has written several books, teaches writing workshops and lives in Oro Valley


Last week I wrote about some unsightly mirrored closets in my guest room that I was trying to cover without going to the expense of replacing them.

When my handyman, Bruce Almighty, showed up, I offered an idea from my friend Betty Crockpot: "Do you think we can paint the mirrors? Would that look okay?"

"Let's give it a try," he said.

Turned out to be a brilliant idea. Combined with new art deco furnishings, the guest room looked totally renovated. My friend Kevin arrived late Monday afternoon. When he walked into the newly decorated room, his eyes lit up.

"This looks fabulous," he said. "I wouldn't change a thing."

Hearing those words from an interior designer made me ecstatic.

Although suffering from a cold and sinus infection, Kevin had stopped to buy me a spectacular orchid plant, along with dog cookies for Charlie and Toots. The dog cookies looked good enough to eat, but when I sniffed them, they smelled like dog food! The dogs loved them and they love Kevin.

With just one day to frolic, we decided to make the most of it. After we ran our errands, I raced over to Mandy for a wash and blow dry. I knew Claude had had her hair done earlier in the day and I wanted to look spiffy for our night out on the town.

When Claude had stopped by for tea a couple of days earlier, I showed her some photos of me in a metal headpiece I bought in Venice, Calif., many years ago. The headpiece looks like it came out of a Camelot film. Claude loved it, so I gave it to her.

Claude picked us up at 5:15. She and I were dressed to the nines. Delighted to see someone else wearing an accessory I loved, I complimented Claude on her bravery for wearing the metal headpiece to a restaurant. I wore a long coat, along with feathers in my hair. Was Vivace ready for us?

Walking into the restaurant caused a stir. Diners looked at Claude, some with admiration, some with smirks. Not everyone in Tucson is ready for costuming.

Conversation was lively, as we had lots to talk about. In a moment of pure joy I said, "I've got to come to New York to visit you, Kevin," to which he replied, "That would be wonderful, especially considering how many times I've been to visit you in the last five years."

Claude piped in, "I'll go with you. We'll have a fabulous time, go to the theater, museums - whatever you like. Let's go in May."

"Yeah, maybe it won't rain every day," I replied, remembering the last time I visited New York four or five years ago in October. Although it rained the entire time, my friend and I saw three Broadway shows, shopped our hearts out, enjoyed the best pastrami sandwich she'd ever eaten and loved every minute of the excitement of New York, where I grew up.

On the way home, Claude mentioned New York again. "What do you say? Shall we go in May?"

Kevin spoke up, "There's a Holiday Inn across the street from where I live. I've heard it's a great place and the rooms are about $160 a night, cheap for New York." Without saying anything, I remembered spending $400 a night the last time I visited the big Apple!

"We'll see," I said, unable to commit. No one said a word after that about the trip. My friends know that leaving Charlie and Toots has gotten more and more difficult for me.

Kevin left the next morning. I was sad to see him go. We've been friends for about 12 years.

Who knows? Maybe I will see him in May. We can ask Betty Crockpot to join us for a New York adventure.

On StarNet: Read recent columns by Alexis Powers at azstarnet.com/alexispowers

Email Alexis Powers at northwest@azstarnet.com