Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vamanosing to Took-sohn

We caravanned north - Demo with me in Vanna, following PJ in her truck. Smooth sailing. At both checkpoints - the military/truck and the federales - they wanted to pull us over and examine the van but they knew we were with PJ and they had waved her through so out of consideration they sent us on our way too.

What did Demo and I talk about on that five-hour drive to the border? Food. All the food we were going to eat in the states. She was even looking forward to the generally uninspiring cuisine on the Big Island of Hawaii where she would be staying for two weeks. We talked Thai, Italian, Japanese, even Mexican - the kind of Mexican food us gringos are used to, dishes loaded with sour cream and peppers and tomatoes and guacamole.

We had a 45 minute wait at the border. Not too bad. Can the vendors there find any gaudier items to hawk? Those bracelets and paintings and hair clips shimmered and glowed in the afternoon sun. The guy in the wheelchair wasn't there but the blind man was so we gave him pesos. (Shoot, now that I think about it, he probably preferred U.S. money. Try to spend a peso in Nogales,'s nearly impossible.)

And suddenly I was....home. Santa Cruz County is my heart's home. No other place has ever touched me in such a way - not even Portland, a city and people I love dearly. That stretch between Nogales and Tucson is where I belong.

Just north of Nogales we exited I-19 at Tumacacori so I could stop at the Santa Cruz Chili Factory. Then we continued on the frontage road to Tubac. A lot of restaurants close in August but Shelby's Bistro was open so we stopped there.

As with walking into the Galleria Mall in Hermosillo for Movie Monday, Demo and I once again fell into each other's arms out of sheer joy. Food! Wine! English! Poor PJ could not relate. There is nothing she likes more than caramelos and carne asadas and coctiel de camarones. And speaking Spanish. We probably embarrassed the hell out of her with our giddyness.

Salads! Pinot Grigio! For lunch we ordered a beautiful salad with gorgonzola and other fancy food doodads, a pepperoni pizza, a burger. In August, Shelby's bottles of wine are half price. We had two.

The beauty of living simply is that the simple things - friends, food, wine - carry more beauty than we realize. Or appreciate. Go without Barilla farfale pasta for ten months and suddenly those bow tie pastas are the most treasured items in the world.

It ended up being a long day. It was after 8:00 when Demo boarded the shuttle for Phoenix. I went in search of a hotel, found a mid-range place with a very nice bartender and a very lovely pool.

Now I'm in Bisbee. I have friends here but this town is not my town. I'm already looking forward to being back in Kino. And figuring out how I can make my home - even part-time - in Santa Cruz County Arizona.

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