Friday, May 3, 2024

End of the snowbird season

Two days ago we flew home from Tucson, where we’ve spent the last six months, to Seattle, our home airport. We’ll spend the summer in Brier at our family home. This is a twice-a-year ritual for Art and me and our Siberian forest cat, Dutchy.

I’m looking back at the last weeks of our snowbird season with nostalgic and a bit of sadness. Our life in Tucson is busy with activities and friends, mostly in sunny weather. 

This year I was too busy; I had so much going on that I had to drop two discussion groups. One was current events on Wednesday afternoon; the other was Great Decisions (foreign policy topics) on Thursday afternoon. Both of these groups were interesting, but they cover issues too large for me to make a difference. I read emails from the Washington Post and the New York Times and Atlantic each day, plus CNN and NPR online. So I’m pretty well informed. Sometimes I think of solutions to the big issues of the world, but most of them required egoless leadership, which we don’t have much of these day. 

Instead, I played handbells on Mondays, plus once a month at the “nondenominational” church service. I volunteered at the resort clinic on Tuesdays. This year I took two Spanish classes on Wednesday mornings. I’m a volunteer and a Board member of the Inn of Southern Arizona, which serves asylum seekers coming across the border from Mexico. Many of our guests are from Central and South America, but these days they’re also from Haiti and Senegal, Ukraine and Russia, China and India. For those arrivals we have Google Translate. My goal is to be able to speak Spanish to make a connection with some of our guests. Thursdays were open once I dropped Great Decisions. That was my paperwork day. And Fridays a group of friends went to dinner somewhere in Tucson. We left the resort at 4 and were home by 7. Big night on the town!

Back in the Pacific Northwest, I’m hoping to take it easy. To sleep more, read more, relax more. I’m going to try to limit myself to one out-of-the-house activity each day. And how much time I spend online. I’m hoping the summer will be a respite for me.

I guess that’s up to me, though, isn’t it?