The Beginning: Solo in Tucson

Frozen in Frozen Custard Land

Frozen © 2011 Bo Mackison

I am a woman of a certain age, raised in a certain time and of a certain generation.

And like so many woman my age, I have seldom been on my own. On those few occasions when I did travel alone, I was only away from my home and husband for a few days at a time. I have never lived on my own, except for the six months between my college graduation and my marriage. And even then, I had a roommate.

For the last couple of years, Sherpa and I have traveled to the Southwest for two weeks in the winter.  And truly, the sun sent a feeling of newness through my body and soul. I felt alive and awake in the Arizona sunshine. And I felt disheartened as I realized how I struggled through the many weeks of late winter in Wisconsin, year after year, unable to appreciate or fully take advantage of each new day.

After our return to the Midwest from our Southwest travels last February, I began having dreams starring little snowy birds as the main characters. These birds flew to Arizona each night, waving goodbye to me, while trilling, “Don’t worry. We’ll be back when the tulips start to bloom.” Gradually my dream changed – I became the snow bird in the dream. And I flew away to Arizona, sweetly singing, “See you in April!”

Week after week passed and I dreamed of living in Tucson, and I kept muttering to myself, “It’s JUST a dream! Get over it!”

This month, that all changes. Tomorrow Sherpa and I will drive to Tucson, where I have rented a very small condo for the next two months.  Sherpa has obligations in Wisconsin, and to boot, he rather likes winter. He will be returning to Wisconsin. And I have a couple of obligations in Arizona. First, Seeded Earth Studio and I will be exhibiting my photography in at least two, possibly three, art fairs in the Tucson area from early February to early April. And second, I want to prove to myself that I can live alone for those two months.

It’s a pretty big challenge for me. I am excited; I’m also a little worried.

I will be blogging about my experience, and I hope you will join me as I share the adventures of Bo as she establishes herself as an artist in Arizona, and as she learns the skills necessary to survive, contentedly, in a very small condo in a place that doesn’t see much winter!

Bo Goes Solo!  In Tucson!


Bo Mackison is the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is living in Tucson for the next eight weeks, taking daily opportunities to visit deserts and desert gardens while practicing her photography, and blogging about learning to live on her own. Share Bo’s Excellent Adventure as she writes about living in Tucson, solo!

About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.


  1. Angie Willis says:

    You’ll be fine Bo. With all your great blog friends how could you possibly be lonely? Really looking forward to reading about how you get on.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It will be both adventure and learning experience! I feel fortunate to have the opportunity. Now to make it worthwhile!

  2. Ah, Bo! Our little Snow Bird! I’m so excited about your new adventure -for what is Life without Adventures? We will all be here for you anytime, night or day, to hold your virtual hand, to read your stories, laugh and cry with you, celebrate your successes and ooh and aaah over your photography! My heart aches to be there with ya – this is way cool, babe!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      And to think, when I was younger, I used to think the idea of being a snowbird was amusing. Now find it most appealing!

  3. Speaking of moxie! Which you did, on my blog…

    I am a woman of a certain age, raised in a certain time, and… well, you know. The same. I have never spent time out on my own and often wonder what would happen if I did. I am almost envious, Bo. Mostly I am thrilled for you and can’t wait to follow along on your Snow Bird adventures.

    As for solo, you’ll have all of us following you. This is so exciting! 😀

    • Bo Mackison says:

      The adventure is about to begin. We shall all see where it takes me! (and there’s lots of moxie to go around. I think your adventures on your new skis takes plenty of moxie!

  4. Bravo Brave Woman!!!! Enjoy! Keep me posted on where your showings are…I have friends in Tucson who would stop by to see your amazing work:) Enjoy!

  5. Joanna Paterson says:

    what a fabulous adventure 🙂 don’t worry, we’ll be here, you’re not alone x

  6. Oh wow, Bo! What a wonderful challenge and adventure! Way to go! May your time in Tucson be fun and filled with lovely surprises. I really like the snowy photo with Michael’s Frozen Custard… great go together. 🙂

  7. I’ll join you Bo (virtually speaking). I look forward to your experience in Tucson and hope you have a great time at the art fairs! Your journey in that area is of great interest to me.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I love that, Montucky. Yes, join me virtually speaking. You know Arizona–maybe you might want to offer me some pointers on what to see, where to go…

  8. Oh..this sounds so exciting. A challenge on so many levels. I’ll look forward to hearing all about your experiences. And – I love the image!!!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Challenges, but lots of exciting palns are swirling around in my head! I love the image too–sooo why I am scurrying to warmer climes!

  9. I am so envious of you! Oh how I wish I could escape this never ending Wisconsin winter for the bone warming sun of Arizona! All the best to you, Bo. You’ll do wonderfully. I’ll be looking forward to reading about all of your experiences — complete with photos!

  10. Joanne Keevers says:

    What a wonderful adventure for you Bo! I too am a woman of a certain age who has never lived alone and oh, the possibilities of discovering who you really are, without your judgement being clouded by another person, sounds so exciting!

    Good luck with the art fairs in Tucson. They’ll love your work!

  11. Your virtual street team has assembled! We who live down here welcome you, but please bring something warmer to wear–it’s freezing down here!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Well, Quinn, I had to bring my warm winter clothes for the first days of traveling. When we left it was about 6 degrees! So I’ll have plenty of warm stuff if I need it. Maybe in those Tucson mountains!

  12. Wow! That’s an adventure indeed! Wishing you great adventures and much success! May you and your art grow through this experience!

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