Saturday, February 4, 2012
Staying Put Never Keeps Me From Rambling
When I last blogged a few weeks ago, my 19-year-old son Sly and I were on a camping trip to several Tucson area tourist traps. (By the way, our tickets to most of the places we visited were BOGOs because I bought a Tucson Attractions Savings Passport. If you're going to visit Tucson, you should buy one, too.)
Biosphere 2, north of Tucson near Oracle. Years ago, Biosphere was an experiment that had humans living in a domed environment to explore possible space colonization and ways to survive on Earth in case of environmental disaster. Due to funding and management disputes, as well as factors of "confined environmental psychology" (we used to call it "Cabin Fever" in Alaska), the experiments that involved having humans live inside the facility ended. A few years ago, the University of Arizona took over management and later ownership of the site, and now they are running experiments on climate change and other issues.
We enjoyed the tour at Biosphere 2, and it was fun to imagine what it would have been like to live there back in the day. There are several really warm, lush biomes, as well as harsher desert environments, all in one big complex. I never felt like we were getting the whole story as to why people no longer live inside the facility, but it really didn't matter. There is still a lot of interesting stuff going on there, and it's a great learning environment for both the University and visitors.
Arizona-Senora Desert Museum, which is one of my all-time favorite places to enjoy and learn about nature. They have it all there--museum exhibits, art institute and gallery, zoo, trails, cafes, gift shops. It was all fun, but the highlight of the day was seeing a demonstration of Harris hawks in flight, sometimes so close over our heads that we were brushed by their wing feathers.
After the hawk fly-over, we headed back home to Why, where we spent the remainder of Sly's visit, mostly in quieter pursuits such as playing board games, doing jigsaw puzzles, and sitting outside reading in the afternoons. When Sly had been here for a little over two weeks, we drove up to Phoenix for his flight back to Seattle. However, this was on the first full day of the Seattle Snowmageddon, and all of the flights were canceled and it was hard to predict when Sly could get out. So I rescheduled Sly's flight to have him stay an extra week. As it turned out, this was a good plan--some parts of the Seattle area were without power for five days.
Etsy site, and maybe he'll be able to add more paintings there once he finishes his partial hospitalization program.
Since my son left, I've been really concentrating on taking care of myself. Steve and I drove up to Casa Grande, a city that lies between Phoenix and Tucson, one day so I could get my Arizona driver's license. Becoming an Arizona resident will enable me to get on a state health care program, which I need because my pre-existing knee replacement and other arthritis problems make private health insurance prohibitively expensive. I had a scary high blood pressure spike one of the last day's of Sly's visit, and I've been more aware of blood sugar issues lately than in the past, so I'm planning to call on Monday to set up a physical at the community clinic in Ajo, where they can get me started on the state program for low-income residents.
The past couple of days, I've been helping our friends Clyde and Joan (silversmith and quilt designer, respectively) with their booths at the annual "Quilting in the Senoran Desert" show, and that was really fun. I saw beautiful, inspiring work and learned a lot, and got compensated for my time by getting some of Clyde's beautiful handmade jewelry as well as having a good lunch from the Oasis Cafe both days.
Now I'm ready to chill...like Sonja: