Thursday, July 12, 2007


It seems time for another installation from the road. In some ways, our roadtrip seems far away as we live out the dailyness of our present existence. But the blessings we received from the road, continue to carry us even now.

When we arrived in Tucson, we were greeted by a gorgeous array of colourful perrennials outside my parent's home. They are lovingly tended by my green-thumbed mama. My parent's entry-way courtyard brims with flowering vines. A restful, tinkling fountain flows, surrounded by crocus' and wetland-loving lilypads. Birdfeeders and hanging candles highlight the curving paths. And a rod-iron garden table with two chairs lingers to the side in the cool shade from the mesquite tree.

My parents, older brother Jeff, his wife Lisa and their 5 beautiful children welcomed us. We met our newest niece for the first time. Alley excitedly asked if she could hold her tiny cousin, and Lisa warmly obliged and helped Al find a comfy position of the couch where she could get acquainted. They live in San Antonio and it is always a treat to have time together and to watch the cousins play. I was glad for a few chances to catch up with Lisa and Jeff, to hear of their farm, Jeff's busy medical practice and Lisa's adventures in homeschooling and gardening.

A dear friend (Meg) and I met up for coffee and gelato at the Casas Adobes Plaza, a beautiful collection of shops and cafes down the street from my childhood home. We had a chance to renew our friendship and to share our dreams in hope for one another.

The main event of our time in Tucson was my youngest brother's highschool graduation from Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. He graduated with honours as a National Merit Finalist, played a sweet guitar duet for the ceremony and was acknowledged for his acheivemnts and full-ride scholarship to Baylor University. I was proud of my "little" bro who measures in a 6'5". Since we are 10 years apart in age, I often feel I have missed out on a lot of the milestones of his teenage life. It was a joy to become aware of his involvements and abilities and to celebrate the completion of an era for him. I experience a great deal of joy when I get to watch my brother grow into a man before my eyes.

Another dear friend (Mel) and I had some cherished time together. We caught up on her business as a Flamenco Instructor and weaved together the stories that bridge our long-distance friendship. As always, we had to say goodbye much too soon.

My mom and I spent a morning at Tohono Chul Park, one of her favorite places in the world. Nourished by Prickly Pear tea and a delicious breakfast in the cafe, we walked leisurely around the gardens, looking at the native flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert.

My Dad and I walked together the four mornings (Early! Before the desert heat) we were there. I loved having a chance to be involved in his daily routine, to see the Mama Dove he sees every morning and to hear his thoughts on the world and politics.

During an impromptu visit with my Grandpa and Uncle Mark, we were able to pick grapefruit from the trees I used to make forts beneath as a child. Alley loved it and ran around, swinging from branch to branch. It was a gift to be in my Grandparent's home again, to pay respect to my Grandma and to feel her lingering presence.

And before we knew it, we were packing up to hit the dusty north-bound trail.


Rach said...

So good to hear some more. Sounds like you had a truly blessed time.

elizabeth said...

sigh. thanks. lovely to hear more. what a special trip. it is always a little inwardly strange to move to where one once was and is no longer but yet still is, in part. i have not been home in just over a year now and am hoping that Christmas will be a good time for this... thanks again for sharing. your words are dear.

L.L. Barkat said...

Love the picture of the children and the tree. When I was little, I found trees to be a wonderful world of exploration and secrecy. Hmmm... actually, I guess I still do, even as I go out each day to lie down under my big pine tree!