Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday morning, while Odel was outdoors monitoring Luna's activities in the wild, he heard "Odel!" A couple was approaching, unfamiliar to him.

"You are Odel, aren't you?"
"Yes", he answered, wondering if he should recognize them.
"We read your blog! We knew you were here. We know you, and Scoopy, and there's Luna!"

Margaret and Jeff know us through this blog; we know them (well, their names) because they have recently joined the Boomers. As is usual for Boomers, hugs all around.

Odel was heading off to the golf course, so we mentally examined our busy social calendar and planned a happy hour get-together this afternoon. Off went Odel, off went Jeff and Margaret, and in I went to do whatever the heck it was that occupied my entire afternoon yesterday.

Joy (Rosanna's daughter) and her husband Greg are in Tucson for a short vacation from their medical residencies in Cincinnati. Today's agenda began with a morning hike for Joy, Odel and I.

Tucson is experiencing "warmer than average" temperatures and we've seen real changes. Night time lows, close to freezing when we arrived, have been in the low 50's, with highs in the mid- to upper-80's. Today was a perfect hiking day, overcast and a little breezy.

We chose the Sutherlin trail, which Odel and I had hiked a week ago (I posted the photo of the little frog). Because of the warm weather, snakes are out of hibernation and we have heard several reports of rattlesnake sightings. I was leading, and on alert. :)

The changes in just one warm week were amazing. Trees that were leafless last week are robed in bright, spring-green leaves now. WAY more wildflowers are blooming; much of the trail was bordered by a blanket of tiny yellow flowers - darling in "real life", ho-hum in photos.

This pink flower, Fairy Duster (I think) is plentiful now, and a very short, small variety of lupine is popping up along the path, too. Up at the pool, the ocotillos have buds on their tips, ready to lengthen and open. Spring has arrived in Tucson, at least temporarily.

Being a doctor, Joy was very interested in learning about Odel's proton beam therapy and he was happy to talk about it. I hardly said two words - yet there was no lack of conversation. No worries about rattlesnakes; they were alerted well in advance that we were in the vicinity!

Part Two of our plan was lunch at Sur Real, a new restaurant in an upscale section of Tucson that had been recommended to Joy and Greg. As Joy, Odel and I pulled out of our site at Catalina to head to the restaurant, Greg called - ready to put aside his studies and join us.

Sur Real was beautiful inside. They specialize in Latin American cuisine, and we pored over the extensive and intriguing menu for quite awhile before we made our choices (tacos and enchiladas, way too mundane a description for the meal we experienced).

Odel ordered one of the six speciality margaritas they serve, and it was one of the best I have tasted in ages. Fortunately, it was large, so Odel didn't mind when I took a couple big gulps (dehydrated from the long hike).

The food was outstanding and the service was excellent. Maybe Odel and I can fit in another visit before we leave, but it is always more fun in good company. Thanks, Joy and Greg!

Lucky I helped Odel with the margarita, because he looked like a nap would be welcome as we headed home... but it was 30 minutes until our next social event!

At 4 pm, Margaret arrived with snacks, her own chair, and her own wine glass (a fulltimer for less than 6 months, but she has learned the essentials) - but without Jeff, who was too sick to visit. It is a testiment to how engaging she is that we soon forgot the napping idea.

Margaret and Jeff have been fulltimers (and first-time RV'ers, as were we), for about 6 months, and Margaret had lots of questions - in fact, she had a little list that came out shortly to make sure nothing was forgotten. Our conversation took me right back to those first days, weeks, and months... so many new experiences! So much complexity in your new home! So much to learn! So overwhelming! So exhilarating!

Jeff staggered over long enough to say hello and look pathetic, and I could tell that Margaret wanted to simply download the newly acquired information from her brain to his so she could absorb an equal amount of new information. We parted when it was too dark to continue outdoors, with a plan to visit them down the lane at their campsite on Sunday to revisit some of their questions.

But for now - to bed!

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