...since I moved to Arizona. Really? Nineteen years? Where has the time gone? I've lived here longer than I lived in Utah. And California. Almost longer than the two of those combined!
It has not been easy living here. When I first moved here, I HATED it. It was dirty. It was dry. It was HOT - 107* at 4 p.m. in the afternoon on September 13th! The people were rude. They weren't friendly. They LIVED TOGETHER WITHOUT BEING MARRIED. (Yes, I know...people do that all over the world - and in Utah - but I just didn't realize it was such a common thing at that point in my life.) I just didn't like it.
After living here about a week or so, I called my parents at 3 a.m. their time/ 2 a.m. mine, just to have the following conversation:
Me: Hi Mom. Sorry to wake you up.
Mom: It's okay. Are you alright?
Me: Yes. I just had to call and tell you that it's 2 a.m. here and it's still 104 degrees.
Mom: Are you serious?
Me: Yes. I don't know how people stand it here. It's so hot all the time. It never cools off.
And yes, it's still that way 19 years later. It just doesn't cool off much at night in the summer. It's not until about October that the evenings start to cool down a little.
It wasn't until I'd lived here about 6-8 months or so and we were on our way home from a trip to Utah and we were about 30-40 minutes from home and I turned to Mr. Spock and said, "Oh, we're almost home" with a sigh, that I finally realized this was home now. It does finally feel like home and I enjoy getting back here when I've been gone somewhere else, but if someone were to tell me I was moving back to Utah tomorrow, I'd drop everything in a heartbeat and go. I miss my mountains. I miss actual Fall. I miss actual Spring. I miss actual Winter. I miss snow. I miss fires in fireplaces when it's cold outside and the snow is blanketing the ground. I miss hearing the snow plows cruising down the street scraping the snow into Mom and Dad's driveway again and knowing it's going to be all slushy and gross and a mess to clean up so we can get out. I miss hearing cars slowly crawling down the street crunching the snow with their tires because the plows haven't gotten there yet. I miss white Christmases. I miss going up into the mountains for picnics. I miss going fishing in the Uintas. I miss going camping in real mountains. I miss the smell of coal burning in a stove on a winter's morn.
Most of all though, I miss my family. Each and every one of them.
I'm sure we'll continue living here for many, many more years. That's just where we are in our life right now. I just hope it's not another 19 years....