Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dreaming of Tucson

I've been homesick for the Southwest lately. Not sure why. Maybe it's partly because it was the uncle's birthday the other day (he would've been 55), and he lived in the Southwest for so long. That might be one small part of the reason.

Another reason? I've been flipping through Anne Hillerman's book, Tony Hillerman's Landscape. It contains such beautiful photography of that land that I love, the American Southwest. I get this real ache, this physical manifestation of saudade when I look through that beautiful book.

Plus, I have started re-reading Tony Hillerman's The Blessing Way. I first learned of Tony Hillerman's beautiful books way back in 2000, when I loved lived in Tucson. His Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee books take place in the Southwest, and through his words, I can picture that dry, dusty landscape I used to call home.

And then there's my Food Network magazine. I received a gift subscription from my mother- and father-in-law for Christmas. It's been a great gift. I've enjoyed flipping through it, learning about tricks in the kitchen to make meals taste better.

The current issue has recipes by Aaron Sanchez - including one for making authentic Mexican tortillas at home, from scratch. Of course, that makes me miss the Southwest. And in thinking of Tucson in particular, I think of a restaurant where I enjoyed eating on occasion - even having eaten there once with Andrew. It is a place called La Parrilla Suiza (I frequented the one on E. Speedway Blvd).

I've also been flipping through old photos I took in Tucson.

I'm going to post them now and smile, remembering that land I love so much . . . not just Tucson, but the Southwest as a whole. I'll get back there one day. I'm sure of it.

Here is Seven Falls. I took the photo when it had its characteristic waterfalls due to the water from melting snow. Photo circa Feb 2001:
I hiked there one day with a friend of mine who was also in the Air Force. We were both stationed there (at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base) at the same time.

Here's a heart-shaped tuna cactus from a different hiking trip. Photo circa May 2001:

This is Andrew on our hike to Seven Falls. Photo circa November 2001:

This is some beautiful landscape near Seven Falls, right around where I took the above photo of Andrew. Photo circa November 2001:

This is me, once we'd arrived at Seven Falls (the falls, now dry this time of year would be behind Andrew, who's taking the photo). Note the A-10 (the Warthog) shirt I'm wearing. Photo circa November 2001:

Here's the dry Seven Falls (scroll up to the first photo and compare what it looks like when there's sufficient water). This is what was behind Andrew when he took the above photo of me. Photo circa November 2001:

 Here's more beautiful landscape that I love, showcasing the saguaro cacti, local to the area. Photo circa November 2001:
 It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure this was taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which Andrew and I visited one day. A little while later, we saw a thunderstorm on the horizon. It was an awesome sight, watching it creep closer. We made it inside before it soaked us. And then it traveled off into the horizon, dissipating into the breeze. Too bad I didn't get a photo of that.

Andrew is posing near a tuna cactus plant at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Photo circa November 2001:

Again, another photo from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Photo circa November 2001:

Now, how great is that scenery?! THAT is what I am homesick for - the arid beauty. The food. The scents, the sounds. And most importantly, while I'm "suffering" through spring allergies . . . the lack of pollen and stuff that make me (and Livie) have allergic reactions.

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