Steady on

A view from the top of Wasson Peak in Tucson, Arizona. Four-hour round-trip hike with a brief picnic break at the peak.
A view from the top of Wasson Peak in Tucson, Arizona. Four-hour round-trip hike with a brief picnic break at the peak.

Been trying to use this holiday break to clear my head, listen to my heart, all that good stuff. But you can’t force it and it’s not coming. Damn the calendar. I don’t have the energy to set goals right now. Not big ones. Not new ones. Nobody asked me if I was ready for a new decade. I’m not, damn it — give a guy a minute.

Reflecting is fine. Reflecting, resolving, setting and resetting. All good. I just don’t like to do it on someone else’s schedule.

So instead I’ve resolved: steady on. Read, write, move, make. Enough of any of that and the rest tends to sort itself anyway.

Pictures from the drive home

Drove Dad’s truck back home to Minneapolis after Mom died. It’s my truck now. 200,000+ miles and a lot of rough edges, but we gave it some love. Replaced the cap on the tailgate, new front valance (the plastic bottom half of the front bumper), new CarPlay stereo, cleaned what was cleanable, new brake pads, a few other fixes I’m not remembering.

It was good to have a project, something to keep us talking, working, focused.

I don’t know why but I just couldn’t bring myself to get on a plane and fly home after it all. Too simple, too sudden. I’d been in the house down there for weeks. Anchored. Waiting. Home felt like something I had to earn again.

Found one of Mom’s old cameras, a Nikon FunTouch 4, while helping Dad tidy. It’s nothing special. I don’t even remember it that well (I picture her more with the Canon Elph). But I felt drawn to it, so I took it. Picked up some film at Walgreens and tried to remember how film cameras work on the road back.

I spent half the trip full of adrenaline, the other half exhausted. Bad weather, worse roads, dumb drivers, dumber deer. It wasn’t fun. (I wasn’t in a mental place for fun anyway.) But it was right.

Arizona sun

Been down in Arizona keeping my Mom company after a surgery. Went for a run this morning. It was just shy of 80 in Tucson. I don’t know anyone but family down here, and there’s hardly anyone around anyway, so I only wore my little running shorts. I wanted to feel as much sun on my skin as possible. It’s going to snow again when I get back to Minneapolis. Come on already.

Drove Dad’s old F-150 into town last night just to see civilization. It’s been a few months since I’ve driven a car. The backroads are pleasant enough but as soon as there’s more than two lanes, stoplights, turn signals, etc., it’s just a miserable affair. I don’t know how people do it every day without growing bitter and small.

Poked around Bookman’s, which is like a Hastings (R.I.P.) or Borders when they were good. Art and design section was thin so left empty-handed.

Got some popsicles for Mom at the grocery store. Her appetite is shot between the surgery and the meds, and it’s been hard for her to keep food down. There hasn’t been much to do so my main contribution has been buying things and handing her things. Getting packages delivered quickly from Amazon always seems like wizardry to my folks. And in the case of getting a very specific sort of gauze pad designed to fit around surgery drains the same day I ordered them, I’d have to agree.

Everybody down here’s excited about a new bird in the area, the Red Warbler. Usually only found in Mexico. He’s on the other side of town but I’m keeping my eye out anyway.