I love this time of year. We are enjoying amazing weather here, I have been thinking about how Arizona is so different from the midwest, where I grew up. I've lived in Arizona for more than 10 years now, so this is not new to me, and yet for some reason, this year, it is standing out more than usual.
For example, in the midwest, I was sad to see summer come to an end. Even though I love the fall season-changing leaves, crisp days, the colors and smells, when summer ended, it meant winter was coming. And winter in the midwest is harsh. Cold. Really cold. It meant shoveling snow, scraping ice, warming up the car, sealing up the house and staying indoors as much as possible. It meant gray days, and early darkness. It meant damp and bone-chilling cold days. Painfully cold wind chills and negative numbers for temperature readings. I don't miss that!
In this part of Arizona, we seal up our houses for the summer months to survive the desert heat. We go grocery shopping in the evening, if at all possible. We stay inside alot. Unless you're going swimming. I've only shut off my air conditioner in the past 2 weeks. Maybe the first week of October. October. We had triple digit temperatures over the course of the past week, or maybe it was last week. But it's not so bad now that it's cooling down overnight. I think we probably turned the a/c on in April. So it's nice to open up the house and enjoy the cool, crisp morning air. And to feel a breeze that doesn't take your breath away because it is so hot-like a blast furnace.
I can remember when I first moved here calling a friend back home to tell her on a sunny, warm, Arizona day in FEBRUARY that I was having to use my air conditioning in the car, due to the sun. Yeah, I was being a brat and bragging about the weather. Sorry, Maria (and anyone else I did that too in the early years). LOL.
So while I am enjoying every moment of this amazing Arizona weather (which is what I believe the weather will be like in heaven, if we have weather there) I am struck by the opposite-ness of it all. I am opening windows and airing out the house. I am feeling such a sense of relief "thank God we survived another desert summer". While folks back east are 'hunkering down' for the upcoming winter. Closing up pools. Closing doors. Turning on the furnace. Having fires. Bundling up. It's just interesting. Different. Opposite. Backwards. Weird.
And then, there's this.
We bought a few trees-this is a new house for us and the yard was not landscaped when we bought it. So we've been working on it in stages. And this week, we found a really good deal on 2 beautiful shade trees, so we grabbed them.
There is the issue of planting things, digging holes in this Arizona 'dirt'. In this image, you see a decent size hole, and the hole is filled with water. The interesting part of this is that the water has been there for 2 days. That is how hard the ground is. There is nothing but 'dirt' and water in this hole. There is almost no seeping. Bob says that water will evaporate before it seeps into the ground. He used the water to soften the dirt enough to get the hole to this stage, which is actually pretty good. He has been successful at digging holes for smaller trees/plants this way in the past. However, these are bigger trees with larger roots. Therefore, I am insisting that he go rent some power tool to finish the job. Maybe a jackhammer would do the trick? We most definitely do not need him to end up in traction! Hopefully we'll (oh who am I kidding?!?) HE'll be able to get the new trees planted this weekend. Here's a pic of one of the new trees.
When it grows and matures-in a few years-it's a fast growing tree, it will look more like this:
This is what I have come to call a 'real tree' as many of the trees that grow in the desert seem scraggly and thin to me. Often, you can see right through them. And many of them have killer thorns too! This looks like a 'real tree' with a nice canopy and some real shade. These trees will provide some nice shade for us and the east side of the house, as well as adding to the privacy and ambiance of our yard.
I don't remember needing a jackhammer or other heavy equipment in the garden back home. Of course, we lived on a tree lined street in a mature neighborhood, so we didn't plant too many trees. And I was a child-so I played in the yard more than I worked in it....But still.....even the dirt and gardening is different in the desert.
At any rate, those are just some of my random musings and things that I've noticed and observed recently. I am blessed and grateful to live in such an interesting place. To have lived in 2 completely different states. Blessed and grateful.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Lena's (first) mission trip toCan't wait to see what God has in store next.....
Haiti turned into our