Saturday, January 2, 2010
Saturday Afternoon in Northeast Mesa: Driving in the Desert
Our mom, who has Alzheimer's, is sadly deteriorating, and it's a big strain on everyone. But she still loves to take drives in the late mornings and afternoons.
We often go from our house in Apache Junction to the northeast, up to look at the expensive homes on the roads leading to the mountains in the far northeast corner of Mesa.
One mountain has the Phoenix sign, on top. Today was warm and sunny, and we sit the back seat with our parents in front, just the way we did back in Brooklyn in the early 1950s when we were close to 6 and not 60.
For someone who lived for so many years in lush, semitropical Florida, the Sonoran Desert originally seemed ugly and barren to us.
"It's all brown all the time," one of our South Florida friends, once said of Arizona.
Well, sort of. But we like to come out here. We still prefer the excitement of street life in the city or the beaches of Florida or the gorgeousness of Gainesville. But we've come to appreciate the stark beauty.
Not that the desert gives a shit what we think of it.
"The finest quality of this...desert landscape is the indifference manifest to our presence, our absence, our coming, our staying or our going.
Whether we live or die is a matter of absolutely no concern whatsoever to the desert." - Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
Besides, this is hardly the wilderness. Wildernesses don't have Walgreens.