End of Spring

4/27/10 - Whew, busy finish to my first spring in AZ! March & April weather ranged from 60 to 90 degrees in the daytime, averaging around 75-80. Everything is in flower - the Palo Verde trees with their tiny yellow flowers, the cacti with an amazing array of colorful blooms, ground covers with dustings of white flowers, and every kind of vine and bush! It's great to have the hummingbirds back, sipping nectar from any tubular flower they can find & every feeder with syrup in it.

My mom came to visit for two weeks in March - part vacation but mostly consultation with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. She & I ran back and forth to the clinic for tests and consults, trying to figure out why she aches so much & is constantly fatigued. The docs there were terrific & they were able to identify some problems & suggest solutions for her to pursue when she returned to Ohio. We did a little sightseeing & shopping, and my mom came with me to help some Spanish-speaking residents understand the need for, & fill out, the 2010 Census. She went home tired but hopeful.

In early April, Candy was able to retire early (using vacation time to leave before her actual 55th birthday) & joined me here in AZ at last! She was so happy to be an AZ resident that we stopped & got her AZ driver's license on the way home from picking her up at the airport! She still feels like she's on a long vacation, but is beginning to settle in. It's wonderful to be together again! More on her in the next update...

In mid-April, our friend Keith came to visit for a week. Now we really got busy with sightseeing & shopping. We visited Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home in Scottsdale), as well as a fantastic church in Phoenix designed by Wright. We spent time at the Japanese Friendship Garden and listened to a jazz group one evening at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Of course we did a little clothes shopping & art gallery hopping too. Keith got a crash course in the citizenship application process & then came with me to work with other Human Rights Campaign volunteers at another citizenship fair in Phoenix. We squeezed in some time at the Gay Pride festival just before he left. Pride is in April because it is way too hot to do it in June when the rest of the country typically celebrates it. We had a great visit!

I'm continuing to work with HRC and am also involved in a project with the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. I recently finished all the vetting & interviewing necessary to become a volunteer doing career counseling at the women's center called Fresh Start in Phoenix. I have one more shadowing event to attend this week, then I'm on my own. Again, my ability to speak Spanish should come in very handy with some of the Hispanic clients. Good stuff, this being retired...

Keith & Kathy at Japanese Friendship Garden
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