home again

Well, we made it safely back home to northern California.  We managed to put about 1500 miles on our car in a week – yowzers!  The drive between Phoenix and the San Francisco Peninsula is a long one, to be sure, and there’s a LOT of desert between here and there.  In fact, most of it’s desert.  But the desert along I-10 in Arizona is the worst.  However, when one plays Aaron Copland music, such as “Appalachian Spring,” “Rodeo,” and “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the scenery becomes much more regal and majestic.  I enjoyed driving through the Tehachapi Mountains (the southern end of the Sierra Nevadas) on our way back, and our whole family enjoyed observing how the train tracks alongside the highway weave in and out of tunnels in the mountains.  Very cool.  🙂

I have to say: I loved the 100 degree heat in Phoenix.  I know now that it’s absolutely true that a 100 degree dry heat is the same as an 80/85 degree humid heat – except it’s better!  I loved the hot weather in Phoenix.  I don’t know if I would actually want to live there, as there are really no trees.  People don’t put grass in their yards: most people have succulents surrounded by rocks.  The landscaping is all very, very brown/tan/gray.  There are a LOT of cacti.  And there are lizards, snakes, and scorpions running around in that area (although, thankfully, the only reptile I saw was a small lizard on the outside wall at our resort).  But the warmth is a wonderful thing, especially for a girl like me who is always cold.

This morning the thermometer at our house proclaimed it a balmy 50 degrees outside.  Ouch.  Plus it was windy, and I hate wind, especially when it’s a cold wind.  That was rough for us all.  Luckily our new heater works well, and it got put to good use this morning.  I wore pants and three layers on top today.  No tank tops and shorts for me.  How sad.

But there are definitely nice things about being back home.  The girls and I went to the Farmer’s Market today and stocked up on fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies.  There were NO locally grown fruits and veggies in Phoenix.  Grocery prices were almost higher there than in the Bay Area, and things are expensive enough here!

And I do love being surrounded by trees.  JJ and I have said for years that when you look out of the windows at our house, it’s easy to imagine that you’re camping out in the woods.  With all of these pine trees and redwood trees around us, it’s really quite lovely here.  Plus, we’re only a half hour drive from the ocean.  That’s hard to beat.

And it was so wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night.  The mattress was pretty nice at the resort, but there’s nothing quite like your own bed.  Ahh.

It’s nice to know that I could be happy living someplace other than nothern California or Wisconsin.  It would be an adjustment, but I could definitely see myself being happy living in Arizona.  I can’t say that about every place that I’ve traveled to.  Being a pastor’s wife, I can’t help but visit a place and wonder, “Could I manage to live here?”  I was always a little fearful of Arizona, because of the desert living, but after having been there, I can now see that it would be just fine, especially if I were in a big city like Phoenix.  The whole valley in which the greater Phoenix area is located is surrounded by mountains, and I love to look at mountains.

But truly, no matter I am, as long as I’m with my husband and my children, I could be happy.  I love my hubby and my girls. 🙂

For now, home is in northern California, and it’s good to be home.  I just hope it warms up here soon.  I’m too cold for the middle of June!