After a pleasant few days in Vermont, I hopped a plane and headed back to Tucson for some summer heat. It was cool and rainy in Vermont most of the time, so cool that we had to run the furnace in the trailer during the day sometimes, and I realized that once again I had not packed enough warm clothes to survive a Vermont June. I had to borrow a sweat jacket from my mother just to survive the evenings.
The Airstream is parked in its summer holding pen, beneath the cedar trees on the gravel driveway next to the garage. It will rest there for a couple of months before I fly back up and collect it, along with the members of my immediate family who are spending the summer in Vermont. (You know who they are.) I am hoping that the bits of white filiform corrosion that started along the edges and trim on the Airstream a few years ago won’t greatly accelerate in the damp environment up there. Each year the tiny white spider-webs of corrosion seem to spread another 1/8″ of an inch or so. Once returned to dry conditions, it stops spreading but the damage is irreversible. Parking by the oceanside really kicks it into high gear too, but I’m not prepared to give up camping by the beach for anything.
I flew back to Arizona, which means I once again am stuck without a tow vehicle. The Caravel, you might recall, was left in Texas a couple of months ago, after I attended the LBJ Grasslands Vintage Rally in Decatur. Fellow Airstreamer Paul Mayeux has been holding it at his shop ever since. He did a few repairs and tweaks for me in the meantime. Now I’ve got to figure out how to get it back, because I’d like to use it sometime this summer, which means I’m going to have to find a tow vehicle. All I have is a Honda Fit, which (despite being a very useful and versatile car) can only move itself.
But first, the urgent stuff. Temporary Bachelor Man (TBM) is BACK! Armed with his cunning, a credit card, and a freezer full of food left by Temporary Bachelorette Woman (TBW), he will somehow navigate urban Tucson in the blazing heat of summer and survive to tell the tale. And you’ll be the witnesses.
First mission: re-boot the house. Although preparing a house in Tucson for vacation is not very difficult, there were still a number of things to get back in shape once I arrived. Light the water heater, turn the air conditioning on (it was 92 in the house and took seven hours to cool down thanks to massive thermal mass in the adobe blocks), sweep up the dead bugs (few), add water to all the dried-up drains, check on the plants, plug in the essential bachelor electronics, check the car tires, wash the dust off the car, and go to fetch the nutritional food pyramid of TBM (frozen desserts are at the top).
OK, that’s all done. Now to fill the long quiet days of a man left to his own devices. Without a definite plan of things to do outside the house, there’s too much risk that I’ll spend all day inside working, and that’s the kind of routine that turns TBM into Temporarily Psycho Man. There are several good events calendars for Tucson online, plus favorite haunts like The Loft Cinema, Mt Lemmon, and Saguaro National Park that all have regular events. (Mt Lemmon seems to be off-limits at the moment due to the danger of wildfires, but with the start of monsoon season approximately July 4, that ban should be lifted. There are no fires up there and no smoke of any of the Arizona fires can be seen from Tucson at this point.) Browsing the events calendars gives me a few ideas of TBM-worthy events to visit and possibly photograph. Events featuring food usually rise to the top of the list.
I have three weeks in my present guise, and then TBW arrives and we change identities again, this time into the “Kid — What Kid?” couple. We did this last year and it was amazing. For three weeks in July we will be utterly childless, while Emma is engaged in summer camps and grandparent-spoiling up in Vermont. We’ll go roam around Arizona with a very loose plan, and if I’m able to get it worked out, we’ll even have the Caravel to do some of it in. So really I’ll be spending a fair bit of my TBM time planning for the next phase, but that’s OK. I see adventure ahead, and that’s what really makes it work for me. Let the first phase of summer begin!