Monday, March 14, 2011

I should

I have to say that I was exhausted after those three hours. My first quilt is close to having the squares all sewn together...but not close enough. My idea was red, red, pink, purple, all together now. But I realize that it does make sense if there's some planning. My general attitude is Why Plan? And that usually stands me in good stead, but it took three of us twenty minutes to  make more sense of my squares than I had thought necessary.
It is work -- quilting. Physical work. Even though they, all of whom are in their eighties, say it's fun, a good way to pass the time, something to do in the evening. But there's a lot of measuring, cutting, bending, pinning and unpinning, sewing, leaning over, cutting, etc. They laughed when I complained since I am a baby.

I did look at houses in Tucson. Though this was on a busy street, there was very little noise to be heard inside. And it was large, interesting. I'm not ready, yet, but part of me could have jumped into this house if only it had air conditioning, rather than evaporative cooling.
Imaging a yard of dirt and cactus. Bare. Sparse. Dull to look at, really, but it would be a great place to live.

First of all, it was eighty degrees for many of the days I was there. And the park near N. and W's house has a lot going on, including drumming that starts at 3 on Sundays. I imagine that most drumming groups are welcoming, as was this group. One lady, banging on some interesting looking metal instrument, was using oxygen and in a wheelchair. Her daughter must have pushed her up for the afternoon. What can be better than a group that's so inclusive?
If I move to Tucson, I'll join this group.

The kitchen manager in Rincon, the local hang-out, restaurant, grocery store, had this tattoo drawn on when she was older, she said. It took her a year to decide exactly what she wanted , but her niece had a book with an illustration of these wolves. And so ...  at that point, she had a job, an important job, so she had to have a whole wardrobe of shirts that covered it up. 
Older women seem to like it, she told me, when I slobbered over it.
It's far more gorgeous than this photo.
For the first few days I sat in the comfortable chairs at Rincon, eavesdropping. The conversations were mostly about stocks and also about the viscosity of oil in pipelines. One nice, old (maybe six years older than me) fellow had lived in a Buddhist community in L.A. and had a large part of developing a still-successful community garden around there. After that he lived off the grid, but now has moved to Tucson, for health reasons.

And then one morning, by good fortune, a fellow sat down who obviously had planned to drink coffee and read the New York Review of Books. Well, I thought, this is interesting, everyone else is reading about stocks, and was glad that we began talking. And even gladder that he was willing to take out a temporary adoption of me, drive me out to meet a couple who have been restoring an old adobe house -- what a gorgeous place they've been saving for the last nine years and to see the racetrack and where the bats roost during the day. 

It turns out that his wife worked with my friend, N., in the line of small world coincidences. And that they live on the other side of the park where folks learn to walk on tight ropes and juggle and drum on weekends and where we went for a walk with his dog, Gillie................  In case anyone is interested in casting this dog in a starring role in a clever dog movie, I have many more photographs........


  1. Such a lovey post, Melissa. After the horrors of Japan and other crises we are comforted with a ramble through quilting and tattoos, dogs and companionship. Thanks.

  2. You've joined the quilters! Your video of this group is engaging and left me with some questions, which I'll ask you at another time.

    So Tucson may be your next home?! Winters are lovely, I hear; summer's brutal.

    About the catastrophe in Japan: O . . . . .

  3. Thank you, Elizabeth and Mim...much appreciated...

  4. the quilting women must love you, someone paying such close attention to what they're doing. i think that's the part that sometime gets lost in your accounts of your documentation work, is how much a gift you are to those on the other end your curiosity, how good it must feel to the people at the track, the quilting women, the dog walkers, that someone values them enough to say, hey i want to know more about you. i want to know what your story is.

  5. Nice meandering post of happy times. My mother is a passionate quilter at age 85 - she belongs to a couple of quilting/sewing senior groups. It's nice you found a group who's welcomed you.

    I was in Scottsdale around the same time you were in Tucson. The weather was divine - perfect for baseball.

    I'm generally not a fan of tattoos, but this one is a work of art.

    It's so nice to know that your in good health.