Caroline is here and we’re having a wonderful time.

She’s even more lovely in person; she radiates such love and positive energy. James and I felt comfortable with her right away, and we’ve been chatting and laughing nonstop from the moment she trundled down the gate with her “pink and fluffy” suitcases.

Pink and fluffy is Caroline’s motto. She loves everything pink; even her SmartCar is that color! So it was easy to pick her out in the crowd of passengers disembarking from the plane.

Caroline managed to snag the last seat on the last flight from Phoenix to Tucson, arriving only an hour later than originally scheduled. This gave James and me time to stop by Tar-jay (you know what I’m talking about!) for a few supplies.

The Tucson airport is a laid-back affair, resembling more a bus station than an airport. The pace is slow and the volume low. Almost pleasant.

There is a greeting area well away from the security gates, with a large video screen showing the arrivals emerging from the planes.

I focused my video camera on this monitor, waiting for Caroline’s arrival. James spotted her first, because of the bright pink suitcases. I filmed her briefly as she walked towards the escalator, then tossed the camera to James so that he could film me hugging Caroline for the very first time.

We’ve both been basking in her warmth ever since.

The trip back to Bisbee flew by in a pleasant blur, as James and I pointed out various sights. We stopped at the Continental Divide, immediately over the tunnel, to look at the stars showing brightly in the clear, black sky. The cool evening desert breezes brushed our faces as we gazed at the heavens. Conversation stopped as we were enveloped in the silence, broken only by an occasional howl of a coyote in the distance.

I had forgotten what an impact it is to approach Bisbee by night, the lights of the miners’ shacks and grand buildings downtown twinkling on the hillsides. No wonder there are so many pictures of the town on Flickr and so many Google hits.

It’s always interesting to gauge newcomers’ reactions to our house, inside and out. Caroline was amazed at all the objects plastered on the walls and little red toys scattered on every surface in our main living area. She wandered from room to room, exclaiming over each new discovery. It will take her all week to see everything, I suspect.

James made us a late-night snack of nan (Indian bread) sprinkled with olive oil, herbs and bits of tempeh. We washed it down with glass after glass of mint sun-tea as we chatted and laughed into the wee hours of the morning.

It was difficult to tear ourselves away to sleep at nearly 2 a.m.

So here I am trying to put words together in the midst of three MacBook laptop computers clacking away — James, Caroline and I each have one — Caroline just finished a video conference with a dear friend in England, gave a quick tour of the house…James is surfing the Net…we’re all sipping on coffee…and we are about to walk a short block down the street for brunch at the High Desert Market.

Having Caroline here is healing on many levels. Not only is it wonderful to be with her in person, but her presence is helping us shift our view of Bisbee into a more positive light. This is extremely welcome after feeling a bit down about the place lately.

I’m also glad that Caroline gets to see this picturesque town before we leave.