Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Things I Love About the Valley of the Sun

I just returned from a trip to the Land of Oz to visit some relatives out in the country. I enjoy traveling, visiting friends and relatives, and seeing new places, but I must say, "there's no place like home." To use another idiom, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." I was so happy when the plane touched down on desert ground and the doors opened up to bright Arizona sun. My time in Kansas inspired the following list of things I love about Arizona. Consider it a completely biased "ode" to my hometown.

1. BUT IT'S A DRY HEAT! Everyone always wants to know how Phoenicians deal with the 100 degree plus weather. All I know is I'd rather have a 115 degree dry heat day than an 85 degree day with 60 percent humidity. I have discovered I have no tolerance for humidity. Neither does my hair.

2. NATURAL DISASTER? WHAT'S THAT? Thankfully I didn't have to dodge any tornadoes during my stay in Kansas, but there were several in the surrounding areas. As I was contemplating how quickly I could evacuate to the storm shelter (13.5 seconds, if you care to know), I realized that Arizona doesn't suffer from natural disasters. No earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or flooded rivers. Nice.

3. RUNNING A QUICK ERRAND DOESN'T REQUIRE SEVERAL HOURS AND YOU PACKING A SACK LUNCH. Granted, my extended family lives in a rural area, but it seemed like to me quite a bit of Kansas is made up of small towns separated by vast expanses of wheat fields. The nearest pharmacy, dentist, Wal-mart or any other necessities or conveniences were an hour's drive away. That means two hours total. I didn't realize how spoiled I was for living in Phoenix, with everything so close by.

4. OUR STREETS ARE SQUARE. Phoenix and the surrounding cities are laid out on a grid. All our streets are square and parallel and logical and sane. They don't meander or dead end or diverge and intersect at random places. Have I mentioned I feel spoiled to be living in Phoenix?

I'll admit it; I was born a city girl and I'm a city girl at heart. I don't like bugs. I know Arizona has scorpions and all kinds of bugs, but in the big city the most you ever see is the occasional spider. Rural Kansas is full of bugs. The worst for me is the dreaded mosquito. I must smell like the best smorgasborg ever to them, because they LOVE to bite me. In Arizona, I don't have to worry about taking a shower in insect repellent before leaving the house.

6. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS. I'm not naive. I know Arizona has it's own problems and downfalls. I also don't believe that city living is in any way superior to the rural country life that some of my family chooses to live. It definitely has its own charms and appeal. All I know is that home is where your heart is, and my heart is in the Valley of the Sun, where I've made my life with my dear husband. It's where my church family and my friends are, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! This desert rose is glad to be home!

No place or city is perfect, but it may be perfect for you. What's your favorite thing about your hometown? Leave me a comment and let me know.


D.L. White said...

According to my brother, who was also in Kansas with me during my trip, a place isn't civilized until it has a Starbucks. He was going into caffeine withdrawals...

Jes said...


I can't tell you how lost I've been the past few days! I kept walking around asking, "Where's my brain? Why is my brain in Kansas?!"


You were missed!

Favorites about my home town...I'm from Abilene,TX...left when I was 5..only thing I remember is the horny toad.

How about things I love about Arizona...I could go on forever!

I ditto all you've written.

I'd also add these...

1. As long as your flip-flops have some degree of bling on them, they qualify as sunday dress.

2. No one cares if your skin looks like a lizard's. Theirs likely does too.

3. You can sit outside with your kiddos or friends on a June evening, and your conversation will surely include, "Wow! This weather is awesome!"

4. The people are great. In that, they are a lot like Texans. :)

Neena said...

I agreed with you on a lot of that. I enjoyed the dry heat better than the humidity. We just went to an outside wedding and it was only 85, but the humidity made us all sweat like crazy. Also we just had a tornado come close to us last night and I enjoyed how we didn't have the problem in Phoenix.

D.L. White said...

Thanks Jes - I'm sooo glad to be home! :) Thanks for your additions to my list. The one about flip flops made me laugh. :)

Hi Neena! Keep dodging those tornadoes and stay safe! Hope you are doing well! We miss you!

Laura said...

Since you did such a great job with your list, I'll just add some comments of my own to your wit...

I completely agree about the dry heat. In fact, if it's not over 110, it's too cold to take the kids to the waterpark because the evaporation off their skin makes their little bodies coooollllddd!!!

I've noticed that I don't think about heading for a doorway when kids run upstairs and I shakes the house (no earthquakes in Phoenix!) Love that!

I admit, I am so spoiled to shopping at Wal-mart which is basically across the street, that I complain if I have to go there more than twice a week.

The system at which the streets are named and numbered in Phoenix is so simple once you know the system, I was able to help an elderly Indian couple find their house and they only knew the street address (not the name of the street just the number). That's what a master planned city should be.

Even living on the edge of the desert in Anthem, we don't have any bugs to speak of. Yes, the occasional scorpion has been in our yard, but no big flying bugs to dive bomb your head whilst you enjoy your dinner outside "al fresco". Now that's nice.

Being a California girl, I could go on and on about the weather in CA being close to paradise, but Phoenix is right up there near the top for beautiful weather in the country.

So moving from the OC to Phoenix was an easy adjustment because I just exchanged one big city for another plus I got a bunch more new friends!

Anonymous said...

Ah. this made me miss living in the old phoenix, even though my wife thinks it's too brown. We could use a little phoenix weather in denmark. We're a bit overcast and cold at the moment. But I'm still in shorts! I'm on vacation. Anyway, I liked your list. Heat is dry and I like it!

D.L. White said...

Wow! I feel privileged - a post all the way from Denmark! :) Hope you and T. have a great vacation! Now get off the computer and go do something touristy! :P Wave hello to the little mermaid for me. :)

raven said...

No Starbucks! Ahhhhhh!

To add to the list: Ditto to everything you wrote and...

1. When it rains it smells wonderful.

D.L. White said...

Ahhh...good point! I love the smell of rain! :)