Sunday, March 29 – More flowers…. More restrictions, including mandated “Stay Home” under whatever names various states call it.
Monday – Clifford wakes me up at 3:00 a.m. because there is a mouse in the house and he didn’t know where to find the traps. The mouse is subsequently trapped, and in the morning I thoroughly clean and disinfect the floor before getting on with my morning walk and other projects.
The flowers are so beautiful and I especially enjoy photographing and editing globe mallow.
Although the desert marigolds are past their prime, they are still attractive and grab my attention.
Other blossoms, from the tiny ground-huggers to the tall ocotillo, add to the desert palette.
In the later afternoon, Rollie and Tata come over for dinner and music at a campfire.
Tuesday – Rollie comes to look at our leaking water pump, and later when he and Tata go into Quartzsite, he picks up one for us. In the afternoon, they come over, bearing food for dinner and our new water pump, which Rollie installs. We visit as we eat dinner, but no music tonight, being too late to get out the instruments.
And thus March marches out and we will see where April takes us.
March 25-27: It is usually calm in the morning when I go on my desert walk, as is my custom here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I have been camped since January.
One of these mornings I go further out into the desert than usual and am rewarded with sightings of Apache plume, little pink puffs on a small shrub.
The globe mallow and desert marigold are still in full bloom, while tiny ground-hugging blossoms begin to make their appearance. I must walk carefully not to step on flowers.
Ocotillo buds begin to open, revealing blossoms that wave gently, like tiny red flags.
It is windy by afternoon and most activities are inside the RV – editing, writing, playing music, and so on. One day we go to my brother Rollie’s place to have dinner with him and his lady friend, Tata. Another day we go to town for errands, and when we return, it is apparent than a twister twisted through our campsite, creating a little disarray, but no damage. We are fortunate that the awning was not out.
Living as we do, camped by ourselves several miles from the highway and at least a couple city blocks from the nearest RV, being isolated is not a “thing” for us, it is just a way of life. I walk freely in the desert every day and never see anyone. However, going to Quartzsite for errands is weird, as social distancing is obviously in place at some establishments, but not others. However, everywhere we go, there is a sense of distrust, which feels odd and very uncomfortable.
We had planned to head north at the end of March and camp in northern Arizona for a month before returning to Utah, but with the current state of affairs, as well as the still mild temperatures here in the desert, we will stay as long as we can.
For a couple of days, March 11 and 12, there is rain in the desert here in LaPosa South (South of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped. It is off ‘n on, sometimes heavy, but sometimes with enough of a break that Clifford is able to go outside to play his dulcimer.
My morning walks, rain or no rain, are special times of quiet for me. So many flowers and shrubs are blooming, it is a delight to wander about from one bright spot to another. By afternoon, the wind picks up considerably, causing damage to some folks, and there are flash flood warnings, but we have no problems.
Our activities continue as usual with Clifford on the ham radio or playing dulcimer much of the day, while I edit books and write blogs.
My brother Rollie has decided to move down the road a couple of miles to be nearer to his lady friend. They come to pick up the last of his stuff and we all go for a walk in the desert between rain showers. We will miss having him as a camping buddy, but he has a good reason for making the move.
Covid 19, the coronavirus, is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Italy is shut down and schools in the larger US cities are shut down. What next?
March comes marching in with high winds, but in spite of that, I go for morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped.
In the washes protected from the wind, I take photos of the wonderfully blooming vegetation – desert marigold, globe mallow, and the red flowering bush that the hummingbirds like. As I’m out walking, I feel like the flowers and trees are inviting me to sit a spell and just be with them, so that is what I do.
continue with our projects – ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford,
while I edit books, write blogs, play viola with my brother Rollie
and Clifford, edit photos for my Higher Vibration Series (learning
new editing techniques along the way), and the usual domestic chores.
of these first days of March, we run errands in Quartzsite and invite
Rollie and his friend Tata to join us for pizza after the errands are
done. What fun it is to play pool and share a big pizza with family
More and more news is coming out about the coronavirus. Fear and hoarding of supplies is on the rise, while in China, my son takes his 2-year-old daughter out to play at the beach, having fun and letting her experience that life is good.
February 27 to 29:
Morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South, south of
Quartzsite, Arizona, are a wonderful way to start the mornings for
me. The desert marigold bushes are blooming like crazy and a little
sunflower type flower is starting to bloom. Another shrub is loaded
with red trumpet-shaped blossoms, and the hummingbirds love it. Tiny
tiny flowers in pink, purple, and white hug the ground.
One day I stay at
camp and have a campfire instead of walking. Since the campfire ring
is on a sandbar in the wash, it still feels like I have left
civilization. It is a good place to sit and write in the journal.
Along with our usual
projects, we make a trip to Quartzsite one day and have a big
overhaul of my laptop another day after it froze up while working on
a blog. Sure is a good thing that Clifford was a computer consultant
and gets along well with these devices.
It is a time of peace and relative ease for us, in spite of the increasing bad news about the virus, which is now being called Covid-19. I am happy to hear from my son Fin, who lives China with his wife and daughter, that he and his family are well and making the effort to have the greatest sense of normalcy that is possible under the circumstances.
February 11 to 15: My morning walks are like little retreats for me. A time just to be, not to think deep thoughts, not to work out problems, not to dwell on the meaning of life, just time to be aware of my surroundings: the light of sunrise, birds chirping, flowers becoming more abundant, the variety and texture of desert vegetation, the color and nature of rocks.
It is hard to not pick up pieces of quartz, some very white and often with crystals embedded, to take back to camp. More and more, I leave almost all of them in place, appreciating them, but not needed to keep them. I take lots of photos and a few of these will make it to posts and even fewer to my Higher Vibration Series.
Besides the morning saunter, my day is filled with meals (preparing, eating, cleaning up), blogs, editing for a couple of authors, sending texts with photos to family and friends, and playing bluegrass on viola with Clifford and my brother Rollie.
participates in ham nets daily, but also devotes hours to playing his
dulcimer, learning new songs and making accompaniments.
While much of the
world is in turmoil over political differences and the spreading
coronavirus, we are in a bit of a sanctuary of sorts, with the wind
being our most troublesome issue.
Saturday February 8, there is no morning walk in the desert, as Clifford and I are driving from our campsite at LaPosa South to Yuma, Arizona, which is new territory for us once we pass the Palm Canyon turnoff. The drive is scenic in a desert sort of way. In Yuma, we take care of our business, have lunch at Subway, and buy supplies for the upcoming weeks. Back at camp, I put together shelving, stackable bins, that will keep stuff on my side of the bed much more organized and tidy. This is important when living in a small space, and I’m pleased with the results.
On Sunday, I go for the morning desert walk, happy to see the desert marigold bushes beginning to bloom.
Back at camp, as I prepare a photo for my Higher Vibration Series, I experiment with double-exposure. It is fun to try something new and the results are interesting.
Today is a paperwork day, not a fun part of the day, but important. Clifford’s ear is bothering him and he naps a lot. In the evening, we are treated to a beautiful sunset.
My brother Rollie comes for dinner and afterwards, we play cribbage. With a 24-point hand, I win the game tonight. Win or lose, I am still the dish-washer.
We are hearing more and more news of the coronavirus, which doesn’t sound like a good thing going around. Being out here in the desert, mostly by ourselves, it is less of a personal concern than it is for many folks. However, it is does seem that this will have a world-wide effect for its economic impact.
Most mornings I walk in the desert at sunrise, as I love the quiet ambiance and the glow of first light.
More flowers are blooming, which is quite delightful.
It is during these early days of February that the Carnicom Brothers Reunion is held in Parker, Arizona, about 30 miles north of Quartzsite. We first all meet in Quartzsite at Silly Al’s pizza, as brothers Jim and Frank arrive from California, and brother Gene with his wife Clare arrive from Texas. Clifford and I are close at hand, being camped at LaPosa South, just a few miles south of Quartzsite. We are seated at a big hexagonal table and have the best pizza ever, as well as really good service.
The next day, we all gather at the motel in Parker where Gene and Clare are staying, and set up in a small lobby area to watch the Superbowl, with big screen, snacks and all. I am not too interested in the Superbowl, but I am really liking the power and free wifi – downloading photos from the “cloud” and preparing blogs. It is fun to see all the brothers, and I especially enjoy having time to visit with Clare during the couple of days of the gathering.
Another big deal is that my daughter, Becka, has purchased a ticket for me to fly to Atlanta later this month to visit her there for the first time. That is very exciting and plans are made for a fun visit.
Besides the desert walks and the gathering of the brothers, the other usual activities continue: ham radio, dulcimer, and CI projects for Clifford; editing, blog writing, meals and domestic chores for me. Rollie and I do music most days, outside when we can, and he joins Clifford and me for dinner and a game of cribbage every evening.
I begin each day with walking in the desert here at La Posa South, the long-term BLM camping area south of Quartzsite, Arizona. Clifford and I, and my brother Rollie, are camped a couple miles in from US highway 95, and there are not nearly so many RV’s out here as compared to the area closer to the highway.
We are camped along a wide wash, and it is an easy matter to cross the wash and walk out into the uninhabited desert or just follow the wash. Most days I head toward the closest mountain, which I call Shale Mountain, since when Clifford and I hiked there, we found that it was just that – a mountain made of shale. The stillness of the desert appeals to me and I find it easy to be there, sometimes finding a place to sit on the trunk of a fallen dead tree.
Some days I make a thermos of coffee to take with me, as well as my journal, and always my cell phone for taking photos. The sky has been mucked up with jet trails almost every day, which is a very grievous environmental issue, but one I won’t go into detail here, other than to say it makes taking photos much more of a challenge.
I am not afraid of getting lost, as I have landmarks on the surrounding mountain ranges, as well as the immediate landmarks of certain saguaros, such as the one I call Grandmother, as it is one of the larger and more stately saguaros in this area.
It is always a delight to me to find wildflowers blooming, most often a clump of desert marigold, but one particular bush has small red buds that look like rose buds, though the plant is definitely not a rose.
As I wander in the desert, I feel connected to the earth and the poems of Mary Oliver, and I am saddened to learn that this great soul has passed on.
the laundromat, we meet a fellow musician, Daniel, who comes out and
camps next to us for a day so we can all play music together. It is
always fun to add another musician to the bluegrass get-togethers
that Rollie and I have almost every day.
is going to the bluegrass festival at Blythe, California, this
weekend, as is Daniel. I watch Ninja, who is quite a good companion
on desert walks, which are more like desert runs. He is patient when
I stop to take photos, and then on we run.
One day Rollie makes a door into the storage compartment under the bench in our RV, allowing access to the portion that was previously out of reach. It is great to have a place for canned good; storage area in RV’s is always a precious commodity. In the evenings after dinner, we play cribbage, which is fun for us.
Clifford’s birthday, he and I go to Parker, partly business and
partly for fun, having lunch at the Blue Water Casino. It might not
have been the most exciting birthday ever, but we are happy to be
well and to spend the day together.
first days of January at La Posa South give Clifford and me a chance
to settle in, as we plan to be here awhile at this long-term camping
area south of Quartzsite, Arizona.
mornings I walk into the desert to take photos at sunrise,
appreciating the ambiance of the area. The vegetation is varied with
mesquite, palo verde, creosote, and other shrubs and trees along the
washes. Desert marigolds bloom freely. In the open spaces between
the washes one can find saguaros, frequently with their nursemaid
shrubs at their base.
I take a small thermos of coffee and my journal so I can sit in the
sunshine and write after sunrise. The deep stillness of the desert
invites one to sit quietly, not really contemplating life, but just
being present to the stillness.
the day, I send texts with photos to my family and friends, write
blogs, edit photos, and check CI email when the sun on the solar
panels allow for such. At one point, we try out our new generator for
the first time. It is a backup, but good to have for overcast days.
My brother Rollie and I play bluegrass music almost every day with Clifford being our appreciative audience, usually sitting inside Rollie’s motor home, as it has been too chilly and windy to sit out for music. Occasionally a campfire allows us to sit out. We are particularly enjoying viola and mandolin duets; it sure would be fun to have a guitar player join us.
has many projects on tap: CI research, ham radio communications,
music on the dulcimer, and learning to use his drone (which he bought
over a year ago and has never had the chance to try out). The drone
has been especially fun for him, with a good learning curve including
a few crashes and repairs.
days are full and we are enjoying being here. If I had a maid, I
would have him cook and do the dishes, and a good secretary could
take care of all the CI email! …. but for now I am the maid and
secretary, along with everything else that vies for my attention. But
it is all good!