January 14, 2011

What a storm that was that hit back home the other day! Having spent nine – count ’em, nine! – winters in Arizona now, it gets harder each year to remember just what winters in New England are like. It has taken me a long time (probably too long, as far as my wife Tracey is concerned) to embrace and accept my Arizona surroundings, but I could never imagine myself spending another winter in New England. Still, check out this picture of the strand at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire during the height of Wednesday’s storm – what an awesome sight!

hampton

Oh believe me, if chance and circumstance were to bring me back to New England there’s no doubt I could handle it and adjust to it – especially if I could live in Newport, Rhode Island with a fireplace and plenty of wood nearby – but after spending so many winters here in the Valley of the Sun without ever having to wear so much as a sweater or a coat, I don’t think I’d like it much. Tolerate it – yes. Like it – NO.

So much of my musical tastes at any given time have always been tied to my immediate surroundings. Were I still in Massachusetts, deep in mid-winter, the piles of snow all around, the air crisp and frigid, the prospect of spring and green and warmth light years away, I’d probably be listening to Loreena McKennitt and hunkering down to music such as this, perhaps joining my Goodboys friend Ben at his lakeside house or a bar on occasion just to get me out of the house and chat about the latest happenings with the Goodboys, or talk about our upcoming weekend in Las Vegas, or reminisce about golf rounds and summers past as if it were all just a dream.

I was thinking that today as I walked outside in 70-degree weather in a t-shirt, lounge pants, and bare feet to put my Hawaiian pork chops (here’s the recipe, it’s wonderful!) on the grill. The sky turning a rosey hue, the air warm, the grass green, the Pinot Grigio chilled, the tiki lights on the patio just starting to make headway against the gathering disk, the CD player pushing out the mellow folk-surf sounds of The Sandals (I owe frequent commenter Jana a mix, BTW!). And as I walked past the pool (48 degrees) I couldn’t help but think of just how long it took me to accept and embrace my Arizona winter surroundings.

patio_after2

Sourroundings themselves don’t mean that much to me. To me, being around family and friends is what life is all about, and that’s why it took me so long to settle into our Arizona locale. To this day, I still have a hard time believing we live in Arizona – as a New Englander I have nothing in common with this place, the culture, or the people who occupy it. Oh sure, I have acquaintances I enjoy spending time with over a beer or glass of wine down at the local pizza joint on Fridays night, but they’re not what I would call friends like my friends back home. Still, having the house and patio re-done has made a big difference in turning what was a house into our home and making me comfortable in my surroundings, but it’s still the west and it’s still Arizona.

And that still seems like a dream to me.

But I’m happy here. In the end, I’m not sure it matters where the hell you live, as long as the temperature never goes below 31. 🙂 I have a great work situation – even though the hours are incredibly long – it’s a job I like, no commute, nice people, etc. And after all this time I’m too old to deal with the challenges of “real winter” (shoveling snow, warming your car up, scraping your windshield, pushing a shopping cart through slushy parking lots, etc.) beyond a glancing weekend visit blow.

Like the locals all say, you don’t have to shovel sunshine.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:15 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. Would that I could, I’d be living in a tropical setting myself…life in cargo shorts and tank tops and flip flops, OH HELL YES. Flowers blooming all year, not having to drag big ass plants into the house, not having to dig up 30 banana trees…no brainer.

    A Sandels mix???? Ah, better get on that one ASAP,

    Just got the laminate flooring down and finished last night…looks great. Carpet with pets is nothing more than a fuzzy petrie dish. My bedroom actually looks bigger.

    Enjoy the warmth and sunshine…I am longing for that.

    Comment by Jana — January 14, 2011 @ 6:00 am


  2. Sounds great! Send pics when you can.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 14, 2011 @ 1:25 pm


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