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Posts tagged ‘Tubac’

I grew a tree

Actually, I grew more than one tree. Ten years ago or so, I opened up a few pods from a Mesquite tree and put the seeds in the ground in the backyard of my house in Southern Arizona. Today the trees are massive, and knowing these beautiful trees are there because of me makes me feel like I did something good. This was different than going down to your neighborhood nursery and buying a tree in a pot. This was me helping nature by scattering seeds and growing something that will still be standing in 100 years.

My husband, David, had made a somewhat impulsive decision to buy a house in Tubac, Arizona after visiting his parents one winter. They had retired to Southern Arizona and the town of Tubac was about an hour away from them. He bought a completely staged (furnished) brand new home in a development that was within walking distance to town, which wasn’t much more than four square blocks of art galleries, a coffeehouse, a few restaurants, a saloon, and one gas station. I had never been there. He returned to our home in Palm Springs with the news.

We then impulsively rented our house in Palm Springs completely furnished, put a few things in a storage unit, loaded our two vehicles with personal belongings and three dogs and then drove to the state next door where we would live for the next two years, which brings me to the day the Mesquite pods came into my possession.

We had gone to visit my in-laws and after a lazy afternoon and early dinner, we stood in their front yard chatting before saying goodbye. They had a very large Mesquite tree next to their driveway that was shedding pods. My father-in-law (who I also must give credit too) picked up a handful and gave them to me. He said, “Take these home, open them up, and put the seeds in the ground. You might get a tree.”

Mesquite pods

Mesquite pods

Our backyard was all rock, very sparse, and with only a few desert cactuses and shrubs. It wasn’t pretty. In addition, the development had a rule about the height of your fence or enclosure. We had a four foot wall that overlooked a park to the back and an adjacent neighbor on one side. There wasn’t much privacy. I told David that I would try to grow four trees. Three on the back wall and one on the side closer to the house.

Before trees

Before trees

The seeds sprouted very quickly. I was ecstatic. When our desert dwelling days came to an end, the trees were about as tall as me, but still wispy. We visited Arizona when we could and it was always joyful to see their growth, but as the story goes there came a time when that house was no longer my house and the ex-husband got custody of the trees.

Happily, the story doesn’t end there. Knowing what those trees meant to me, David sends me pictures every time he visits Tubac.

View from the back wall of one of my trees.

Look at that tree!

 

Storage Woes and Road Trippin’ – Part 2

I last left you with the gripping saga of a possible plan to retrieve important items from a storage unit in Arizona. So I called David who came up with a brilliant plan. If you recall, I had some things belonging to him in a storage unit in Healdsburg. He suggested that he leave his truck for me at the Tucson airport and then I can load up my things and drive his truck back home. He would then fly up within a couple weeks and pick up his truck along with his items in storage here and drive his truck back. YAY!

And so the alignment of the stars had all of this fall into place. Sarah was unable to take the two days to drive back so I recruited my friend Elizabeth to take the trip with us. That wasn’t difficult at all. She’s one of those people that shows up, no matter what. You need her, you call, she’s there. Her only condition was that we had to look in on a family friend who lived in Tucson. Lillian Fisher, retired Superior Court judge, aged 92. Of course we could do that!

Southwest Airlines had never seen the likes of us three, though we mostly behaved and managed not to annoy any of our fellow travelers, except when we hit a pocket of air and the plane briefly fell out of the sky. I yelled, “Fuck!” Elizabeth said, “Jeez, fly much?” I said, “Yes, actually.” Elizabeth said, “I wasn’t talking to you.” The rest of this story is going to be told in highlights. So here you have ’em:

  • David’s truck had a keypad lock on the driver’s door to unlock the truck. This was great because I didn’t have to worry about the key, which was left inside. They only thing I knew was that it was a big white Ford truck. What are the chances of another big white truck (not a Ford) with a keypad lock parked in the same area? Of course I went to the wrong truck and tried to open it.
  • Directly from the airport we found a TJ Maxx so Elizabeth and I could buy cheap swimsuits after Sarah asked if we had brought ours because there was a pool and Jacuzzi at the hotel. What are the chances of there being another big white truck with a keypad lock parked in the TJ Maxx parking lot? Again, I went to the wrong truck and tried to open it.
  • The resort was lovely. It was wonderful to see John. We went to the restaurant patio that first night and had margaritas, ate too much food and listened to a band straight out of 1970. Amongst the musicians and the crowd, I think we were the youngest.
  • The next morning we drove to Tubac where I showed the girls my old stomping ground. We roamed the village and ate lunch at a restaurant called Elvira’s that has awful interesting decor and very good food. Then we headed to the storage unit, loaded up the truck and bungeed my important items with a blue tarp that covered the entire bed of the truck
  • Until you arrive back into the city limits of Tucson, Interstate 19 leading from Tubac has a speed limit of 75. When you reach Tucson, the speed limit changes to 55. There is no in between. I had completely forgotten what a speed trap it was there and with the distraction of my friends, I wasn’t paying close attention. Until I saw the cop right behind me, and then the lights. I played a little dumb, what with Nevada plates and all (David lives most of the time in Las Vegas). He said I was going 72. I said I missed the 55 sign. He told me I missed it twice. Then I gave him my license and registration. The names don’t match. At all. “Whose truck is this?” he asked. “My ex-husband’s.” And then for whatever reason, I said, “We’re good friends.” Then he said, “What’s under the tarp?” I said, “My ex-husband Stuff I picked up in Tubac from storage. I lived here a few years ago.” Then he walked away for about 10 minutes. I was expecting a ticket. Instead, I got a written warning. Whew.
  • Next we visited Lillian. She was an old friend of Elizabeth’s parents. She was amazing. At 92, she had all her wits about her and we loved listening to her stories. She was a Jewish girl from New York whose husband fell in love with the west when as a dentist in the Air Force, he was stationed in New Mexico. He moved his family from New Jersey and they never looked back. Lillian became a lawyer at 40 and a judge at 50. It was wonderful meeting her and I wish we could have stayed longer.
  • Back at the hotel we got ready for the wine dinner where Sarah charmed the pants off of everyone in the room as she talked about her wine. Elizabeth and I had a chance to meet the owner of the hotel who also knew Lillian. Apparently everyone knows Lillian. We are convinced there will eventually be a street named after her.
  • We were up before dawn to drop Sarah at the airport, then Elizabeth and I hit the road. We listened to Radiolab podcasts and took turns with music. Rather than gas station food or drive-thrus, we opted for carrots, cheese sticks and fruit from the grocery store, though I would have been fine with sunflower seeds and SweetTarts. We drove across Hoover Dam and were stopped again by the police at a checkpoint and I was asked to get out of the vehicle and show him what was under the tarp.
  • Our first night we stopped in Las Vegas and stayed at the hotel David manages. It was sort of halfway, but I also needed to pick up the bike I won in a drawing awhile back. Before you think we were going to whoop it up in Las Vegas, this hotel is not on the strip, which suited us just fine. David’s dog greeted us at the front desk and after a workout in the hotel gym, a shower and a 5-minute nap, Elizabeth and I went to dinner with David and his girlfriend, Julie. He didn’t break that news to me until I came down to the lobby to meet him. I might have spent a little more time on my hair and makeup or wore a different outfit had I know she was joining us. The evening was fun. We all had a good time.
  • Up again before dawn, we hightailed it back to California. We were greeted with a glorious sunrise as we left Las Vegas and we discovered that the town of Tehachapi has no health food stores.

It was good to be home. I missed my cat, my boyfriend, and my bed, though not necessarily in that order.

Welcome to Tucson

Welcome to Tucson

The right truck

The right truck

Elvira's decor

Elvira’s decor

Elizabeth and Lillian

Molly

Molly

The I-5 taking us home

The I-5 taking us home

Storage Woes and Road Trippin’ – Part 1

I love it when the stars align. When things just fall together to make whatever you have been trying to do or  to accomplish for a very long time becomes easy to tackle and without much thought or expense.

This recently happened and it turned out to be not only easy, but fun too. Those who know me well know that I am very well acquainted with storage units. This is a result of moving around a lot when I was married to David. There was the first storage unit in Palm Springs when not all of our furniture fit into the first house we moved in. We eventually sold the furniture and move some items into a smaller unit. We added a few of my father-in-law’s things as a favor to him. Then we inherited all of my son Jarrod’s crap books and things when he graduated college. Then we moved from Palm Springs to Tubac, Arizona and rented our Palm Springs house furnished so we got a bigger unit and added most of our personal belongings and what we didn’t need to take to Arizona. The house we bought in Tubac had been staged so we bought the furniture with it, but I did take a truckload of personal items with me that were too important to part with; stuff that just needed to follow me wherever I went. Wait, I’m not done.

Two years later we moved back to our home in Palm Springs. Because we were keeping Arizona as a vacation home and going back and forth, those important items that were supposed to follow me everywhere remained in Arizona. A few years later we decided to move to Healdsburg. With that decision, we put everything that was in the Palm Springs house into a holding unit with a moving company until we figured out where we were going to be living (because we had a temporary residence) and then we would send for it. To that holding unit, we added whatever was remaining in the other unit. I realize this tale is somewhat boring, but stay with me, okay?

So we found a house in Healdsburg. It was very small compared to our home in Palm Springs. There was no way were going to be able to fit all of our furniture into this house so David just went out and bought new stuff. I guess it was just easier that way? I did send for everything that were in boxes and told the moving company I would send for the furniture when I found a suitable storage unit in Healdsburg. Eventually I did that. I found a huge unit, but was still absolutely stunned by the amount of crap furniture that came on that truck. There was a shit-ton of other crap items too. I had forgotten that the boxes I first sent for had been specifically set aside and marked by me as what I would definitely need should the situation arise that we would bring things up in separate trips, which were dishes, linen, etc. I’m almost done. This back story is important to the rest of the story. I think.

Since the obtaining of this giant unit to fill up wasn’t long after my divorce and right before I was moving into my new cottage, I set about getting rid of what I no longer needed. I was happy to see my almost new washer and dryer because I needed them, and I was happy to see my beautiful headboard and footboard for my bed because I knew how pretty it would look in my new bedroom, but there wasn’t much else I could fit in my cottage. My dear friend, Doralice helped me sell/donate/junk most of the furniture and then I transferred what was left into a much smaller unit and organized it. One section was mine, one was Jarrod’s and one was David’s.

Back the beginning of the story. Those really important items in Arizona were still in Arizona and for the past five years I have been trying to figure out how to get them. Ultimately, David rented yet another storage unit there because he does short-term rentals from time to time and thought they would be more secure. So this was when the stars aligned. An opportunity in my lap to go get my really important items. Things so important to me that I had forgotten what they were.

The shortest version possible:  My friend John works at a lovely resort in Tucson. He is the wine steward/restaurant manager. He had a meeting with the Regional Manager of Ferrari-Carano about carrying their wines, which is where I work. (I said that because I’m just going to assume there are some reading this who don’t actually know me personally). Ahem. Anyway, the topic of a “wine dinner” came up. A wine dinner is where the winemaker goes to the restaurant and talks about the different wines with different food pairings It’s usually a five course meal or so. People love that stuff. They pay good money to meet the winemaker, who just happens to be one of my other dear friends. Her name is Sarah for those of you who don’t know her. Anyway, I’m sure you are seeing the stars aligning here. The dinner is scheduled, John called and said I should come with Sarah. If I stay with Sarah in her room, it will be free, Tubac is 40 miles south of Tucson, I will only need to pay for my flight there and then figure out how to get my stuff back to Healdsburg. I called David.

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