While out for my morning walk I was awestruck by the scene of this routine day in the neighborhood. Garbage and recycling bins are out, per the Tuesday routine, neighbors were cleaning brush out off their property, and the ambiance was subdued.

This is life on a weekday in our little corner of the desert.

I remarked to my husband that we managed to move out here so quickly that my I feel like while I thoroughly enjoy the concept, my brain has not completely realized that we live in Arizona. The Real ID in my wallet is from Arizona. The temporary license plate is from Arizona. The computer time zone says “America/Phoenix”, the air is dry, and the temperatures are warm. There’s no “ding dong, doors closing” coming from the nearby Brown Line and the vibe is so much more relaxed.

I love it here. I just feel like it’s not quite permanent yet. However, it is permanent and I’m quite happy. It’s an odd feeling but nonetheless joyous.

Our rather limited interactions with our fellow citizens have been very friendly. I’ve always considered Chicago to be quite friendly for a major city, but folks here seem really laid back. On my one pass through a drive thru (for a drink) the attendant apologized profusely for neglecting to give me a straw without a reminder. All of our neighbors wave to one another. Several of our neighbors have come up to the house with a pastry or such and introduced themselves.

I wasn’t expecting that; it was a very pleasant surprise.

I have to keep reminding myself that COVID-19 is still out there and the country should be functioning in relative isolation. I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring all there is to explore in our desert home. We have online friends to meet in person and airplanes to fly and canyons to hike and rocks to climb and trails to ride bikes on. We’re almost done unpacking boxes.

I’m ready to unpack life in the desert.