It’s always good to have an uneventful return to home base. Our last day’s drive was notable only for the headwinds that dragged down our fuel economy (11.3 MPG for the trip, dreadful for this tow vehicle). We stopped a few times to relax, swat a few flies that had hitched a ride in Texas, and make phone calls, and finally pulled into Tucson about 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
The early arrival was by design; we knew we had a lot to do. For the past few weeks I’ve been letting some pieces of work slide just because I haven’t had time, and I’m overdue to get serious about projects in the pipeline. Likewise, Eleanor had been mentally compiling a list of things to do once we arrived, and so we were both dreading the onslaught that would begin the moment we parked the Airstream.
Our neighbor Mike made re-entry a little nicer. He planted “FOR SALE” signs in front of our house. You gotta love neighbors who care about you enough to do something like that. We all had a good laugh about it, but the next day found out that our neighbor Dottie, an elderly lady who is very sweet, thought the signs were real and was a bit upset about the possibility of us moving away. We reassured her we weren’t planning to leave permanently and later Eleanor said, “Now Mike is on my list [for upsetting Dottie].” But I’m still sort of chuckling about Mike’s prank.
The first 24 hours back were brutal because our “to do” lists kept getting longer instead of shorter. I reminded Eleanor and myself that we can’t let the magnitude of everything we need to do overwhelm us. “Look at the next step, not the mountain.” If we were full-timing, this would have been one of those weeks when we found a good spot to park and sit for five or six days while catching up on everything. That’s actually nicer, because in that situation we would be somewhere fresh and interesting while we caught up. It’s a drag to come home after a month-long trip and have a pile of work facing you. But I’d rather be busy than not, and I do like my job — well, most of it.
Last night was one of those fun opportunities that comes with the job. David Beaudette, a former HVAC contractor from Michigan, called me a few weeks ago to arrange a meeting when we got back. He is selling a light-up drink holder called a “Koozielight,” and he’s a fan of Airstreams. We met up late last night at El Guero Canelo (because hardly any restaurants are serving after 9 p.m. in Tucson on a weeknight) for a little Sonoran chow and a chat.
David and his business partner Scott Kusmirek drove down from Phoenix and we worked out a deal. I think we’ll have Koozielights for everyone at Alumapalooza next year, which should be cool for all the Happy Hours under the awnings. And yes, that’s a real tattoo on David’s arm. He really believes in his product.
We aren’t even thinking about Airstream travel for a few weeks, at least. But the Airstream is still in use. We’ve got it all hooked up to water, sewer and electric. Yesterday I was wiped out from too much work, and wandered out to the Airstream for a short break. When it is parked in the carport I think it is at its most cozy state, because the brick walls of the carport muffle sounds from the area, and dim sunlight light to the interior, which invites napping. The Airstream isn’t going anywhere, but it is still a great place to hang out. It’s like a little private clubhouse.
It’s also a great guest room. So part of the work Eleanor is doing right now involves cleaning out most of our stuff, doing all the laundry, and putting a few snacks and drinks in the refrigerator. Then our little carport motel will be open for business. We may be the primary guests over the next few weeks, since we like going in there as much as anyone, and right now we aren’t being inundated by snow-crazed northerners looking for an escape. In February, there may be a waiting list …