As Tucsonans, we’re accustomed to lauding whatever rainshower comes our way. It’s the desert, after all, and our thirsty plants beg for it and we’re apt to splash around ourselves and get a spring in our step when it happens. And that’s great. We feel like Gene Kelly for a fleeting magical moment, and a Tucsonan seldom grouses about it.
On my near-daily bike ride, though, I spend a lot of time on Julian Wash and the Barraza-Aviation bikeway, and I’ll tell you this: every day, I see more of them: tents. Tarps. Lean-tos. I see simple bedrolls under bridges, and shopping carts neatly covered, and I see sprawling assemblages of bicycle parts and broken chairs. I see walls charred by cooking fires, and I see people ducking under thorny desert bushes as they emerge from the wash.
I can’t imagine they welcome the rain. It impinges on one of their few barely tangible assets- their mobility- and leaves them figuring out how to stay warm, how to get dry, and how to navigate their way to food and water. I thought about the daily struggle endured by someone in the midst of homelessness as I drove with 150 of your generously donated meals to Sister Jose Women’s Center this afternoon under gathering clouds, and if it’s sunny in a week and a half, when I go to Primavera Men’s Shelter with more of them, I’ll still think of it. The pandemic has put and will continue to put people living at the brink of poverty onto the street, into the washes and arroyos and along their banks. They’ll cluster where they can, and those afflicted by mental illness that prevents them from working together will go it alone.
We’re grateful to both organizations for helping people who never thought they’d be carrying everything they own with them as they look for a place to sleep or something to eat, and with that in mind, we’ve collected donations for today’s meal delivery and the upcoming one, and we’re grateful to you for choosing to help keep us employed in the process of looking out for some of the most vulnerable people in our midst. Here’s a little bit about our current and future donation runs:
Not to be so intense about it- many of these people will get a leg up through these organizations and others (we’ll be making another run to some of Compass Affordable Housing’s properties at some point, and they’ve been masterful at helping people transition out of homelessness.) So while we’d be delighted to have you contribute, we’d also be delighted to have you be good to yourself. Maybe you’ll pick up some Passover food- and remember, today’s the last day to order for Passover pickup, which, whether you’re Jewish or not, is delicious.
Or maybe the Easter menu is more your thing (which, again, requires no religious affiliation to enjoy:)
And we’ve got not one but TWO wine tastings this weekend, a Saturday romp to the lesser-known growing areas in southern France
and learning what happens in the vineyard to make wine so special
You can even combine your magnanimity and your self-pampering by joining us for the event we’re doing with Child & Family Resources to celebrate their 50 years in Tucson:
The choice is yours, and we welcome any or all of your choices. Stay well and happy, and feel good that you’re in a position to enjoy rain rather than dread it.