Friday, January 21, 2011

In which I need some sequiny red shoes

We've moved a lot.

You know?

We spent the first year of our married life in Michigan. Then another year in Ohio. Then Brazil - wherein we moved four times.

So we've done the pack-unpack-make friends-leave friends - pack-unpack-make friends-leave friends thing. It's really no fun at all

And while we always made spectacular friends wherever we were - 

none of the places ever felt like h o m e.

When we went on long trips - like, long, ten-hour-plane-trip-trips - when we finally pulled up in the driveway ... nothin'

Home was wherever My Man and the kids were. The house itself ... they were always just houses. We came "house" - never home.

But now? I think I've finally found it. 


Have I told you how much I love Arizona?

I love Arizona.

I actually love the blistering hot summers. I love letting my children run naked all day in the sprinklers. I love swimming practically every day in the neighborhood pool - and the fact that my hair is dry before we get home. I love eating so many Otter Pops our lips never return to normal color. I love the sweltering evenings - the heavy air hanging - the crickets chirp chirping under an immense desert night sky.

I love the beauty of this place. It's a different kind of aesthetic than the leafy green wonder that is Michigan - where I grew up. They both set my heart a-glow. But Arizona - it's different. The strong-lined mountains cutting into the sky - a sky that is always, always blue. And the intense color of summer flowers in full bloom - the deepest of pinks and purples and oranges and reds send me into raptures.

I love the people. People are nice here. They give you directions and help you with groceries and stop to talk to you on the street. Arizonians are colorful - cheerful - they're into health food and citrus and farmer's markets and can be found everywhere running, biking, walking, swimming, moving. Arizonians are outside.

I love that there are so many people of my faith here. I love that on my street of thirteen houses, ten of them are Mormon. And yet - I'm glad we're not overrunning the city. (Though we are overrunning my subdivision.) I love that 85% of people you meet are not members. I love the diversity - the opportunities to meet different kinds of people - the chance to be an example and teach.

I love the community. I love that I can find any class or sport imaginable - available during your choice of times. I love that there are always at least four parks within walking distance, wherever you are - and usually a few pools, too. I love that there are fun, funky shopping areas where we can stroll and absorb the eclecticity of humans. I love that the parking spaces are van-wide, the grocery stores have free child care, and every fast-food restaurant has a playplace.

I love the endless museums within 30 minutes of my house. I love the art - the culture - the theater - the symphony. I love that there is so much to do here.

And I love the winters. I love that the winters here are like autumn everywhere else. I love that I get months of colorful, crunchy leaves - and still get to keep my blueblue sky and lush green grass.

I. Love. Arizona.

Welcome home.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm so glad that you love Arizona. And a tiny bit jealous.

Danielle said...

Just beautiful! (your writing, the pictures, the emotion...)

Sweating in the endless heat said...

I wish I would've read this post 7 years ago, before we moved here, because it was REALLY hard for me to see all of those things you just talked about that quickly:-) Thank you for being SO awesome and positive and seeing the beauty that Arizona is. I LOVE all of the pictures you shared!

Tobi said...

The passionate way you feel about Arizona is the same way I feel about Colorado. Colorado will always be home. I love the mountains. I love the seasons. I love all the outdoor activities. I adore Colorado and never wish to be parted from it. =)

Lew said...

My husband is applying for a graduate program and one of our options is tucson. I was happy to read such positive things about Arizona! Can you say whereabouts that you reside? I see you have grass, which makes me feel better b/c I just pictured dirt everywhere. Thanks for the post!

Kimberly said...

I am grinning SO big right now, just squished full of happy for you. Because if you can't live in MY neighbourhood, I want you living in one you love THAT much.
And it's all about what I want, don'tcha know. =P

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That's so great! I feel the same way about Pennsylvania! (only without the sun! )

MayerFamily said...

SO GOOD to hear such nice things about our area- thanks for the reminder! I agreed with all of it. And I'm super glad to hear its home because I don't ever want you to leave! We are holiday buddies!

Rachel Sue said...

I'm happy for you. And just the teeniest bit jealous. We have moved around a lot like you. And we still aren't there. I cringe as I drive up my street sometimes, and at least once a day say to myself, "I want to move." I'm hoping to find it soon.

Sarah said...

Ahh, my home and native land. I have a soft spot for the land of my birth. Did you know my dad grew up in Casa Grande, which just happens to be not so far from where you live? And there is a whole branch of my family tree out your way too. At the end of your post, all I could think was 'amen'.

Kris said...

Dude. I live in Louisiana right now, and it's not "home;" could you maybe tell us the general vicinity in which you live for those of us that want to pin up a picture of the hopeful future?

Qait said...

What a wonderful feeling!
A gift, too...
I've rarely felt that in my life, as far as PLACES go. But like you, I've always felt that home is where my family is. :)

Michelle said...

I'm glad you love AZ so much! I hope that if we are here long term I can grow to love it just as much. It's not that I don't like it, I do enjoy many aspects of living here, but there are things that still don't make it feel like home.

The Martos Fudge said...

Hi there, just came across your blog, and I LOVE your date idea... we may have to do something like that, maybe it will help us to get out and so things alone more often. Thanks

InkMom said...

If Lew (your commenter above) moves to Arizona I will 1. be EXTREMELY SAD and 2. have to come all the way out there for our girls nights out, which might actually be fun if we could include you in them. We are dying here at the thought of losing Leslie and her husband and their adorable, Gap-ad four boys.

And I love that you love Arizona. I love where I live just as much -- this is the place my heart longs to be, and as much as I love to travel and see and experience new things and might even be persuaded to live (for a brief time) some place other than here, these mountains are the home of my spirit. And I love knowing that.

Thanks for commenting. I wondered if people would still read me after my long absence!

Happy Mom said...

You make me want to move there! So glad you've found home!

iheartmesa said...

Yay, someone else who has a passion for Arizona. You should think about guest blogging for us.

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