I know, I know, I know. I'm supposed to think of the good they do for the economy. I'm supposed to focus on the fabulous restaurants which have developed to entertain them. I'm supposed to smile at the tax revenues and civic good will and I'm trying, denizens, I'm really trying, but it's getting harder with each and every year.
We moved to Tucson in July. No one is in Tucson in July. There's a family member requiring a visit or a business trip which must be taken or a road trip that conveniently falls in the middle of the summer. The roads are empty. I wrote a post card that summer to a friend commenting on the fact that the infrastructure is there though the people are not.
I was often the only car on a four-lanes-in-one-direction through street. There was no need to speed; the road was my own personal property and I could tool along, enjoying the scenery, trying to figure out where I was. No one cut me off. No one drove 35 in the left lane in a 45 zone. No one sat at a stop light admiring the green arrow but not turning as it requested. No one was there to annoy me.
Come Thanksgiving, though, it's another story entirely. My cousin Amanda warned me about "the tarantulas, the scorpions, the javelina and the elderly" when she heard we were moving to Tucson. She was so right. Just because you have existed on the planet for 9 decades, just because you can barely see through the steering wheel (forget about seeing over the steering wheel), just because you decide that it's your turn to go...... just because doesn't mean you'll be safe, or that I won't be screaming as I travel behind you.
I ask you, denizens - is it necessary to come to a full and complete stop before making a right turn on a green arrow at an intersection where the only other cars are behind you? Apparently, those who sport Minnesota license plates think that it is a requirement. It happened to me twice this afternoon.
I drove 56 miles picking up CTG butterflies for the caregivers at G'ma's pod-castle, dropping off checks and order forms for onion sets to plant in my raised bed next spring, being interviewed by the Associated Press and spending quality time with other January 8th'ers, spending an hour at pilates, pushing the world's heaviest cart through Costco, picking up prescriptions and garlic bread and taking the scenic route home. I had the opportunity to see a lot of Tucson- the Foothills, midtown, the far east side. I noted that our streets are in need of repaving and that our traffic cameras are quite annoying (I wonder if I was the one who was "flashed" at Grant and Kolb today) and that no one understands that slower traffic should move to the right.
I know I am a dstractable driver. I try to use the phone when I am not behind the wheel. I spent today traveling behind others who would benefit from adopting a similar perspective. If you are holding the phone with one hand and gesticulating with the other how are you steering your vehicle?
And then there was the woman with the phone in one hand and some kind of take-out food in the other. No one is that busy.
The construction in my neighborhood continues unabated. Ashton Construction has left and a new company has taken their place. Pavement seems to be optional as they rip up and re-direct generally make it impossible for me to do what I want to do when I want to do it without driving 5 blocks out of the way. The fact that the snowbirds have landed and are stupefied by the barricades and the flashing lights and the Keep Right Keep Left signs just make it more impossible to leave home.
Big Cuter arrives tomorrow. My last Humanities Seminar is tomorrow. I have one more round of packages that have to go to the post office but that is it. I think that after that, I am staying in my house until after the new year arrives. It's just too scary out there.