in its own way.

This is the desert. So far 2013 has produced under 2″ of rain in Tucson!

We briefly slipped away during the party so Cousin Knight could take us for a quick photo op. This is the very short moment when the desert is awash in color. There’s a lot to shoot, including the iconic saguaro cactus, found only in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.

This afternoon it’s Tuscon/Midway/Bradley, then home.