19 April 2010

In Which She Turns 40...And Camps About It...

My Birthday started with hitting the road, Airstream in tow...at a rather decent hour.

You see, a couple of months ago when asked what I wanted to do for this big birthday milestone, the words, "I want to go camping" burst out of my mouth.  There was also a lot of people excited about joining me, but when it came down to it...the only person left standing besides myself, was Rich.

Rich was kind enough to be very excited about getting out of town no matter what the plans changed around to...and decided at the last minute to hook up the Airstream for a more cushy trip!

I had just spent the previous evening out dancing at an 80's Night here in town.

Getting older has never been a big deal to me.  It's more of an exciting process, and it may seem morbid, but at the rougher points in my lifeline, I've felt a bit of relief knowing that it may not all last forever.

And, here I was dancing the night away to some of my favorite music, and a song by A-Ha came on, and I leaned over to Kim and remarked how much this song reminded me of Heidi.  I didn't think much more of this harmless little remark until the next morning when I was talking to my mother...and it occurred to me that this life?  While I was the person living each individual day of the past 40 years and I didn't just wake up one day all of a sudden older...That just for a moment, it seemed like this whole thing has passed with the snap of a finger.

Which made me cry.
(it's not that I haven't accomplished anything...it's more like a door that has been standing ajar has suddenly with some great force, Closed.)

So, it was with great joy I opened a little box (with only one air hole) when I arrived at The Airstream that morning, and out popped a Vermont Teddy Bear complete with a Birthday hat and bow tie, fortune cookies, a noise maker, and some chocolate.

His name is Jake
(because I thought it fit him perfectly)

He also had a great trip (even though I may have to get him a backpack and a sleeping bag) and hung out a lot with Rich's moose and elf.

We're nothing if not partiers.

We headed down towards Nothing.

Which coincidentally is by Nowhere...

We're creative namers here in AZ.

Nothing was aptly named because Nothing has ever happened there.  But, after stopping I beg to differ as by this dwelling that apparently once housed it's 4 population was looped a whole lot of orange Bio-hazard tape.

So something happened.

But, there just wasn't a historical marker to tell us what that thing had been.

I'm worried it had something to do with the wood fired pizza.


Because of the extraordinary amount of moisture we've gotten this winter, the wildflowers were out in full bloom and ready to play.

I'm telling you.

There were several times where the perfume in the air was so heady that I was literally swooning with fragrance love.  There's something about being in a mostly arid country side dotted with saguaro and other various cacti, with no visible water about and feeling the landscape gently heat up (at this time of the year the heat is more sneaking and gentle, in another few weeks it will be like a raging inferno) and through the heat, the flowers and grasses loosen their fragrance.
If you haven't come here and sniffed about, you really should consider doing so.  But remember, Arizona is very dramatic, weather wise...so you have quite a small window of opportunity to do so.

There's nothing in the world quite like it.

After various stops along the roadsides...we made our way over to Burro Creek.  I was just informed about Burro Creek a couple of weeks ago...being a longtime resident of Arizona makes me think that I know everything about Arizona.

Which of course I don't.
(but don't tell my ego that)

Most of the time when I'm confronted by the newness of enthusiastic AZ implants I brush them off with a slight nod of the head and an indulgent smile.

But when they come back with some new destination that would seem obvious, I can feel a little stabby...and insist when they say, "How is it that I just got here and you've been here all this time...that you didn't know about this?!"

Well I'll tell you why sporty.

I was either trying to get old enough to drive...

Or make a living.

So there.


Most Arizonans know a thing or two about water as well...let me tell you.  We usually make it our business to know where all available water sources are...being that we spend so much of our time under clear blue skies with the hot hot sun as a companion...these are just things you find yourself putting into the file cabinet in your mind.

We also dabble in the fascination that clouds are.

So, we're mostly water and cloud experts...both stemming from the needs to stay hydrated and in the shade...this crazy sun we have here.

I am stymied about the simple fact that I did not know of the existence of Burro Creek...seeing as it's not too far away from our fair town.

It's a canyon system interlaced with Joshua Tree Forests, Saguaro Forests, slot canyons, regular canyons, bridges,  hot springs(which we didn't find), wild wandering burros (which also didn't show up, they NEVER do)...a whole lot of birds, frogs, some rather large fish...water,  water falls, algae, shade...and a whole lot of little sandy beaches.

With shells.

It was like the universe was trying to bring together all of my favorites:

  • People to celebrate with me for at least two weeks (we've got to draw these landmark occasions out you know) (cause I've got me some diversity...camping one weekend, pedicures the next)
  • Dancing to fun music...including leaving after my favorite Depeche Mode song (Everything Counts)
  • Chocolate cake, brownies, and their stand alone counterparts.
  • Cards and packages arriving in the mail...along with well wishes from friends near and far.
  • A bouquet of flowers.
  • An Airstream trip.
  • A Road Trip.
  • Water (and shells...making me feel almost like I was at the ocean)
  • Great food.
  • Hiking and exploring new terrain.
  • Relaxing and being busy...
  • Camping and officially welcoming in a whole new decade out under the stars...being totally embraced by Arizona.
I know how lucky I am to have all of these presents in my life...and each one of them means more to me than you'll ever know.
I am happy that I am realizing at this advanced age, ahem...that I have the ability to slow down and recognize and appreciate each and every one of them, their origins, meanings, feelings, and experiences...so that maybe, just maybe I can slow the snap of the fingers down a bit to more of a smile and a wave...


Anonymous said...

trust me, you will enjoy your forties... it isn't too bad... it's kinda fun... but then, I'm knocking on the door of 50 in a couple of years...lol

TomboCheck said...

Sounds like an AWESOME birthday trip! :) Congrats on welcoming in a new decade with style.

Heidi said...

I could possibly get behind camping if it involved an Airstream. :)

And everything does count, even if it's not in large amounts.

P.S. A-ha comes up first in my iTunes playlist by artist. Some things never change.

Kristal said...

Been there...Done that!! But I'm so glad that you are having a BLAST!!! You certainly celebrated yours better that I did mine. And I just love the Airstream. I think it would be absolutely wonderful to pack that badboy up and hit the road.
Please give yourself a big ole' Birthday hug to yourself-from me!! Happy,Happy Day!

flutter said...

Happy Birthday, beautiful lady!


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