05 August 2010


This will be a menagerie of thoughts, so bear with me.

On Monday, my son and I visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which was more like a cross between a really cool hike and a very natural zoo. It was a few miles west of Tucson, AZ, and I would highly recommend it, if you're ever out that way. We saw scorpions, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and zillions of different varieties of cactus plants.

(Have I mentioned that I HATE the word "cacti?" I prefer the term, "cactus plants." "Cacti" just doesn't work for me.)

See the CACTUS PLANTS in the background?

On Tuesday, I flew back home to Maine. It was clear most of the way, so I got a little reverse-tour of our road trip, which was very cool. I could see where the desert ended and the prairie began (eastern New Mexico and Colorado) and where the prairie ended and the trees began (eastern Kansas).

*NOTE* Where the trees begin, there also, the humidity begins. Just sayin.

Understand that by the time I was flying over the Maine coast, the trees were as thick as... well, I could say as thick as tourists, but I suppose that would be unkind. Oh well, there, I said it. You get the idea. There is no more land to see, only trees. And when I stepped off the plane, the stifling humidity proved me right. That, and the fact that all my hair stood up on end and saluted the moisture in the air. The way life should be!

* * *

A side note about my flight home...

First, my husband had so many air miles, that he got me a free ticket. Not only that, he got me a free ticket flying FIRST CLASS. Yeah, you know you're jealous. It was heaven. Understand, I had to take three flights to make it all free, but the longest one, from Phoenix to Philadelphia, was the one where I flew first class. Picture this: leg room. And not having to breathe in the breath (or body odor) of the person sitting next to you. And not having to bump elbows for 5 hours. And getting real food. HOT food. FREE food. Ah, the food. We even had our own restroom up there.

I felt bad as I glanced back at coach and thought about all those people squeezed in there like cattle. Yeah, I felt their pain. I feel their pain on every other flight I take in my life. I felt their pain on the OTHER two flights I took that day. I felt their pain for a moment, and then I turned back, snuggled down in my HUGE chair and just LOVED it.

I have to add, too, that my husband did this as a surprise, and WOO - I owe him BIG.

The second thing was that when I was in Philadelphia riding the shuttle from one terminal to the other, I stood next to a very young couple, maybe just out of high school. I could hear everything they were saying, and at one point, the boy said to the girl in all seriousness, "So what if I become a pilot?" The girl pondered this for a moment and then said back, in all seriousness, "Well, then we'd fly free!"

I don't know why this struck me as humorous. It just seemed so innocent. I smiled at them after hearing it, and they both looked at me as though I'd caught them talking about sex.

* * *

The past two days have been spent dealing with all the fallout of being away from home for three weeks. Laundry, house cleaning, pulling clingy pets off my being, etc. The two days have also been spent pondering the fact that my son is now living 3000 miles away.

I have watched the process of him moving into his apartment via Skype and text messages. I so wanted to be there, but commitments here in Maine demanded that I be back home before his move-in date. As a meddling, doting mom, I found that hard to bear, though it was probably best for us both.

While I was gone, my dear husband held down the fort, as it were. He cleaned up after a dog that was sick for several days, watered all my beloved flowers, and generally kept things in order. He was so good to the gardens, in fact, that I came home to a jungle. I don't even recognize the place, nor do I know what to do with it. Weeds, anyone? I am comforted by the fact that in just under three months, it will all be dead and frozen anyway. If I can hold out that long, I won't have to deal with those weeds.

I think I can wait.

I KNOW I can wait.

One thing to love about winter, right?

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes


Kelly And Allison said...

Hello Paula,
I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your writing. Smart and witty. You are very good at making every day normal life interesting. Keep up the good work!

Paulla said...

Thanks so much for the kind words!

Michelle said...

Great Trip. You know what, Paula? The way you toss your writing is very different It is smooth and yet striking and meaningful. Keep on inspiring people with your writings. Keep it up.