I’m back at home in my little condo in the big city after visiting my sister in her spacious home in her small town east of Phoenix, Arizona. For 14 days out of 17, the weather there was hot and sunny. There were a few clouds on the other 3 days. For 3 days at home, it has been warm with some sun; cloudy and cool; rainy and humid.
Some of you will be saying: I would LOVE hot sunny days year round. Not me. I prefer having four seasons. And do not retort “but it’s a dry heat”.
Try this. Turn your oven on and let it get as hot as possible. Open the door, stick your face in and hold it there for 3 seconds. That’s Phoenix from May through October. And from June to September even the nights are hot because the heat soaks into the ground.
Still, there are many things that I like – and will truly miss – about that little slice of almost-paradise, including:
- Quiet streets with lovely landscaping, nice homes, clean air
- Few people around at any given time – it’s peaceful and relaxing (and I’m an introvert)
- Going for daily 2 hour walks around the community and never being bored
- The slower pace of life (in a big city, even leisure time can feel hectic)
- Being able to buy groceries and wine or beer at the same store
But people are people, and there IS litter in that picturesque community. A small artificial lake is a popular spot where people walk their dogs, go fishing or just relax by the water. Although there’s a garbage bin every 50 feet or so, food wrappers, empty water bottles, bits of fishing line or other debris get left behind.
Around the neighbourhood, I would see Sunday’s newspaper on Monday or even Tuesday, lying where it was tossed in a driveway or two. I found a child’s shoe, a hat and a baseball in the greenbelts (there’s one at the end of every street). Here and there I would see a cluster of bikes or a pile of shoes in the doorway. Even peeling paint and dead shrubbery – at least one house on every street, except in the most expensive area.
People are people. Life can get messy. It’s just more noticeable in a community where everything is clean and well kept. Lawns are watered. Landscaping is tended. And every house has double or triple garages so that toys and bikes and cars can be kept out of sight.
I was in Arizona for over 2 weeks and by the end, I was ready to come home. What I missed most was my own place. My own bathroom, laundry, kitchen and living room – no sharing. I missed water you can drink from the tap. And cold water that actually gets cold. And lots of vegetables at lunch and dinner (my nephews are picky eaters).
I don’t own a car so I appreciate the convenience of public transit (I had to be driven everywhere in AZ). I really missed the lush green river valley view from my spacious balcony, especially in the spring. And of course I missed my dear friends and family who make home, home.
I loved being away. I love being home. I will miss Sis, her hubby, my handsome teenage nephews, their 2 dogs (senior and puppy).
I may be ready to do it all again next year…