Friday, May 31, 2019

Alien landing - and a volunteer opportunity

It's hard to come back home after six and a half months in Arizona. I feel like an alien.

Here's what looks different when I first get back:

  • Lots more traffic in Seattle than in Tucson - and lots more than this time last year. 
  • I notice what WASN'T here when we left. New buildings, old houses replaced by new houses, scaffolding for new buildings-to-be, more tents along the highway and under bridges.
  • Green, green everywhere. Including tall weeds in our yard. 
  • Inside the house, little things in different places, from when our tenant lived here.
Here's what I've done since I got back:
  • I had to change my insurance after 30 years, because my Washington provider doesn't have services in Arizona. I visited a new optometrist the day after I got back, rather than the friendly woman I've been seeing for 30 years. All three pairs of glasses need a new prescription, so I'm experiencing a little eyestrain (no old pairs to fall back on) while I wait for the new ones.
  • My housekeeper retired, so I got references from friends and hired a new one.
  • I want blue and purple highlights in my hair that don't fade. I asked for recommendations and, after I'd traveled 25 minutes to a new person, I said, "My only requirement is that it last for six weeks." So far, so good. Still, I felt a little remorseful about not going to the salon where I've been for the last seven years or so.

  • I mediated in small claims court on Tuesday, after seven months away. Most of it came back to me - like riding a bicycle, you know - but I forgot to fill out one form and had to go confess to the judge, who forgave me.
  • Conversation with my friend Gail, as though it's only been a week or so instead of half a year. She came up with an idea for recruiting Washington volunteers for the asylum shelter in Tucson where we spend time in the winter.
  • Lunch with my friend Marilyn, just like it was yesterday. She verified that Gail's idea for recruiting volunteers is a good one, and said she might want to go with her daughter and granddaughter.
  • Coffee with my friend Lillian and her friend Cheryl, and further conversation about the need for volunteers in Tucson. Cheryl's son has Tucson contacts.
  • Conversation with my neighbor Jennie, with interruptions from her three delightful children. They are all taller, of course, and I am a little shorter. I got to listen to violin practice from a back bedroom.
  • A conversation with my former medical provider; they have a more recent prescription for my CPAP machine, which I'll need in order to buy a smaller one for travel. I'm going to Iceland and England with my granddaughter next month, and I want to have the smaller machine by then.
  • A water exercise class, more vigorous than the one I attended in Arizona. I'll get used to it.
  • Pulling weeds in my yard. Half an hour is about my limit these days.
So, here's the deal about the volunteer opportunity in Tucson. 

Art and I volunteered every Saturday night from November to May at a shelter for asylum seekers. I have talked about that several times in this blog. We miss those Saturday nights.

The shelters in Tucson need volunteers in the summer and fall because snowbirds, who make up much of the workforce, have gone home.

I have a friend at Voyager, the 55+ RV resort where I live in the winter, who has three rentals (park model trailers). He will make them available to volunteers for $45 a night from now until October. There are a LOT of summer activities there, as well as three swimming pools, hot tub and sauna. Tucson has theatre, music, a university and excellent medical facilities. It is hot, but "it's a dry heat". For me, that's far easier than when it's humid. And Tucson sunsets are spectacular.

There is also a family offering an RV spot with full hookups, available free for volunteers.

You can come for days or weeks. You can work as many or as few four-hour shifts as you want. Or you can be a drveer. You can bring your children along. Each shift is guaranteed to have a Spanish speaker, in case you aren't one. On your first shift, it's guaranteed you will have someone experienced to show you the ropes. It's not strenuous, though it can get hectic. It's a fabulous experience. If you're interested, let me know and I will give you more information and help set you up. 

So, I've landed in Washington, feeling less like an alien. But I've still got my eyes on Tucson.


DJan said...

It's hard to think of leaving this gorgeous area during the summer months. I don't do well in heat, but you sure make that volunteering task sound appealing. I hope lots of people take advantage of it.

Linda Reeder said...

I won't be going to Arizona in summer either, but I do admire your work there and your cause in recruiting more volunteers. I wish you much success.

Anonymous said...

My comment seems to have disappeared along with the troll's rant. I asked if it was okay to mention the volunteer opportunity to my UU church family. We have a refugee and immigrant ministry and are talking about sponsoring a family seeking asylum.


Linda Myers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Myers said...

Sheila, please do mention the volunteer opportunity to your UU community! And feel free to contact me by email for more information.

Bag Lady in Waiting

Janette said...

Thinking about it. I will be headed that way in mid July. Hummmm. I know that time of year is going to be the most difficult to find people to help out. I grew up in Phoenix and really worry about how many people usually die being smuggled. It could be so much worse this year. Thinking.....Can you give me the info if I can work it out?

b+ (Retire In Style Blog) said...

It is always so much fun to read your schedule for a week or so. You and DJan keep me mindful of what can be done in a day. Thank you for that.

Take such good care of yourself this summer. I think retirement is agreeing with you in every way. Give Art my best.