Friday, November 22, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: Desert Edition

As this is the 25th week of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I thought I should make this post particularly meaningful.  I'm a glass-half-full kind of person by nature, but I wanted to come up with a post that was a bit challenging for me, and thus this post was born.




I am not a desert person  (dessert--yes, desert--no).  Deserts are hot, dry, dusty, and definitely not green.  My soul sighs with delight when I'm surrounded by damp vegetation, so when we relocated from the beautiful Pacific Northwest to the high desert of California, I knew I would need to look for things I like about this new locale. 

Admittedly, my introduction to this valley had a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel.   Our brief house-hunting trip took place in temperatures over 105 degrees, with a blood-red sun peering through blackened skies--thanks to a nearby wildfire.  John and I looked at each other and questioned our sanity.  Always up for adventure, though, we knew that we would be happy anywhere, as long as we were together.  Sappy, but true.  

So, here we are, and I'm realizing that in our 26 years of marriage, we have lived in the desert longer than we've lived in a green place.  Despite my first impression, life does not have the feel of some futuristic sci-fi horror flick (though I'm pretty sure some have been filmed here!)

Without further ado, here is the Ten Things of Thankful: Desert Edition:  

I'm thankful for:

1. Ravens.  They are all over the place. Seriously, one day I felt like I was an extra in The Birds.  If the Tower of London ever runs out of ravens, I know where it could find replacements.  What I have learned living here, is that ravens make the most unusual tock-tock-tock sound.  


 2.  Smog-free, clean air.  See that sky behind the raven?  That's what the sky looks like most days here.  

3.  Hand-in-hand with #2:  sunshine.  The sunny days make the cloudy ones stand in stark contrast and beauty.


 4.  Wind.  Though our windy days might not make many thankful lists, I appreciate the movement of air on otherwise stifling hot days.  I also get a kick out of the fact that I live in a place where tumbleweeds are a common sight.  

5.  Snow.  We don't get it every year, but our kids have experienced the wonders of playing in the snow in their own backyard.  I love to watch it come down, and given that it's gone within a few days, it's a nice change.


It's obviously been more than a few years since the last big--meaning measurable--snowfall.
6.  Very cool aircraft.  Between the local aerospace industry and the nearby Air Force base, planes are frequently zooming around.  



 7.  The urban/rural balance.  I live inside a city and am within minutes of anything I need, yet I enjoy wide views, open spaces, and wildlife in my own backyard.  Los Angeles and Disneyland are within easy driving distance, too.

8.  Rain. Again, another "absence makes the heart grow fonder" item.  I smiled on Thursday when I realized that the pitter patter of rainfall awakened me.  



9.  The beautiful night sky.  I feel like I'm cheating a bit in my counting, as many of my thankful things have to do with what I notice when I look up, but I think you'll agree that the night sky deserves its own number. 



10.  The musical road.  Yes, you read that right.  Here in our valley, we have a road that plays the William Tell Overture when you drive on it.  The sustained, off-key note cracks me up every time.  

video



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Thanks for the many other bloggers who wrote TToT posts about their towns.  They (unknowingly, in some cases) inspired me to write my own.

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It's time for the 25th TToT
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Everyone's favourite Pig Wrangler Who do you want to be today? Clark? Scott? Roger? She's loving the Sunny side of life Cloudy with a chance of poetry Purveyor of brain-candy, beautiful words and dorky pictures Nutty as a bloody fruitcake! Our Bardic WIZARD, and mascot The Skipenator She'll bake you a mountain of thankfulness What the L? She's deranged! Our very adorkable warrior Image Map

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Ten Things of Thankful


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40 comments:

  1. I would gladly trade places with you any day!! I think I was born to a climate like yours there. Over here, cold, wet but green. Although I AM thankful that we don't have extreem weather. No tornados or chance of earthquakes,
    Have a wonderful warm weekend!

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    1. We do live in earthquake territory, though it's been eerily quiet in the years we've been here.

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  2. So much to indeed be thankful for Kristi. I admit I am not a snow person, but pictures of it always look so beautiful to me still. Thanks for sharing and Happy Weekend now!! :)

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    1. I imagine I might not love snow so much if it were to stick around for months on end. There is a chance of snow today, though, and I'm hoping to see some fall!

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  3. Hey, I can see from your beautiful pics that you live in a lovely place. Beautiful close up of that raven there!Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. As I was looking through my photos to add to this post, I was realizing that there are quite a few things of beauty here in the desert, so I guess this exercise is helping my attitude.

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  4. I live where it's green, green , green and love it so much but have camped in the desert many times. The best part about the desert for me is waking up to warm early morning air and stillness, clear night sky and amazing stars.

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    1. Once we get away from the light pollution of the city, the stars do shine brightly!

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  5. I am not a desert person, either, but I am thankful that every place has a purpose. Your list of thankfuls is great: I didn't know the sound that ravens make. That tidbit gives Poe's poem more meaning.

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    1. I do like to remind myself that the entire earth was created by God, so I really shouldn't complain. There is beauty to be found everywhere.

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  6. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL. And if you like the rain and green vegetation so much, I would willingly swap with you for a bit - blue skies and endless sunshine sound FAR more my bag than the damp and drizzly greyness which England 'enjoys' so often (that said, we've been blessed with remarkably good weather on the whole this autumn)

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    1. I hear that England is rainy, but the one time we visited your country, London hit 100 degrees for the first time ever! I did enjoy the wonderful green vegetation, though, and wouldn't mind going back sometime.

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    2. 100 degrees! Wow! Sounds like you brought the good weather! PLEASE come back and bring some more.

      Also, the planes and spacecraft - WAY cool :D

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  7. That road is CRAZY! That would make me smile every day! Your photo of the sky was simply breathtaking. I like reading posts about where bloggers live. It's fun to read about other people's everyday sights and sounds and individual preferences.

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    1. Isn't the road fun? The off-key rendition is part of the charm, I think.

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  8. How cool is this Wilhelm Tell musical road?! Completely awesome!

    I am hugely in love with your post. I am always impressed and in awe when the sky is beautiful so I totally get all the things you love about nature because I do, too.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. The road is such an oddity; we always recommend it to visitors.

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  9. What a great list, Kristi!! I could not live in a desert, that's why we didn't pick Ft. Bliss when hubby had the chance.. Sun is nice though, and snow as well. I enjoy living in a 4-season climate, just to have a little bit of everything.

    Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. I'm glad you live somewhere that suits your preference. 4-season climates are wonderful!

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  10. This is amazing! I must live just a few hours from you because we live in very southwest Arizona. We moved here last year. I love it! No snow and our coldest months are Dec-Feb which are only as low during the day as like 50 degrees. We get rain when the northern part of Arizona is getting snow. It is a desert and you know it for at least 3 months of the year, but it is wonderful and green in our area during the rest of the 9 months. It's so nice that you've found things to be thankful for in the great outdoors. Happy Weekend! :)

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  11. Funny, I am on the other side of those mountains. This valley may not be desert, but it is a wilderness that challenges my glass half full. We have been here 11 years now. My heart skipped a beat on Thursday too-that blessed rain!

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    1. We've been in this area for 11 years, too!

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  12. Oh, I love how you can find the beauty in the desert.
    Those are wonderful things to be thankful for.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. It took me a bit of looking, but the beauty is there.

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  13. Ah, I always enjoy your photos. Except for that raven. Those things are just plain creepy looking. The Birds movie scared me to pieces. We had an exceptionally cold year a couple years ago, and we had wild birds multiplying in our coop. That movie went through my head every time I opened the door and a hundred birds went berserk inside the coop.
    At this time of year, you make me want to move to the desert. I need to keep your summers in mind. :)

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    1. Your reaction to the raven photo is understandable. Having that many birds inside fluttering around would be disconcerting.

      Summer is definitely NOT my favorite season here. I love fall, because then I have months before summer again!

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  14. Wow! I have seen that highway on the news her more than once but I've never known anyone to experience it regularly - or even ever! I love southern California skies!

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    1. It's not located in my normal driving path--they put it in a rather out-of-the-way place--but it's not far away. There are actually two lanes, one musical and one not, so drivers have the option of music or quiet. I always pick music!

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  15. That William Tell road is awful...cool, but awful!

    Your photos are so beautiful - LOVE the ravens. Such beautiful birds. Your sky shots are breathtaking - especially loved the night sky ones. Wow.

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    1. I have to wonder if the road will get worse with wear. I also wonder why more places don't have musical roads--or at least musical rumble strips!

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  16. gosh I love ravens they are so cool! You have some really lovely photography there. We are supposed to get snow today... we had just a dusting of it last night!

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    1. The mountains around us got snow yesterday, but we didn't get any here. Enjoy your snow!

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  17. THAT is something I have never heard before!! A musical ROAD? Hilariously brilliant. Lovely list! Beautiful pictures! Those Ravens? Wow.

    Favorite line of the post is you saying you could be happy anywhere- together. LOVE. :)

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    1. Having John by my side has been a great blessing in my life.

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  18. so what's the deal with the road? how is that done? (forgive me if you already answered another comment's inquiry…very cool vid.

    agree, your photos are very excellent… beautiful sky

    thanks for being such an integral part of the success of the TToT!

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    1. The road was made by carving grooves into the pavement--like the rumble strips on the side of freeways. Changing the spacing of the grooves changes the sound.

      Originally, the road was put in by Honda for a commercial. However, the nearest neighbors (about 1/2 mile away, I think) complained about the increased traffic (from everyone wanting to experience the road for themselves) and the noise of the road. Instead of just encouraging patience (the novelty of the road would soon wear off, and anyone who has lived near a train track knows that ambient noise soon fades into the background), the city had the road torn up within about a week's time. The musical road was then put on a different road, further away from houses. I'm not sure who engineered the current road, but the original sounded much better, in my opinion. However, off-key or not, it makes me smile.

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  19. Nice post, Kristi. As much as I complain about the summer heat, I've never lived anywhere else that I like as much as I like Arizona. We get similar weather to you -- maybe just a bit hotter and only snow to be seen in the distant mountains. Doves are more prevalent than ravens, and I love their sweet "couple" bonding. It's so true that you sometimes have to look hard to find the good, but it's there, and a partner to share it with makes it all the more sweet. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you! We also have doves here, and I love to watch them, too.

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  20. musical road.....GENIUS!! I want one immediately. What tune would I choose? hmmm. Beethoven's 9th. Yes.

    Okay, fantastic list. Love the gorgeous photos. wow....nice skies. I'm a fan of a good rain, too. That's the BEST.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!