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
awfulinteresting 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-husbandStuff 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.