So why are we still here?
- We want to stay in Arizona long enough to avoid most of the seasonal rain in Washington. But we don't want to broil while we're waiting. We figured April 20 - a week from tomorrow - would be a reasonable day to leave. The weather is still pleasant here; the thermometer has hit 90 degrees only once, and that was last month. Alaska Airlines is picking us up next Wednesday at the airport, and we'll land at our home airport - SeaTac - about three hours later.
- Off season is quite different, with lots of quiet and little traffic. Fewer voices on the street, fewer cars in driveways, no waiting for a seat in the restaurant. Mostly I hear birds celebrating spring. I'm watching a pair of quails building a nest in a palm tree just off our deck and right at eye level. I hear occasional jets from the air force base, and trains on the dual tracks by the interstate. Nothing rushed, though, or very noisy. It's nice to be here in this quiet time.
And what are we doing?
- We had a few things we wanted to do around our little place this season, but we were both so busy with Oklahoma! - Art was in the cast and I was responsible for ticket sales - that we didn't have the time or energy to get to them. Now the shelving has been put up in the new shed and the old, falling-apart shed has been relieved of its storage responsibility and dismantled. We've moved a bookcase to the shed and agreed that next year we'll change out a few lamps in the Arizona room, move the recycle boxes to the laundry room and replace the TV table that came with our park model with something more functional and visually appealing. We'll buy a couple of silk plants to disguise the electrical cords.
- I've scheduled appointments at home for next week and beyond. Haircuts, massages, mediation workshops, lunches with Washington friends.
- I'm looking at ways of modifying my exercise routines. I've been doing water exercise for three years, but I find it's not aerobic enough. I'll need to walk on the hills in our neighborhood at home or ride my bicycle. There is one water class, two days a week, that emphasizes balance and strength, and I'll probably continue to do that. We've made a decision to sign up for a Road Scholar program next year to walk portions of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It will be in May or October - and I want to be fit enough to do that without being too tired or footsore in the evenings.
- I'm writing. I now have enough blocks of time to work most days on my next book. So far it's called "Why We Travel: A Love Story." In the current quiet, my mind is opening back up to all our times away. The memories are clear and draw me back into this work.
- We're reading. Magazines left over from last year. Brene Brown's book "Rising Strong" as I finish up her online course. "The Poet of Tolstoy Park", aloud to Art at night before we go to sleep. John Shelby Spong's latest book for my spiritual reading. And Art is reading mystery and espionage as Larisa the Designer Cat sleeps next to him on the back of the sofa.
- We're riding our bicycles in the park.
- We're watching "The Americans" via Netflix DVD most evenings. We finished "House of Cards" and "The Good Wife". Last week we watched "Field of Dreams" again - one of my all-time favorites - and "The Intern".
We have a lovely, quiet calm routine. Until next week. Then we'll be home, reentering the activities we love there.
Nope. I'm not bored!