Monday, August 17, 2020

Living in the Now, Surrounded By Desert Beauty

 June 21 - August 12, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

And just like that, another eight weeks rolled on by. With temps in the 90's and a few triple digit days, most of our time is spent indoors. Some projects completed, lots of reading and television. 

And learning to live in the now. 

For two years I planned our fulltime RV life. Then for five years I planned our upcoming routes and new adventures. This new reality of not only "no plans", but no idea when I can start planning again, is a challenge. It requires me to focus on each day, on being in the moment I'm in right now. I'm most content when I'm successful. Because the days I'm living are pretty darn good :-)

Certainly we're blessed to have this house in this place at this time. Appreciating those blessings every day is not a bad way to spend my time. 

I'm not doing a good job of memorializing it, but I've stopped beating myself up over my lack of blogging. These are slower times, captured more slowly.

So Ezra and his parents spent four months with us. During that time they also purchased a home, and moved back to SoCal the middle of July. Jeff remains with us, will go to school in the Fall, will figure out the future when the world can again do that with any certainty.

PopPop and Ezra make each other laugh all the time.
PopPop and Ezra make each other laugh!

Nothing better than water play on a hot day.

Jeff learning the fun part of RV living - dumping the tanks.

The family of 3.5 at their new home in the mountains.

Brian and Ezra

The Gravel boys and their families are managing remote and in-person jobs with children at home. All continue to be healthy, all are ready for return to normalcy. We stay caught up with videos, photos, phone calls and Skype/Facetime. We miss seeing them, miss knowing we can visit them whenever we want.

Mason and Maximus, soon to be two and four.

Reese, our only grand daughter, nine months in August.

Henry (son of our "borrowed" daughter Megan, and our fifth grand), at seven months.

Monsoon season means surrounding storms each afternoon. A couple even bring rain with the thunder, lightning and wind. Mostly they give us incredible skies and that wonderful petrichor.

A lot of our storms come up from the south.

These bright skies make the whole desert glow orange.

Although we don't get a lot of wet, some afternoons feel like we're underwater!

Thunder storms from the north.

One of my projects is painting our bedroom. It feels good to have it done, and I'm happy with the results. Still waiting for the custom shades to be installed so final "reveal" to come!

I'm always finding these little "notes" throughout the house. Something my dad always did!

Lots of cut-in with multiple doors and trim. Since I don't tape or tarp, I take my time.

I'm happy with the color, really warms up the room.

We still love our desert drives and enjoy the drama of cloudy days. It's so green everywhere we go although the San Pedro River has only a trickle still visible. We get flash flood warnings every week, but have yet to see any moving water in our travels. 

Some cloud bursts move a wall of water across the horizon.

We watch for the alien ship to burst out.

Another project that keeps me busy for several days is moving a large box of photos into albums. What fun to enjoy all those memories from my baby days through both my sons growing to manhood. 

Jodee at two with serious expectations for Santa.

Jeff and Brian on the train from Durango to Silverton, Colorado

Always a good time with these two - ages 11 and 3

Bill stays away from town while Jeff and I make regular trips into Sierra Vista to pick up groceries and occasional meals to-go. Mask wearing is finally required at most businesses although sadly some still refuse to exercise common sense. We haven't found any need to drive to Tucson but are keeping Amazon and UPS busy every week!

Most trips to town include supporting our favorite small business for iced coffees. Love our Joe-to-Go!

August is a big birthday month for the family from Ezra at the beginning to Mason at the end - and Bill, Jeff and Maximus in between! Wish we could all be together but we make the best of it. Everybody still gets older even when we're apart :-)

Ezra sharing his present-opening on his big day.

We're healthy, we're happy, we're safe and sane (as much as ever). I'm thinking that once we're able to travel again I'll continue to live in the now. Every minute is precious, and there are lots of them to enjoy in each day!

Enjoy these beautiful sunsets from our desert sanctuary!!!


  1. Great photos!! I think lots of us are learning to live in the now, you're doing a great job of it. We have our routines, walking and for me lots of reading under the awning, once a week visits to the folks and visits with a few friends. There is one Walmart where most are masking up, it's become the only store we go to. We're still waiting to hear about our Christmas tree sales, haven't made a decision, waiting to hear what precautions they are going to put in place. Stay safe and sane.

    1. We were just commenting on how the holidays are coming fast and wondering what that will look like. I didn't even think about the tree!!! Glad you and Dave are doing well and I'm so glad able to stay safe.

  2. So, so glad to hear from you Jodee--I was just thinking about you and Bill a couple days ago--wondering how you guys were doing. Love the color you chose for the bedroom. We are so fortunate to have these places to just be in the now. Thanks for checking in!

    1. I still can't believe so much time has past - I need to get caught up with you guys too! I'm really happy with that color too :-))

  3. Great to hear from you Jodee. It is hard to blog these days, we think that nothing interesting is happening, at least nothing blogworthy, but I think we all miss each other. These little glimpses of life at home are calming and reaffirming. It shows us that we're able to draw into ourselves and find joy and acceptance. We planners are having an especially hard time but we're learning a new skill - patience! I haven't really stopped planning, I just keep them all in my head for when the time comes to fire up big beluga!

    I love your bedroom color, it's so warm and perfect for that house. I especially enjoyed seeing your "old" photos and the shots of Bill and Ezra laughing.

    1. I agree we miss each other and it always makes me happy to get caught up with your posts and others. Oh yes, patience is a new skill for me too :-) And I have multiple routes mapped out for "the future" when it arrives!

  4. Thanks for the update. It's nice to know you are all doing well. I check in every day just in case. :)

  5. Beautiful pictures and sounds like you’ve been keeping more than busy with family and home projects!

    1. One of the great things about pulling together a post is seeing that we really have been busy :-)))

  6. Ah, yes...what a lesson this surreal time is presenting in learning to live in the now. Day after day, month after month, with no clarity as to when we'll be able to return to what we think of as 'normal' life. It's even more difficult for those of us who are planners, isn't it?

    But as you said, every moment is precious. Love all of the family photos you shared and the pure joy in each one. And I love the paint color you chose for your beautiful bedroom! That's the same color we have in our living room and dining room. It's so easy to live with. But I had the hardest time getting the color right—I think I painted three times before I nailed the right color—it was always too pink or too orange. Did you get it on the first try? :-))

    1. I keep wondering what I'm going to forget to do when I can finally make real plans again :-)))
      The sheets on our bed are the exact right color so I had that to match to. Initially I thought it was too pink, but once dry I was so pleased!! The shades get installed tomorrow so now I'm worrying about whether they're the right color - it's always something LOL.

  7. This is a lovely post Jodee. It says a lot during times when there isn't much to say. I don't seem to be able to live in the now as well as you. All I can think about is the future and when will it get here. Perhaps if I had anyone else living here with me it wouldn't feel so alone. But I could definitely get up for some of those gorgeous sunsets thanks for posting them. Although I'm not sure I'd be willing to take triple digits in order to get them. We finally left the 90s for the last 2 weeks. It's been absolutely wonderful but I see it back in the forecast for next week. Bummer

    1. Thanks Sherry. Somehow I always feel more "caught up" with the world when I take the time to write a post. Yes having even a couple people keeps away the aloneness, as you know when you traveled with David. Hopefully our travel freedoms will return soon and brighten our future! While we remain officially under 100, there are still too many hot days in the forecast :-(

  8. Good to hear from you again :-)
    I have been working on a blog post but honestly, my heart isn't in it right now :-(
    We're traveling again, currently near Virginia Beach, but mainly for work. We both wish we had more time to relax.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful family moments!!

    1. It is definitely a challenge to post - but you'll feel good when you do :-))))

      Even with working, at least you're getting to see new views! Safe travels my friend.

  9. You are so right about taking it one day at a time. At one point I thought I would be making our fall travel plans to NM for two months. But, alas, why bother at this point. We are looking at another short trip for maybe late Sept. But time will tell. I just moved our plane reservations east to see our daughter and families new house for the third time!!! We are now trying for Christmas. It will be an old house by the time we get there...haha! We are, however, so lucky to have this great home to feel safe as the world spins out of control at times. So many of us got off the road at the right time, for sure. And as you say, our day to day life here isn't bad at all.

    It was so sweet for you two to have the family for four months. You can see the love and joy in all your photos. Love, love the bedroom color!! So southwest. Can't wait for the big reveal! Give our best to Bill. One day we'll meet up again! Stay safe and take care.

    1. We too don't know when we'll get to see Ezra's new home - and we haven't spent more than one visit with Reese and Henry so we're long overdue. Thank goodness for social media so we can "watch" them grow up.

      What fun we will have when we can all meet again :-)))))