Sunday, August 17, 2014

One Year in Arizona

Hello lovely readers, it's been a while since I've updated, but I have an exciting new adventure to share with you this week. I'll get to that later. Last weekend, Curtis and I attended a wedding of one of Curtis' first friends and hiking buddies when he moved here 3 years ago. It was a beautiful ceremony followed by an awesome party and the best DJ we've ever experienced in all our years of going to school dances together. Throughout the past few weeks, we have been working hard on our 3000 piece puzzle that has taken over our table (but don't worry, we're still eating!) :)

Before beginning our journey to our new home - August 2013

Last year today was the day that I officially moved to Arizona. Curtis and I have had our own home together for one year now. This was the first time I wasn't living with my family, and my first time living outside of the city I was born and raised in. Today, I'm reflecting over the things I've learned over the past year while living together in Arizona.

Marveling at the mountains as we approached Tucson a year ago today! 8/17/13

-The dry heat is a real thing. It's like you're being baked in an oven. But the more time you spend outside, the more you'll come to love it. Don't try to hide from it!
-We travel a lot, but we've found that out of everywhere we've gone, the 2 gas stations nearest to our home have always consistently been the cheapest!
-Tucson, as well as the rest of AZ, makes national news when we get any amount of rain. You might see pictures or hear of flooded or washed out roads - I'm pretty sure we aren't actually getting more rain than anywhere else might, it's just that we don't have the infrastructure to handle it. No sewers=big puddles in the road.
-We still have rivers down here, they're just empty most of the year. Right now, there's a little water in the river!
-When it rains, everyone drives 10 below the speed limit. If the road looks wet, everyone drives 10 below the speed limit. Well okay, some roads, it really is that everyone is driving 10 miles below the speed limit - we think that most traffic problems can be solved by people just driving the speed limit!
-Arizona: the state where your driver's license doesn't expire from when you're 18 till you're 65. But you need a new picture every 12 years. And as of last month, you need to have a horizontal ID to purchase alcohol. So even though our licenses didn't expire until 2057, we still needed to get new ones after less than a year.
-Don't throw away your sweaters and coats before moving here - this place thins your blood and before you know it, 70 degrees feels a little nippy to you!
-Want to take a cold shower to cool off in the summer? Well, you're out of luck! Warm is the best you're going to get. (Learned this the hard way with all my sunburns!)
-Road maintenance seems to be optional, but if they decide to do it, it's inconvenient. Also, Tucson can't seem to grasp how a helpful interstate frontage road would work - In order to really exit the interstate and turn right on your road, you must cut off 2 lanes of traffic.
-Yes, there are lots of scary creatures that live around here…but we really don't see the most harmful all that much. We just see lots and lots and lots of lizards!
-It's really possible to miss cornfields sometimes.

Me with all of my kingdom in the background!

When you picture Arizona, what do you think of? Before moving here, to me it was just desert, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, and Tucson. What I've found is that AZ probably has the most variety in climates. The desert, grasslands, wastelands, wetlands, forests, rocky monuments, mountains, canyons, valleys, farmlands, and more. The temperatures also vary, and we've enjoyed finding the cooler spots in the summer, and visiting other areas in their different seasons. I thought that by moving here, I had to give up seeing the beautiful colors of fall, but was delighted to find that just a drive up Mt. Lemmon would bring much cooler temps, pine trees, and trees with red, yellow, and orange leaves in the fall. Oh, I guess if you want snow, you can find it there as well, but I'm fine without. ;)

My 4th tarantula sighting - September 2013

Animals seen in the wild:
Tarantulas - 4
Javelina - 2
Rattlesnake - 1
Coyote - 1
Countless lizards, deer, rabbits

The day before Curtis left for AZ for the first time - 8/16/11

I'm also remembering how I was feeling 3 years ago today. The night before was the last time that I would see Curtis until December 15 of that year. He left early the next morning for his first year of college in Arizona. That day was one of the saddest I had known. The future seemed to have so many uncertainties, and I had no idea what would happen with us over the next 4 months. Of course, God uses every situation for His glory, and so much good came out of these circumstances. God is so good to us - not only did He bring us together, He has given us so much time to enjoy together in our 2 years here! Here's to 1 more year of Adventures in Arizona. :)

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