Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UPDATE: 10 Years a Desert Dweller w/Photos

OK, OK ... I did it! For my previous visitors asking for photos, they're at the bottom.

It was just ten years ago this month that hubby and I embarked upon one of our greatest of life adventures.

The story actually began about 18 months in advance of that, when on one auspicious trip we were visiting my sister Barbara (in photo) in Arizona. That wasn't unusual in itself, for we'd come to enjoy our winter sojourns to the land of perpetual sun.

Having lived our 50+ years in WA State (Tacoma, Auburn, Puyallup, University Place), we'd grown accustomed to the gray skies and damp of Washington's Fall, Winter, Spring and (parts of) Summer.

A retreat to Barb's meant a rest for our webbed feet. It also engendered many sun-dwelling dreams.

One of our favorite Arizona pass times was visiting various communities, various model homes. Mostly it was an excuse for a Latte; and to gather some creative decorating tips.

Eventually we fell in love with all things Sonoran! Exception: I was not, and I'm still not a fan of turquoise and Kokopelli decor!

Then there was THAT day; the day Barb suggested we make our way into a gated, custom community. While I was protesting (custom? why custom?
"too pricey", blah-blah-blah), and the unlikelihood of making it through the gates, hubby and sister were sizing up the neighborhood.

As luck would have it, someone made their way through the gate, and we quickly followed.

The develop
ment was largely vacant. Only a few homes had been built, and many lots stood barren. Those on the south-side captivated hubby because they overlooked not only a golf course, but the Estrella mountains of southwest Phoenix. He drove the car onto the lot, where he and Barb proceeded to survey the parcel, as well as the lay of the land.

Next thing I know we were sitting before the property manager/realtor while hubby purchased that particular lot.

Oh ... I forgot to mention that hubby was out of work! I also forgot to mention that I did work - and for a WASHINGTON employer I'd been with for ten years. That mad
e me the only one in our house with an income.

I reminded hubby of this as we drove to my sister's that day. He just grinned.

Wouldn't you know it: the day we flew home to WA State hubby got a phone call from an employer that made him a wonderful job offer! The position entailed District Management, so they had no preference for where he resided, other than on the western half of the U.S.

Need I mention Arizona qualified?!!

It only took hubby a few hours to decide the job was for him; that we would relocate to Arizona and embark upon an adventure; the sooner the better!.

Adventure? Well, that had me. I was all in, as they say ... I love adventures!

The rest is actually history, though I must say many from our collection of family & friends were quick to tell us how much we'd hate (strong word) Arizona (too hot; no mountains; no fir trees), how much I'd regret giving up my significant job, and how homesick we'd be for our children and grandchildren.

It's true, we don't see our children or grandchildren as much as I'd like, but neither of us has had even one moment of buyer's remorse, much less homesickness. This is home.

It's been a marvelous, curious, challenging, blessed ten years; blessed adventure. When I look back (with 20/20 hindsight), I see so clearly now how the Lord used this time and place in ways I find hard to explain without a flood of tears.

I can almost hear Him whisper: It is good!

And so it is

Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Psalm 127:1
.The home we left behind in WA State

Our first desert dwelling ...

Our present home; sweet home!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well where's the house picture?

Glad to see God's hands in hindsight; nice to see them on the frontside as well!

Have a blessed day.


LisaShaw said...

I was thinking the same thing Elaine wrote above -- where's the hours photo? :)

Beautiful sharing. God always has best, knows best and guides best.

I love you.

sonja said...

and that makes 3... house picture please!

It's fun to get a whole picture in our minds of our friends on these pages, and seeing where you live is part of that.

I love Arizona, California was right next door, and we spent lots of time in the desert around 29 Palms... the beauty of it is so differeent than the other place you and I both spent time, the Pacific Northwest. I love both places... shoot, I even love Texas!



Terri Tiffany said...

I love this story! What an encouragement and evidence how God took care of you:))
I hope I can write a similar post within the next few days;)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

What an amazing adventure to see how the Lord's plans unfolded in perfect order!

I too want to see your house! More pics please!

manthano said...

I understand this thing of being uprooted
and replanted. I went through it back in
1973 (when you were a wee girl). Some
times it can only be made with the help
of God. But He is always faithful.

Thanks for your post.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...


We could've passed each other on the street. I live where you moved away from. I've been here for almost 12 yrs now.

I love your story. We need a pic of the house and so on now. I chant, pictures, pictures, pictures! haha!

Just a little something from Judy said...

This story could quite easily have been my story. There have been a few times in the last few years that I thought I would wake up one morning and find myself living in the Midwest, on some sprawling ranch, learning to rope cattle and serving meals to guests. Yes, I do believe in God's perfect leading and timing. I love stories like yours and hearing from those that testify to His guidance and direction, and the contentment that He provides with that move. This was so interesting to me, and I too like pictures of houses that accompany good stories like yours. This did encourage my heart today.

Denise said...

Thanks for this inspiring post.

sonja said...

I LOVE your home! That style of architecture is what we had in California, not so much in Texas. Beautiful Kathleen! It was worth it to bug you for a picture....

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

WHat a beautiful home you have! I know that the inside is just as pretty as it is filled with your sweet spirit!

KelliGirl said...

We share a kindred spirit for sure! In time I want to do just what you and your hubby did. What a grand adventure...and a wonderful place to live. I just talked to my friend near Phoenix today and with the way real estate prices are near her, now is a good time to buy!

Love your house too!

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

I read and ran earlier...I was so hoping you would post pictures and then you did! I saw someone commented on seeing your house in AZ. Actually, I like it better. :) Maybe it's because it reminds of the west and I'm a sucker for the wild (or not so wild) west. I guess I'm partial since I live in Texas. I told my Hubby about this post and he got a kick out of it. Just up and moved, like that.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Ps. God had SOMETHING to do with it, of course.

Sheryl said...

now if only i could fly i would be out there this weekend!!

love how God took you on an adventure that has brought you such joy.

Karen Lange said...

Talk about some ordered steps! He is good:)

beBOLDjen said...

We're so blessed to have your sassiness here in AZ!! You're such a joy!!

Diana said...

Beautiful pics!!

God's will is where we always want to be. This adventure is right on!

Technonana said...

ain't it the truth, ain't it the truth... sometimes God has to drag us kickin and screamin... into a better place...
why oh why can't we just "get it"!!
Hmmm, wonder if He ever says..."My kids are just so hard headed!" LoL!

christy rose said...

What a beautiful story! I love the pictures of your homes! Your home today is just gorgeous!!!

Nel said...

Thanks for sharing this today! I just love stories of God's leading!
You have a beautiful home! Definitely a difference between a house and a home! Enjoyed!

until next time... nel

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, if that's desert dwelling, I'm packing my bag and headin' West!



Kay said...

We may have a sleet 'event' tomorrow and I am NOT a fan of 'the cold' no matter whether it sleets or not. Your state sounds wonderful to me. Love the pix! :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Lovely house! It's wonderful when every puzzle piece falls into place.

Susan :)

skoots1mom said...

great life story...
love your present home, especialy your veranda :)

Deborah Ann said...

I'm so jealous...I could cry! Your story is my life-long dream. I'm so tired of the long winters in Wisconsin. I've been trying my whole life to get out of this bird cage, but it never happens. Our daughter just moved to Arizona and bought a house, and I'm trying more than ever to convince hubby and God that I NEED TO MOVE there! It would surely take a miracle. Husband has worked at this same factory since he was 16. Unless the place burns down, we're stuck here...

Rebecca said...

What a beautiful home! What a beautiful story! What a wonderful Heavenly Father.

Beverlydru said...

I always enjoy my visits with you. Fascinating post. God is so imaginative in the way he directs our steps!

Melanie said...


Jackie said...

Loved your story!!! And the pictures are just beautiful!!

Our story is very similar....God's hand was upon our moving from Fl to Scottsdale in '91 (hubby's job, etc.).....We love AZ and now live in Prescott but trusting God to move back to PHX soon. As a matter of fact we have our house on the market now and looking for a house in the valley. He's ordering our steps....PTL!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Hugs and Sweet Blessings!

Rita said...

We never know what the Lord has in store for us, if we just follow His leading! Beautiful home He gave you!