sweet songs never last too long
Still behind, not actually in AZ right now, still have a couple more things to capture before we’re up to date. Any day now.
While I’m out west, without a permanent address, I ought to visit my mother. I mooch off her for a couple weeks, up in the mountains of Arizona, where she moved after I graduated college.
When you think Arizona, you think pure desert. Big saguaro cactus, tumbleweeds. But Arizona, like the rest of the US, contains multitudes. Take the long slow incline from Phoenix up to Prescott, to the mountains, and there is a distinct line where the saguaros stop. For miles, saguaro throng the desert like people standing, arms raised to the heavens, choruses and choruses of them.
And then, around 3000 feet, there are no more. Eventually the trees change to conifers and other scrub forest. It snows in Prescott, in the winter. At least, it used to. This year the monsoon rains washed dangerous-looking canyons into the hill where my mother is building a new house.
For a long time I worried mom wouldn’t have a community in Prescott. But there’s a big music scene in Prescott, a lot of fun for people her generation and some younger folks too. Lots of people covering classic rock, blues, country; less often, jazz or funk. You can go out on any given night and there will be a handful of live acts to choose from on Whiskey Row, places to dance and open mic nights. Before the pandemic, mom was out all the time. Everyone there looked out for each other, getting involved in local government, doing fundraisers, even taking each other to medical appointments.
The pandemic changed things. The bars re-opened early, but Mom didn’t go out as much. People weren’t masking, weren’t distancing. Mom reported on it with a tone of dread and horror. In person, though, she seems sad.