Late Friday afternoon we flew to Tucson for a weekend with my wife's father and his wife, as well as our 12 year-old-niece on my wife's side of the family. We watched the sun set with lightning speed over the desert.
Saturday morning we drove to Sahuarita, a small town south of Tucson in which my wife's cousin, a skilled sundial artist, had installed a new sundial in front of the municipal building. We then drove south to Tubac, the little arts community. The weather turned inclement and chilly, but returned to temperate weather once we headed north into the relatively lower altitude of Tucson.
Saturday night we went to visit the sundial-making cousin, John, and his significant other, Phil. They served an excellent dinner of grilled lamb shish kebabs and berry shortcake. I used my binoculars to look at kestrels from their balcony. They had a neat walking path behind their home. Within their home, they had rigged up their television, internet and stereo in an entertainment center that gave me a solid glimpse of what the wired-up future will be like for everyone, with the LCD screen flipping from slide show to hulu.com to browser to radio program to television program as if they were all one medium. I almost kept myself from speaking my mind when the political parts of the discussion took place (my wife's relatives being, on the whole, politicially more conservative than I am), but I did not quite succeed. I loved the stained-glass sundial installed in the small cupola on the roof. I also loved the rat terrier Lucy, who liked to have a small red plastic ring thrown for her.
Sunday morning my father-in-law graciously dropped me at Pima Canyon Trail when he went to the local store to get his Sunday New York Times and Tucson paper. Pima Canyon Trail took me into a lovely March combination of desert plants, wildflowers and colorful birds. Later, on the way to the airport, we stopped at the small Tucson Botanical Garden, which shows that even in only 5.5 acres a great deal of loveliness can emerge.
We had a grand trip. My wife got to stay an extra day to get more time in. It was wonderful to see everyone--and to see the desert flora and fauna once more.