After a doozy of a start to the year we are finally getting our legs back under us again so I thought I’d tried to catch up around here.
I’ll start with a recap of March. The weather has been all over the place this year and not just for us here in the Sonoran Desert—the midwest, south, and eastern states have all had exceptional storm events. Down here in southern Arizona we are getting a bit jealous of everyone else’s precipitation. So far at our house we have recorded just over an inch of rain for the year, a paltry amount compared to the six inches we average in the winter. Though I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t trade our mild (to warm) temperatures for snow and bitter cold.
March’s temps rollercoasted along, one day unseasonably warm and then downright chilly the next. It was so warm at the beginning of the month that Lance took the first swim of the season in our pool. He didn’t stay in very long since the water was still quite cold but he managed a few laps. With my aversion to being cold I passed on that.
A few days later Lance hopped on a plane headed for Austin to attend SXSW. He split his time between attending sessions, working at the WordPress booth, checking out cool music, eating delicious BBQ (Rudy’s rules!), and hanging out with far-flung coworkers. Working at a location-independent company has many benefits though there is no substitute for face time. In recognition of that Automattic does a great job of encouraging frequent team get-togethers, so Lance and his team were able to enjoy all the hubbub of SXSW and build on their working relationships at the same time. A win-win!
I love music just as much as, if not more than, Lance so when I learned about the benefit concert for the recently created fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding I knew I had to attend. Unfortunately, it was the same night that Lance left for Austin; thankfully though, our friends Dennis and Heidi were interested in attending. We were drawn by the amazingly diverse list of performers as well as by the knowledge that in some small way our presence would help Tucson recover from the devastating shooting on January 8th.
The concert opened with a blessing by Quiltman, a Native American singer, then Arizona’s own Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers kicked things off. I don’t remember the exact order but the stage sparkled as Sam Moore, Jennifer Warnes, Nils Lofgren, Keb’ Mo’, Jerry Riopelle, Dar Williams, Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Ozomatli, and Calexico (accompanied by Mariachi Luz de Luna) sang their hearts out. In between acts several speakers filled the silence. I will admit to getting teary-eyed when Gabe Zimmerman’s mother spoke of her deceased son, an intern in Representative Gabrielle Gifford’s office who was killed in that senseless shooting. She shared with us his belief in the people of southern Arizona and challenged us all to continue building a better community.
It was also emotional when Ron Barber, a staffer of the Congresswoman’s who was shot twice on January 8th, explained his vision for the Civility, Respect and Understanding Fund. His family founded the non-profit group to help Tucson heal, encourage open dialogue among citizens, and raise awareness about mental health concerns. That so much good could spring from something as cruel and heartless as a mass shooting speaks volumes about the character of our hometown.
At the end of March Lance and I flew back to Ohio to spend time with family over their Spring Break. Though I think it is mean to let kids out of school for Spring Break in what is clearly still winter, we had a good time. Even with the mini-blizzard that I had to drive through. Funny how a week sounds like a long time but as usual, the time zipped along and soon we were back home. Though it is always hard to say goodbye to family it was awfully nice to be back in sunny ol’ Tucson.
Photos: View our photographs from March Happenings.