Thursday, January 3, 2013

Friends and the desert

Today is cold in the desert--but clear and sunny.  Walking the neighborhood around my friend Suzie's house is always picture-postcard perfect and pleasurable....(say that 3 times real fast).

I am no longer sure what  a traditional holiday season is to me--last year I celebrated all alone in the Everglades while the ten years prior were spent here in the desert.  My three kids are grown and doing their own things--one son in San Diego with his visiting fiance,  my daughter in Salem, Oregon working the nightshift at the hospital, and my youngest son and his wife in the Virgin Islands running his charter boat.

Do I miss them at this time of the year?  Of Course I do.  But for me now, holidays are to spend with friends. Above, are Jim, Jody, Suzie and Bill.

Or to relax and do my own thing--explore and.....

 .... contemplate the nature around me.

(Linda, Nancy, Deb, Suzie)  A favorite spot for lunch with friends in Tucson is on the open-air patio at a very upscale grocery store called AJ's.  There is an outdoor fireplace, the best grilled hamburgers found anywhere,  while the "I remember when..." stories are free-flowing and fun.

Especially Deb's.  Now if you think Deb is giving someone the rude-salute above,  you would be wrong. She is actually telling us about the time a rattlesnake bit her on her finger and she nearly died.  Such is life in the desert.

A day spent with Andrea and Zona is as bright as the sunshine...

And Zona will smile for the camera on cue.

No, Zona did not take the picture of Andrea and Me.

The neighbor took it.  (Presley Grace, Jenny  & Chip)

Presley Grace and Mama, Jenny

Having a family of artists (Jenny and Chip) makes for an interesting decor....

Almost like visiting an art museum.....

Color abounds....

And every spot is utilized.

Happy New Year!


  1. Toni--you have a couple of fellow conversion van people who would love to get together with you on your travels someday. It may be too hard to take our vans around the perimeter of the Monterey Bay Peninsula, maybe walking around it, or should I say climbing up and down rocks during low tides would be better. But we would have to make sure we didn't get arrested if we ended up trespassing on someone's 10 million dollar property! Can you guess who I am?

    1. Holy Cow! This is either Pam or someone who knows her (and our) history very well. Of course I would love to get together with fellow conversion van people. Email me at

    2. Yes, Toni, this is my laptop now at 4:40 am..oh the joys of insomnia! I think about you so often and have enjoyed catching up via your blog. These last few days I've gone to Alpaca farms and all over the place with you! Yes, we bought a used Roadtrek about a year ago and have been enjoying it so much. Don retired a year ago and we thought it would be a good way to get the heck out of Dodge. We've been quite tied down for the past five years as we live out in Cachagua now and both boys live out here also. Our youngest son, Derek, and his darling wife, Maryann had a little one with Down syndrome four years ago and we have been the primary helpers. They had a little girl, a typical baby, two years ago, so we are helping care for both of our grandkids as both parents work. I was so happy when I got your card as now we can keep in touch. Really---let's hit the road someday together!

    3. I plan to be in Central Calif. sometime in April--if all goes as planned. Now get some sleep.

    4. We would love to see you! We have a place for you to park and free hook-ups, plus the food is marvelous here at "The Lodge." (That's what we call our house as we usually have somebody here staying or munching on something).We just had a house full of Brazilians over New Year's. Or we could trek somewhere in our "Roxy" and meet you. I have a brother who lives in Tucson and we've gone to visit him in a previous RV. We must drive Roxy there someday. Maybe when you're there. But it sounds like you're getting ready to hit the road again...I look forward to following your new adventures. Boa noite.

  2. Hi Toni, nice to see you at the Red Garter, and hope you'll look into Loners on Wheels. Thought I'd give you my blog addie also - I began the blog when I first started RVing solo in June 2008 - my 'shakedown cruise' was to John Day, Oregon to volunteer for the Forest Service.

    1. Thanks so much. I will definitely check out your blog and I hope we get a chance to spend some time comparing notes....Toni