A Death in the Family

My father’s cousin, Dave Blair, has just passed away at 94, the last of that generation of Blairs (unless his sister is still around in Michigan, but I only met her once).  When we were kids in Detroit and traveled to California to see our grandmother, we also visited their family (who introduced us to the skateboard and the hula hoop!)  Then, many years later after Dave and Mary Lou had retired, they would drive down to Arizona with their fifth wheel to drop in on my aunt and uncle in Leisure World, Mesa, and Mom here in Tucson.

The children and I had stayed with them when they lived among the redwoods in Watsonville, California (I’ve combed though boxes of photos, but can’t find the ones I took of the kids there – too many boxes), when they lived in Sisters, Washington (during the quilt festival1), and then in Sequim, Washington.  Marilou has been gone for almost four years2, and I’ve gone to see Dave a few times since, but my only pictures are of a waterfall and the snow-capped mountains.  (Photo here of his parents seeing my grandparents off on their honeymoon.)



bobcat 002Yesterday a long-legged, thin, young bobcat walked across my driveway as I was working on my computer; didn’t get my camera fast enough, so had to go out the front door and ask it to pose as it walked across the next yard.

bobcat 003bobcat 008Today when I got home from work the cat asked to go out and, as I am now wont to do due to the last rabbit she killed, I looked over the balcony for cottontails.  Instead I say a large bobcat (the same one?) longing on the guest bedroom patio.

Ran downstairs, grabbed my camera, and pulled back the edge of the drapes (which I keep closed for the summer).  The angle was all off, and I could have opened them totally, but it saw me and slowly ambled away, stopping on the bridge over the tiny wash, changing its mind, and going back to the house to keep cool behind the Texas rangers.  (I told the cat she ought to stay indoors.)


Back in Detroit where I grew up, the ants that invaded the kitchen my mother called “grease ants” because they went for her pastry board, which did not dry out (as my cutting boards do here in Tucson).  The ones that forage in my kitchen are “sugar ants”.  When I had cooked up a simple syrup (for drinks), I had left the spoon next to the stove.  Bad idea.  There was a trail of ants from the front door, up the wall, across to the kitchen counter, around the cabinets and the stove to that one 1″ drop of sugar syrup!

They can’t get into the corked canister of sugar, but one did squeeze into my covered sugar dish that goes with the creamer.  But there is a platoon of the tiny ants (which luckily don’t bite) scouring my entire house!  Not piles of them, but one here, one there, one checking out the dish of cat food, one hunting through my basket of fresh fruit and veggies, another ferreting about in the dirty dishes in my sink.  (Sorry, no photos of them!)


June is the cruelest month, breeding
Desert broom out of the dry land, mixing
Depression and aggression, stirring
Dust devils with no spring rain.

(apologies to TS Eliot, The Wasteland)



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One Response to “A Death in the Family”

  1. SwittersB Says:

    Great capture with the cat!!! Thanks

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