I haven't lost sight of the mountains Kimmy...
The first year or so that we live here, in Tucson, were giddy times for Kim and I. We had moved to our personal paradise. Escaped the snow, pollution, break neck speed pace of the east coast. We were planning our wedding. Our wedding! Our apartment complex had more amenities that we ever knew what to do with. Kim got a job as a vet tech, a dream of hers to work with animals. We bought our first house together. Built our first house together!
And we loved when people asked us 'how long you lived here?' 'Three days!' "How you liking it?" "We LOVE the mountains!!!" Blank stares. No matter how long we had been here, we always went on about how beautiful the mountains are. How when you came out of work, after a long day, no matter which direction you happened to be facing, you'd be mesmerized by one of the four mountain ranges surrounding Tucson...the stress ebbing out of you as you soaked in their beauty.
"I guess after you've lived here for awhile, you kinda forget about the mountains." We were told.
Or; "You just get so hung up with work, errands and daily life, that you don't notice the mountains so much."
I can tell you, emphatically, we never took our mountain views for granted. We'd point out to each other, how different they appear at various times during the day, because of the way the sun hit them. Sometimes reddish, sometimes purplish. The shadows accenting different formations and canyons. Especially the Catalina's, to the north, with Sabino Canyon in the forefront. And the Rincon mountains to the east at sunrise. The Tucson mountains to the west take on a prehistoric glow at sunset. And the Santa Rita mountains to the south look incredible as our monsoon takes shape. And when there was snowfall (we loved when it was just on the mountains, not too cold down here!), they were stunning. It seems that with each month and season, they look just a little bit different.
The angles that you are coming at them make a big difference, too. We liked the northwest side of the Catalina's, up by Pusch Ridge. Hiking in Catalina State Park with our 'first born' Cajun.
And noticed that driving along Mary Ann Cleveland Way (a REAL person, I've met her!), coming back from Vail or Cienega H.S., the Rincon's appear nearly parallel to the Catalina's. You can barely make out Reddington Pass from such an angle.
Driving back up from Tubac, you get a great angle of the Santa Rita's and the huge observatory that is on it's eastern peak (my buddy, Mike, works up there, aiming the telescope to different point for the astrologists). The scorched desert stretching to that outcrop of rock makes me think of the photos I've seen of the Serengeti.
Each set of mountains...shows a different look...a different face highly dependent on the light, clouds, height of the sun. And, in the instant that you are admiring it - the moment you decided to pull over to take a photo - it can change that quickly!
From every part of the city - a new perspective...delivering books to Amphi High School, I tell Kim - "I see them honey. They look beautiful"...
Taking games and books and scooping ice cream for the folks at Ellie Towne Community Center, which is the home of Catholic Community Services...I can see them!
Early clouds as we leave our neighborhood on the Rincon's.
Across the desert, just outside our neighborhood, the Rincon's meet the Catalina's.
The Catalina's, obscured by clouds with a burst of sunshine on their foothills...taken just outside of Baggin's where I took Breanna, Autumn and Antonio for lunch the other day (and we made a big deal over the bread "This sandwich is sooooo good! Did you do something different?" The lady told us the bread now is baked at Viro's Italian Bakery...To which we replied "It is AMAZING!! You need to let your manager know we LOVE the bread!!").
The mountains. We loved them. They are amazing, majestic and ever changing...We never took their beauty for granted - and that feeling permeated throughout our relationship...we lived for each moment. I know that I could have spent days, weeks and months taking photos of the mountains to show you the differences that I am talking about....
I show the bambini, every day, telling them to look! Look at how the Santa Rita's look with a monsoon rumbling across them. Look! Look at the sun peeking over the Rincon's to say good morning. Look! Look at the lengthening shadows playing over the Catalina's in the late afternoon - or the dusting of snow on the top of Mt Lemon. And the bright shades of red, spilling over the Tucson Mountains at sunset.
And yet again, I remember Kim's enthusiasm for life. Her unselfish, giving, loving, caring approach to each and every day. For Kim, life was like our beautiful mountains - evolving with the day - every moment different, yet wonderful...