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 development 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 made 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.
its builders labor in vain.