Happy Earth Day!

In celebration, I am flying home from Arizona. I meant to get up at 4:30 to go climb Camelback Mountain (which is a very small mountain, but a distinctive one) but I did not. I wish I had, but it was an ambitious plan. I had to be packed and out of the house by 7:45 —

Anyway, it was a nice trip after all. It really is a hornet’s nest of relatives, but I drove out one morning to take a walk around an arboretum with my brother and I am glad I did — Phoenix is appalling (although possible getting better — there seem to be more deserty street plants) but the desert east of the city is really beautiful, and it turned out it was spring! Cactuses and ocotillo were flowering, and we even saw mariposa lilies, which are gorgeous and which I have never seen. And because it was just my mother and me visiting, it was easy. My aunt was around for a day, so it was nice to see her. And I saw a lot of my grandmother, who can be funny and talkative when you get her on her own without a lot of fuss. We had long conversations about Dickens vs Jane Austen. She’d just finished Great Expectations, which she loved, but she felt that there was nothing Jane Austen did in Sense and Sensibility that hasn’t been done better by Trollope.

(I wrote this, or most of it, on the airplane on the way home. The flowers above are some kind of aloe which were blooming everywhere.)


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