Arizona. The Northern Valley. Driving down the state’s landscape, I was awestruck by the mountainous terrain, with peaks so high, they appeared to touch the sky. The highways flaunted by sun washed canyons, and valleys, pocketed with desert shrubs, cactus and flowering sycamores, transported my thoughts to an oasis, even though my husband and I were visiting on business, planning our relocation. House hunting in the desert, what fun!
Our house shopping included seeing approximately 12 homes, located in several neighborhoods, surrounding Peoria, Anthem, Sun City and Sun City West, where we pushed open, pulled back, looked under, spread our arms, laid on the floor, kick dirt up in the yards, if you call dirt and rocks a yard, peered over fences, turn on and off lights, examined floors and roofs, sat on staged furniture, trying to imagine living in a desert home. We wondered what it would be like during monsoon season, when the “wash” behind the backyard filled up with rain to overflowing. Or, if the fence would be tall enough to stop a coyote or bobcat from penetrating its boundaries. We were curious as to how they grow all that greenery in rocks. Desert flowers really are beautiful.
I learned about my new neighbors, the little ones. Richard, a member of the hotel staff told me that I should expect scorpions, beetles and lizards to stop by. He told me to adopt a lizard, that should help some with the pests. Yuk! I have a cat, I’d much rather Olaf take that job, but if I need a lizard to keep scorpions at bay, I guess I could adapt. Not sure how Lance and Phantom, my Shelties would like it though. As long as I don’t wake up and find a snake in the toilet bowl, which Richard said it could happen- most homes in the desert are without basements, so a snake can just squirm right on in, over the pipes, and inside the house. I looked at my watch, hoping that Richard, who was very kind, would get back to work. Oh, one more thing, Richard said. “We have pigs that come down from the mountains and get into the trash, you know like a stray bear.” “Pigs?” I asked. “Yes, the Javelina, the pig that is not really a pig, but a rodent. Don’t mess with them, they get a little nasty.”
I mentioned to our realtor about Richard’s disclosures, and she confirmed all of them, and told me that he forgot to tell me about termites. Termites!!!! WTH. “Yep,” she said, "but not how you think of termites, they are treatable." To me, a termite is a termite. I don’t even know how to spot them. Well wouldn’t you know, we looked at house, one that I liked in fact, it had, or had-had termites. I could just see me freaking out in that house, every time I saw a hole or something looking like a cotton string hanging from the ceiling. Treatable or not, NOT- buying a house where termites have stopped by. Thank you very much! Not deterred, I remained brave and resolved.
Our friends to the rescue! Craig and Yvonne, our friends from Wisconsin, now Arizonians, gave us a tour of Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, the latter, where one of the world’s largest fountains reaching up to 330 ft., a celebration of life and water, comes on every hour, if the wind isn’t too high. The spray shoots water into the air until it appears to touch the sky. Such a beautiful picture in a lovely park! We relaxed there for a while, watching as its sprays created a rainbow as the sun kissed it.
Afterwards, our friends drove us up to Camelback Mountain, the mountainous rock resembling the hump and head of a camel, with the summit at 27000 feet. The site is a serene blend of resorts, hiking trails, and luxury homes nestled inside hills of soft layered sandstone and granite. I wondered how they built those houses and made them stick out of the sides of the mountain the way they did, and I admired the residences (well envied just a little) the onesway at the top. What must it feel like to literally, live on top of a mountain?
I would have loved to hike one of the Camelback trails. Curiosity made me want to go in search of a burning bush, and be like Moses, coming down off the mountain after getting a glimpse of God. I felt like if I trekked up there, I might run into Jesus sitting atop, waiting to tell me stories about how He created such beauty and all about its purpose. It was a perfect culmination to a Sunday, where we earlier attended Impact Church- it really was a GodSized party. The pastor delivered a sermon about living with false securities, and how we really should live knowing who and what we are in God. I took lots of notes. The message was timely, considering our big move. Lots of insecurities going on. The reassuring message provide me with comfort.
I was delighted with every bit of our trip, not even the wildlife can discourage me from the move to The Valley of the Sun. I OD’d on the sun, I am sure that I got more than the 5000 IUs, that I take daily in Wisconsin. Yep, looking forward to lush life in the desert. Ya’ll stop by and visit us when you can. We’ll keep our new pets out of sight.