May 5, 2020: This Week

With gyms closed, I’ve been walking early in the mornings while it is still cool, meandering around the neighborhood. Before, walks were quick and crammed between appointments. Everything pre-COVID now seems like it was rushed, with productivity the prize. This morning, as I took my time, I noticed the jacarandas and palo verdes are in full bloom, leaving purple and yellow flowers everywhere. Under some of the older, more established trees, the blossoms are so thick, they resemble snow.

Snow in the desert in May. Living during a pandemic has left my thoughts dizzy. Tasks that require creative thought must occur first thing in the morning with several cups of coffee and a quiet house – or they won’t be accomplished at all. The heat of the day strikes by noon and by late afternoon, everything has gone limp and tired like the thirsty Thai basil in the garden. This is the time for naps and cool glasses of ice tea that have a thick layer of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Neighbors are leaving the last bags and boxes of lemons and grapefruit at the curb with small handwritten signs. “Please take.” I’ve heard of this happening with zucchini in the Midwest in the middle of the summer. In Phoenix, it’s citrus, and by early May, we are so tired of citrus. The freezer is full of juice and zest. Loaves of lemon bread have been baking since January. Our canning pantry is full of marmalade. Even the bees have moved on to the blossoming mesquite, which sends a layer of neon green pollen across the garden.

Restrictions are being lifted this week locally. By the end of the week, you can go get a haircut or eat out at a restaurant. We won’t be doing either anytime soon. Arizona is 51st in the number of individuals who have been tested for COVID, which is a bellwether for poor public health leadership. If you don’t know how many people are sick, how can it be suggested that we are on the other side of the curve? Leftovers and hats make more sense.

This week, we’re cooking baked bean falafel from the delightful Nadiya Hussain. We’re harvesting tomatoes and peppers from the garden. We’re watching “Baptiste” on Masterpiece Theater and I’m reading Joan Didion’s “A Year of Magical Thinking.”

We’re dreaming of summer vacations camping in the pines, reading from hammocks, fishing for trout, star gazing. We’re dreaming of having the kids around the dinner table again, home from California and college. We’re dreaming of seeing friends and family, of hugs and cocktails and laughter that will once again fill our home.

Norte

I took a break from the heat and escaped to northern Arizona for the day, stirring up trouble in my old college haunts.

good morning, latte at La Bellavia

swedish pancakes

breakfast, after

Such as La Bellavia, where they serve the very best pancakes in the world. (Swedish, with blueberries and applesauce)

typical Flag

Route 66 and tracks

hippie mobile

typical residential street

yellow rose of Flagstaff

june 5 031

missing an apostrophe

poppies blowing in the wind

And downtown, where I could spend my salary in the blink of an eye at Babbit’s.

Sedona

tlaq

palace doors

Dork and a moon flower

Pretty spot in tlaquepaque

Le boots

Only in Sedona

Then there was Sedona, with it’s galleries, gardens and sweet scent. There is the most calming, peaceful perfume that hangs near the cottonwood-lined Oak Creek. I could sit and listen to the water trickle, curled up in the shade, all afternoon. Or, I could go to Oaxaca for margaritas on the patio. And a burrito.

{And yes, apparently by “old college haunts,” I meant a bakery and a Mexican restaurant. I guess some things never change.}

It is incredible what a brief change of scenery does for my perspective.

~K

Prickly

Work is going so well, but I’m finding I don’t have enough time to get everything done I’d like to accomplish. On the home front, the garden is being watered, the laundry folded, the dishes washed. With ultimate frisbee tonight and a fair amount of gym time peppering my week, I’m tired. I’m off tomorrow to Tucson to help my grandma with my ailing grandfather and great uncle.I hope to spend a fair chunk of my time curled up on the couch with knitting and a journal. There are so many questions about their childhood I’d like to have answered. I figure tomorrow is a great time to visit and give Gram a chance to take some time for herself.

So, a bit of desert beauty to keep spirits high in the meantime. I hope your week is going well!

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

Desert Beauties

~K

Hoots

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Yep, I’m just inappropriate and immature enough to have walked up to this installation and said a bit too loudly, “Boobies!”

chihuly 047

chihuly 048

Oh, come on. You were thinking it too.

~K