“You stuck a pin in a map I was in, And you are the stars I navigate home by.”
~Dear Friends, Elbow
The problem with living in so many places…is that you have friends in so many places. (This is also the good thing about living in many places, but that’s a different post for a different time.) Today, I am sad in anticipation of missing our community in Arizona.
I’ll miss Arizona, I’m not going to lie. The politics aren’t to my liking, but the people we’ve met are very dear to my heart and we’ve made many lifelong friends. (I wish I could share pictures of them all, but in posting I’m realizing I am terrible at remembering to take photos! Guess I better work on that!)
I’m sure we’ll keep in touch, but it will be hard not to see them regularly. People we’ve worked with for years, through incredible ups and downs. They know what we’re going through, and for the most part have proven to be even better friends than previously believed.
Scottsdale is stereotyped as a superficial place, but here we found so many who were deeply good people, helping others create better lives, grow businesses, build communities – people I’ve volunteered with, cheered with, partied with, raised kids with, helped through divorce and sickness and deaths of loved ones. I have made friends wherever we’ve lived, but aside from our home in Marin County, California, Scottsdale has been where we’ve lived the longest. The desert has worked its way into my lungs and into my heart. It’s hard driving away.
Dan also made many great friends. I know he’ll miss seeing everyone, not to mention the trips to Bear Lake, and to local ski resorts (and even hilarious midnight runs to Wal-mart…don’t ask). More often than not these guys worked and played as a team, and it tears him apart to be sidelined by illness. Rest assured he’s committed to doing everything in his power to being back in the game ASAP!
Aurora is too young yet, but the older kids, particularly Ari, have made great friendships as well. I’m so thankful that the kids are all so great on technology that they’ll be able to be in touch as often as they like!
We’ve had good school experiences, both for the kids, and for me as a VP of the PTO. Despite the fact Arizona on the whole spends less per student than almost any other state, Scottsdale has excellent schools. In fact, the school our kids are leaving is why we moved to this neighborhood. Ari was in a charter program that was a phenomenal combination of child-led, project-based learning, combined with in-class exercise equipment and the freedom to use it! They were also active in extracurriculars: choir, orchestra, softball, baseball, and drama. Aurora too had recently been accepted to a special-needs daycare for a few hours each week. It didn’t give me “childcare” but at least it gave this exhausted mama a break here and there. Grocery shopping is a heck of a lot easier without a special needs toddler in tow, let me tell you. 😉
And that’s not even considering the raw beauty of the place. Few places have taken my breath away like the desert. The stunning landscapes, the spectacular sunsets. See for yourself:
So…farewell for now, Arizona. I know we’ll see you, and all of our friends, soon. That’s the benefit of being a snowbird state. We’ll remain official residents, and will be back when the weather gets cold and we head south for winter. And we still have strong business connections there, so it may be even sooner that we’ll be rolling back through. The future right now is just too uncertain to say for sure. However long it takes…wait for us…please? We’ll miss you!