Friday, October 24, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Yes, There are Things I am Thankful for in the Desert

It's easy for me to find things to love about green, moist places.  Plants grow abundantly and I find beauty everywhere I look.  Although finding beauty in the desert does not come instinctively to me, there are things about living here that make me smile everytime I see them.  For this week's TToT, I'm sharing with you my desert thankfuls.  I've shared some of these photos and videos before, but I hope you don't mind the repeat.  It's good for me to have a handy list of what is appealing about the desert. 


1.  I am thankful for the endless blue skies.  Bright days lift my spirit and energize me.  The deep blue hue provides a perfect background to beautiful sights in the sky. 


2.  I am thankful for the sunrise.  I notice the beautiful skies early in the morning, and the beauty is only enhanced on those days when we are blessed with a few clouds. 


3.  I am thankful for wide open spaces.  While I enjoy visiting museums, theaters, and theme parks that are found in big cities, I much prefer to live in places where the view is unencumbered. 


4.  I am thankful for the wildlife that can be found literally in my own backyard.  



5.  I am thankful for the springtime wildflowers.  


6.  I am thankful for the aerospace industry, and the variety of powerful planes that fly overhead.  


7.  I am thankful for our musical road, which always makes me laugh.  The musical road was originally made by Honda engineers, who made it for a commercial shoot by putting grooves in the road--a musical rumble strip, but across the entire lane.  Here's a video of the original road: 




Very, very shortly after the commercial was shot, some of the people who lived in a neighborhood (that was located about a mile away) complained about the noise from the increased traffic and the sound of the road itself.  I honestly think that the traffic would have dropped back down dramatically after a week or two, and that the sound would have become background noise.  However, the city took drastic measures.  The road was smoothed out again, and another musical road was put in, in a more remote location.  This new road was not done by the Honda engineers (I'm not sure who did it), and the resulting song is really out of tune.  (It's supposed to be the William Tell Overture.)  Even though I preferred the first road, I'm still happy that we still have a musical road.  That sustained, terribly-out-of-tune note at the end makes me laugh every time!  Here's a video of the "new and improved?" road that I took one night:


video

8.  I am thankful for the sunsets, which rival the beauty of the sunrises.  


9.  I am thankful for the people I have met here, including, of course, my sweet granddaughters. 

Happy girls at the zoo with their aunt
10.  As always, I am thankful for John.  We've lived in, and vacationed in,  more than a handful of places during our married life.  Whether sitting on rickety bleachers at a circus in Mexico, riding mules to a leper colony, or house-hunting in 110° heat under smoky skies, we stick together.  As John has told me, life is an adventure, and adventures usually work out.  


What are you thankful for this week?  What do you love about where you live?


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46 comments:

  1. Finding things around you to be thankful for is a wonderful quality - being able to see it, appreciate it and honor it by a simple "thank you" is selfless - have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.

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    1. Since the entire earth was created by divine design, I should be willing to try to see the beauty in the different climates.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your amazing photos and telling me how beautiful the desert is.

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    1. Thank you, and thank you for sharing your photos each week, too. I love the photos of beautiful flowers and green plants!

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  3. Now, I'm thankful for those great photography skills of yours! Beautiful shots!

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  4. I had this post open, got interrupted, saw your comment over at my place and now I'm back.
    I love your post today Kristi. Just makes me feel good:) The photos are absolutely gorgeous. Makes me think I could almost live in a desert myself. Except I'm too much an ocean person!
    Musical road! Most excellent teaser vid. lol Do tell!

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    1. The musical road was originally made by Honda engineers, who made it for a commercial shoot by putting grooves in the road--a musical rumble strip, but across the entire lane. Here's a video of the original road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJFGacuxcSM
      Very, very shortly after the commercial was shot, some of the people who lived in a neighborhood (that was located about a mile away) complained about the noise from the increased traffic and the sound of the road itself. I honestly think that the traffic would have dropped back down dramatically after a week or two, and that the sound would have become background noise. However, the city took drastic measures. The road was smoothed out again, and another musical road was put in, in a more remote location. This new road was not done by the Honda engineers (I'm not sure who did it), and the resulting song is really out of tune. (It's supposed to be the William Tell Overture.) Even though I preferred the first road, I'm still happy that we still have a musical road. That sustained, terribly-out-of-tune note at the end makes me laugh every time!

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    2. Thanks to your comment, I updated that thankful to include the information in my response. Thank you! :-)

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  5. Living in an area where the views are expansive, I can relate to many of your thankfuls in his post.

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    1. We do share some similarities in our surroundings. :-)

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  6. Your photos and your ability to see the beauty and the good in all around you is inspiring, Kristi! Thanks for this.
    And your family pic - such beautiful little faces!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I really like how the photo of the girls turned out. Everyone is in focus and happy. :-)

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  7. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW (okay I might have just REALLY enjoyed the pattern of tapping to type 'wow' that many times, in the end...) THE MUSICAL ROAD IS AMAZING!

    I have never, ever, in my LIFE come across a road as fun as that! THAT'S SO COOL! Even if the new one is out of tune. THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    I love your photos. Are the flowers esholtsia (Californian golden poppy)? They're one of my favourites, if so - the colours are just SO intense and beautiful.

    Aaaaaaand if you look closely in your cloudy pic, there are ALMOST what look like a couple of Kelvin Helmholtz clouds there on the right, which are THEE MOST INCREDIBLE CLOUDS EVER!

    Maaaaan I LOVE your list this week :) I'm really glad you shared your desert thankfuls.

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    1. Oh, your comment makes me smile! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the list. Yes, those are California golden poppies. If you ever take a springtime 'Murica trip, and if you end up out here in the Golden State (California), I'll drive you out to the Poppy Reserve by way of the musical road! :-)

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    2. You have a whole poppy RESERVE? Wow!

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  8. Well, all around travel tips for me too, for our next trip. Henk told me about that road not so long ago, but he didn't know where it was. So, now we do! Love the poppies too.
    Although we do have lots and lots and lots of green stuff here, I would trade with you in a heartbeat! Lots of green comes from lots of rain and that's something that gets boring very quickly, I can tell you that.... Thanks for the warmth through the screen op my laptop and the song sang by the wheels. Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones. xxx

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    1. Well, my offer to Lizzi stands for you, too! There are other musical roads in the world, but only a handful, and I'm not sure exactly where the other ones are located. If you come out to my area, I'll gladly drive you over the musical road!

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  9. So much beauty...I love that you are taking the time to see the beauty where you are at!

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    1. It's been nice to realize that there are things here that genuinely make me smile. :-)

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  10. I love the road ... i think I like the out of tune one even better!

    We used to get huge river turtles in our yard every year ... the river ran right behind my old house... they would dig in the dirt and lay eggs and then when they hatched the babies would run toward the river... it was marvelous!

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    1. Your turtles sound like a lot of fun!

      Ours was a desert tortoise. (S?)He showed up shortly after we moved to our house. We haven't seen the tortoise in years, but we sure enjoyed it when we did.

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  11. Life in general is always an adventure. Sharing these adventures with one or more special person(s), these adventures become so much more special! I love the pictures you shared! Especially the bunny, and the sunset. I love sunsets! Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Life is an adventure, and whether the adventures are happy or scary, they are always better when shared with someone.

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  12. the scale of your area is the thing that knocks me out…. the wide open spaces, the large sky (I drove around Arizona on a road trip a couple of years ago and got that same feeling)… very different here in New England, the horizon (not counting the ocean) is usually much closer… nice

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    1. It is amazing how different each area of the country can be!

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  13. Bryan and I have been many, many places over the last 20 years, but we've never made it to the desert. Every time you post photos about where you live, it moves farther up my "must see" list. One day I will visit your area of the country. Maybe I can talk one of the kids into taking his special trip out there! :)

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    1. I read your comment and asked aloud, "What have I done?" While I sincerely am telling the truth in my posts, I have a hard time viewing my neck of the woods as a tourist destination, let alone a "must see." However, I would be happy to play tour guide if you ever do make it out here!

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  14. The musical road makes me laugh, too. Beautiful photos of a desert-scape. Here's to love and adventure.

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    1. I think it would be fun to have more musical roads, or at the very least, to make rumble strips more melodious. :-)

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  15. Your pictures are beautiful, Kristi! Are you in a high desert? We are in the Sonoran desert here. Coming from Oregon, we definitely had to get use to the beauty of the desert. The intensity of the blue sky is truly amazing, and I love that we can be enjoying the great outdoors when so much of the rest of the country is blanketed in snow. Those are the things that get me through the hot summers.

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    1. Yes, we are in the high desert, and you are right--it is different than the Willamette Valley!

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  16. Love the musical road! And I love that someone else re-created it when the neighbors whined about the other one. It's a little pitchy, but better than anything most regular people could have come up with!
    Love pictures of Joshua trees agains the desert sky. Lovely!
    I may have told you this before, but we trekked out to the desert near you (nearly 20 years ago) with my parents to see the poppies. Because everyone told us we needed to go see the poppies. It was really cold and windy, and the poppies thanked us for our trip by curling up and protecting themselves from the wind. Hugely disappointing!

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    1. Oh, I have no doubt that if I had made the road, the tune would have been completely unrecognizable! I'm curious to see how the sound changes over time, as the road wears down.

      As for the poppies, if it is cold and/or windy (and it seems to always be windy here!), the flowers fold up and hide. The display also changes from year to year, depending on rainfall, etc. The photo in this post is several years old.

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  17. I kinda feel like you need to share some of those stories--leper colony?
    What astonishingly gorgeous photos! It's good to have a handy list. I need to keep one about living in a big city.

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    1. Maybe I'll have to write some virtual vacation posts. :-) The leper colony is on Molokai in Hawaii. It's a National Historic Site, and we visited there several years ago.

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  18. I want a musical road! That is fantastic! This whole post is simply awe inspiring. Gorgeous photos to remind us that we do indeed live in a beautiful, beautiful world. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. I think that the musical road concept could really take off--"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" could play on a road leaving the Bay area, Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" would work in the Big Apple--but probably not in Manhattan traffic!

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  19. I live in the desert as well so I know these oh so well. I always think about how nice it would be to get photos of the sunset and the open, blue skies like you have here. I loved your pictures! We also have a really great view of the different mountains around us.

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    1. I love the mountains, especially in the winter when they receive dustings of snow.

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  20. I love the desert and one thing about green places (like where I live) is BUGS. Tons and tons and tons of them. Gross.
    That musical road is incredible! I've never heard of that being done and would go out of my way to drive on it all the time! So cool! That's funny that they moved it because people complained about traffic.

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    1. We don't have tons of bugs, that's true. I don't even remember the last time I've been bitten by a mosquito. (I will try to refrain from elaborating on the black widows, scorpions, and rattlesnakes I have seen here.) :-)

      I love the musical road. One thing that the city did when they relocated it, was to put it on a multiple-lane (in each direction) road. Only one lane (total--you can only drive on it going westbound) is musical. I can't understand why anyone would choose to drive on the not-musical lane! Whenever I do drive on the musical road, I have to do a u-turn and go over it at least one more time!

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  21. That last line...adventures usually work out...yes....love.
    I love that you can find the beauty. Some people close their eyes and I love that you keep your eyes wide open and embrace it. We should all do that.

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    1. I have to fight my initial reaction of thinking, "But I don't like the desert!" and make a conscious decision to find what I do like about this climate. (It's easier for me to do in the fall, when the heat is subsiding! ) When I do stop and make a list, though, I realize that I genuinely do like aspects of desert-living. :-)

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  22. I love everything on your list -- especially that turtle! I am thankful that where I live in southern California there is never any snow; I can hear the fireworks at Disneyland every night; the beach is a mere 6 miles away; better yet Amara and her Mom and Dad are only ONE mile away! And I am very happy that I have Richard (Grampy) to share all of it with. I love my adventure, too.

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    1. We lived in Orange County early in our marriage, and loved being close to the beach then, too. Your adventure sounds wonderful!

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