Friday, November 30, 2012

My Last Arizona Sunset

Arizona has some absolutely fabulous sunsets.  The desert dust in the air makes a beautiful prismatic display during the August and September monsoons, and the wide open spaces between the mountains that dot the Sonoran desert make for some beautiful back drops.  On Tuesday night, after helping the 2 man crew who packed my home Monday, load the 17,000 lbs of household belongings into their 53 foot semi trailer, I climbed into my Mazda 6 (loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go) to drive to California.  While I heard no gun shots, out on the highway, I was also not dressed like a student or a housewife... I did get waved through the California Agricultural road block, and today, the cable guy is on a ladder outside my CA rental literally "tappin phone lines" as I type this up.  We Are still at war in Afghanistan, so I guess it is somewhat relevant.

But I digressed on a Byrne-esque diversion there.  The final sunset, as I drove West towards LA, was phenomenally pretty, and made a moving impression on me (no pun intended).  I was hyped up on a 5-Hour energy drink with enough B vitamins to feed a whole class of kindergarteners, and my hand might have been a little shaky as I took the pics through the windshield as I drove.
It will be an indefinitely long time before I am driving down I-10 again, westward, from Phoenix at sunset.  Dr Desert Flower is working with a property manager who is handling the renting out of our house there, and I detest being an engaged, active, out-of-state land lord as that's what we did for 7 years from South Carolina while our Bloomington IN FHA starter home wouldn't sell.  I used to have to cross the Appalachians and drive 7 hours along I-40 & I-75 to get to that house to fix things and check on it.  I don't want to have to drive through 6 and a 1/2 hours of Mohave & Sonoran deserts and through a check-point  on I-10 to maintenance the Phoenix residence.

The 5 and a 1/3 year Arizona experiment was not a complete loss.  I hiked the Grand Canyon twice.  Got to take friends and relatives who visited to Sedona & Torilla Flats.  Ate some really delicious Mexican food.  Saw some nice concerts.  Hiked every mountain taller than a 1000 feet in Phoenix city limits & within a 10 mile (or so) radius.  Got to swim in my own back yard pool, grew lavender & aloe, communed & bonded with hummingbirds, saw a massive number of lizards and a road runner or two (or three), got bitten by one and killed dozens of other black widow spiders, relocated  more than a dozen feral cats, farmed cactus, sculpted ocotillo, harvested vast numbers of ripe juicy lemons, drank many great wines, and paid ridiculously low taxes while watching my home value plummet by 2/3rds.  I fought & won a court magistrate case against a wrongful traffic ticket, frequently visited the nicest desert botanical garden in the world, volunteered at some good organizations, donated nearly another gallon of blood, started a blog at my old friend Rufus's prodding, and made some nice new friends as well along the way.

It's also ironic that my one friend who lives in California already texted me to ask me "do I feel flakier now?" that I'm a Californian, while back in Arizona I voted Against a flake (Jeff Flake) for US Senator.   While my candidate (Rich Carmona) lost, I am glad to leave Flake and his ilk behind, and for the first time in my life, live in a blue state.  Of course, I am in the reddest of the red counties inside that blue state - my next door neighbor has a sign on the back of his Hyundai Sonata parked in his driveway that actually says "I do not believe the liberal media" and there's no shortages of Hummer SUVs on my block (and John Campbell is my Congressman now, instead of Rahul Grijalva), but at least the governor and both Federal senators are moderate democrats, and the minority speaker of the US House of Representatives are not tea partying, racist, birther, 'build the damn' fencers.  So I think we'll get along okay here in the Golden State.  Now if it would just stop raining (as it has everyday since we got here) I can go soak in the hot tub I've warmed up in the back yard  =)

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