Cabin fever in Tucson

Yeah, poor me. I’ve escaped from Downeast Maine ice storms, snow piled so high I couldn’t open my garage door. Thirty years ago I was a commercial for Mt. Desert Island — expounding on its beauty to anyone who would listen.

But here I am in sunny Tucson, although it’s been pretty cloudy this past week. Maybe that’s why I feel that February restlessness, cabin fever as we New Englanders call it. Maybe it’s because yesterday was a year that I returned from Istanbul, the first time in my long life I ever traveled to another country alone. Adventure, intrigue, money well spent!

Maybe I’m restless because my writing group’s important, very satisfying project is complete. “A Certain Slant of Light. Emerging from the Shadows of Mental Illness” was published by Our Place Clubhouse on Jan. 17 (order at Our book launch that night was spectacular. More than 200 people showed up. Ethan was there too!

Dan, Erica,Julie, Ethan, Me, Gabe

Dan, Erica,Julie, Ethan, Me, Gabe

This morning I went to Antigone Books and persuaded them to place copies of our book on their recommended table at the front of the store. That felt good.

I went to Zumba this morning. In the locker room two women were talking about “the last time I was in Bangkok” and “did you go to the Phnom Penh museum?” One admitted she had to return two years later to see the golden Buddha.

Island-hopping in Greece has been on my mind, to the point of considering a trip with three Tucson women friends. Missed that opportunity, not that I can afford it. No big travel plans ahead.

I was so looking forward to the recently engaged Ethan and Steph’s visit last month. We hiked. We talked. We ate. We drank. Then they were gone and I was sad. We’ll be going to Minneapolis in late August for their engagement party.

Steph and Ethan at the Stone House on the David Yetman trail

Steph and Ethan at the Stone House on the David Yetman trail

So I made the plane reservations for my annual trip to Southwest Harbor. I’ll be stopping in Austin on my way to see Ethan and Steph. Never been there before. How lucky I am. Vacation, life by the sea, family and old friends!

Southeast Asia isn’t high on my list of places to go but I’ve been enjoying following the itinerary of my old friend/colleague Susan and her husband, Hector. Clearly they’re on the 2 1/2 month trip of a lifetime, but they’re adventurous enough to go for another. Isn’t this amazing?


  • 1/6 – Concord Trailways bus to Boston; overnight in Boston
    1/7– British Air flight from Logan to London Heathrow
    1/8- arrive London 5:55 AM; overnight in London
    1/9– mid-morning transfer from London to Southampton; 6 PM sailing on MS Rotterdam
    1-10 & 1/11 – at sea
    1/12 – Lisbon, Portugal
    1/13 – Gibraltar
    1/14 – Malaga, Spain (Malaga to Granada for full-day tour of Alhambra)
    1/15 & 1/16 – at sea
    1/17 – Valletta, Malta
    1/18 – at sea
    1/19 – Kusadasi, Turkey (full-day tour of Ephesus ruins with lunch in mountain town)
    1/20 – Piraeus (Athens), Greece; disembark ship; fly to Heraklion, Crete to meet Lina & her family; overnight in Heraklion hotel
    1/21 – tour Crete with Lina; reboard ship at 5 PM
    1/22 – at sea
    1/23 – Suez Canal transit
    1/24 – 1/27 – at sea
    1/28 – Salalah, Oman (full-day tour)
    1/29 – at sea
    1/30 & 1/31 – Muscat, Oman
    2/1 & 2/2 – at sea
    2/3 & 2/4 – Mumbai, India 2/5 – Mormugao (Goa), India 2/6 – at sea 2/7 – Colombo, Sri Lanka 2/8, 2/9 & 2/10 – at sea 2/11 – Phuket, Thailand 2/12 – Penang (Pulau Pinang), Malaysia 2/13 – Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia 2/14 – Singapore (disembark ship; end of 37-day cruise) 2/14 – 2/16 – Singapore hotel 2/16 – fly to Bangkok, 5:25 PM 2/16 – 2/18 – Bangkok
    2/18 – fly to Hanoi, 2:45 PM
    2/18 – 2/19 – Hanoi, Vietnam
    2/20 – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
    2/21 – 2/24 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2/24 – 3/3 – Mekong River cruise on 24-passenger ship (sleep on ship with shore tours during day)
    Feb. 25: Cai Be–Sa DecFeb. 26: Chau Doc–Cambodian Border CrossingFeb. 27: Phnom PenhFeb. 28: Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong, CambodiaMarch 1: Wat Hanchey–Angkor BanMarch 2: Prek Dam–Konpong Louang–Kampong TralachMarch 3: Siem Reap (Disembarkation)
    3/3-3/5 – Siem Reap hotel
    3/5 – 3/8 – fly to Laos; spend 3 days in Luang Prabang, Laos
    3/8 – fly to Bangkok
    3/8 – 3/11 – Bangkok
    3/11 – 3/14 – open days in Thailand (no plans yet)
    3/14 – fly from Bangkok to Tokyo
    3/14 – 3/15 – Tokyo
    3/16 – fly to Boston
    3/17 – return to Southwest Harbor
    Oh Susan, please have a slide show this summer!
    Meanwhile, I dream of bicycling around the lavender fields of Provence in June 2015. But I can’t wait that long.
This entry was posted in Bopping Around Tucson, Mental illness/civil rights, Mount Desert Island/Maine, The Rest of the World and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cabin fever in Tucson

  1. Sharon Osborne says:

    Oh Sheila, I understand perfectly that desire to see all the world out there. I think I feel it more, the older I get, and the less likely it is to happen. I really DO want to walk the section of the Camino de Santiago from Portugal to Santiago. It could happen this fall, but somehow the planning stage doesn’t ever get done in time. Go for it! I will be in Tucson, by the way, from Feb. 13-21st, staying with Susan Gilbert. I will call you while I’m there, if you want to have lunch or dinner or a hike. Then I’m hooking up with Kate Reeve in Phoenix, on her way back from her grandma’s 104th birthday in Show Low; we will drive to San Diego, I’ll be there with her for a few days, then fly home to Portland. It’s not Viet Nam, but it will most welcome. We are BURIED in snow here–beautiful. It’s the grinding sub-zero temperatures that get me. Love, Sharon

  2. Sheila Lepley says:

    Happy New Year to you, even though it is almost Valentine’s Day. These cloudy raw Tucson days
    just don’t feel right. Like you I want to be outside doing things and this weather is disagreeable though I know my desert plants like the higher humidity. It sounds like it’s time for you to have some new challenges. I wonder what they’ll be. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be on a ship for 2 1/2 months traveling around the world. A number of people from Tucson have done that, and I wonder if it could be overload. I remember my first trip to Europe (age 26) started off with about 4 weeks in London followed by 3 weeks in Paris. After that I was sick of museums, churches, parks, restaurants….”you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” But I couldn’t go home which was half a world away in Honolulu. I had taken a year off from teaching, and I had about 45 more weeks in which to do things. I ended up working on a kibbutz for 7 months. Two years ago my husband and I went to Beijing for 3 weeks, and again I couldn’t wait to get home (too crowded, too noisy, little Eng. spoken or written). It takes a lot of energy to travel, it takes a lot of energy to get ready to travel, and when you get home, it takes time to get back to the old routine. just ruminations… your chatty notes. Congratulations on your marvelous “Post” articles which I enjoy reading and congratulations on the book launch. Be well. (Hi Barbara S)

  3. sheilawill says:

    Thank you for your ruminations, other Sheila! I appreciate your kind words. Who’s Barbara S?

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