My sister Alyx and her husband Virgil flew from their cold wet dark Anchorage to spend six days in warm dry sunny Tucson. We inflated a queen-sized airbed for them and the four of us lived in 620 square feet reasonably well all week. Every other night the airbed lost air; we'd wake up at 2, or 4, to the sound of the electric pump. The second toilet developed a small leak at the base so we called the landlord and wrapped a towel around the toilet base. We planned showers around the limitation of a five-gallon hot water tank. We clustered in our small living room with computers on three of our four laps. Lots of talk, especially between Alyx and me.
Alyx wanted to rent a bike and ride in the desert and, as a geocacher, to find some caches. We did that. We rode bikes in the RV resort and along the trail in Julian Wash. We found 16 geocaches. Alyx went to her first-ever water aerobics class and was surprised to like it. She listened to my handbell rehearsal and decided the bells sounded lovely rather than goofy. We went to a dance and Alyx danced for the first time in many years. By the time she left yesterday she was sore but sun-filled.
Virgil wanted to spend time with brother-in-law Art. They went to eight 12-step meetings in six days, most of them at 6:30 in the morning. Usually Alyx and I were up by then, but not always.
We went to Macaroni Grill one night for dinner. We ate a lot. Too much. And had enough left over to take home. In Anchorage there is no Macaroni Grill, and Alyx craved it. Another evening Virgil grilled ribs on our neighbor Ken's barbecue. Ken joined us for dinner, along with friends Ann and Larry. At home, we rarely entertain. Here it is simple and easy.
Every morning when I looked out at the sun I felt blessed. By Saturday, Alyx and Virgil didn't want to leave. I got it. As I drove home from the airport after dropping off, I was grateful for our good fortune. We will be here for two more months.
Six days of houseguests is probably enough. Today Alyx and Virgil are back in Anchorage, settling in for their workweek. They plan to move to Washington this summer, so they have lots to do in the next six months. And today Art and I are enjoying our quiet park model. He's reading the paper and watching a couple of football games. I'm reading my online classes (chemistry, psychology, big data, social and economic networks, and the human body in the environment]. These are free, not-for-credit classes for me, the lifelong learner.
In the sideline, my computer died yesterday, victim of an eager dismantler trying to clean it so my earbuds would work. The dismantler apologized and I got a new MacBook Air. So far, almost everything has been moved over. Not how I would have planned a Sunday, but it could have been worse.
Right now I feel like a lucky woman. I know I am a grateful one.
I LOVE NEW ZEALAND
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