Back to the Desert

Monday, I disembarked in Fort Lauderdale and now I am just outside Tucson spending holiday time with Monsieur. Since the cruise, I have been waking even earlier than usual so I am able to watch the sunrise on the desert. The sky has been such a brilliant blue each day and the bougainvillaea is blooming by our patio. A hummingbird whizzes past my ear as I read.
the reading spot
As I get older, I resist the urge to bring a suitcase of books on holiday. Airline weight restrictions and the availability of both paper and online literature make the bag of books an unnecessary burden.
an airport purchase
However, I had a wait of 8 hours in Fort Lauderdale airport. I purchased Under the Wide and Starry Sky
by Nancy Horan. It is a novel based on the relationship of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny.
Although Fanny and RLS are passionate about each other, Fanny's insecurities, Louis' ill-health and the continuing struggle to live within their means cause the couple to constantly seek new lands and new beginnings. While RLS is healthiest at sea, Fanny is desperately ill. Louis is belongs to a group of "creatives" while Fanny's aspirations as an artist and as a writer are always undermined by her role as her husband's caregiver.  

Monsieur and I have marvelled at the presence of RLS throughout our travels in California and in the Marquesas Islands. This year, in Scotland, I visited one of the lighthouses designed by his father.
view from my reading spot
I will be leaving Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny in Tucson. In our casita, which is owned by a very nice lady called Ellen, there are many books and CD's. I rent a few "homes away from home" in a year and I am always amazed at the treasures that I find.
How appropriate!
After finishing RLS and Fanny, I started on Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tucson. Barbara Kingsolver left Kentucky to live in the desert near Tucson. Her essays combine her scientific background as a biologist with her personal experiences. Certainly, I am a lot like Buster, the stowaway crab. My habits and routines are carried with me from place to place. Time zones change, temperatures change but I am always me!

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I'm living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.” Barbara Kingsolver

This bush is full of butterflies.
The sun is streaming into the casita and Monsieur's sister is coming to visit for a few days. I'd better put on the coffee and roust Monsieur from the bed.

Keep hoping!


  1. High Tide in Tuscon is one of my very favorite books. I love Kingsolver's writing. Enjoy your visit to Arizona! It looks lovely.

    1. I have read almost all of Kingsolver's books. She is very insightful in her essays and I really enjoyed her novel, The Lacuna.

  2. Welcome back! You have been missed.
    I have read all of Kingsolver's books and really appreciate her views whether expressed in her fiction or non-fiction. I am reading Horan's book and it has reminded me of a trip to Iona and a wonderful, long conversation with a boat captain before he took us out to Fingal's Cave. He was an expert on RLS and Scottish lighthouses. I am also currently rereading James Baldwin's "A Fire Next Time" which is just as relevant today as it was when I read it in the 60's. I am always trying to understand.
    Enjoy your time in the S.W. I love it. My daughter was born in Albuquerque. The area has changed so much but I still love Taos and Santa Fe.

  3. I've read several of Barbara's books and enjoyed Nancy Horan's latest book.
    It snowed here these past few days so it is a good time to be in the desert soaking up the warmth and sunshine.
    Please email me...
    Congratulations you won the giveaway!

  4. How lucky is that! I seem to win things often! The weather at home has indeed been unusually cold so the little casita is a good place to be. I just started reading a Tony Hillerman mystery that I found here. To sit reading while Monsieur and sister-in-law watch the Grey Cup is a lovely Sunday afternoon activity. Merci encore!


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