When I was 5 my family packed up and moved down to Arizona. We moved in the middle of summer. Now if you've ever been to Arizona, you know that the time to first experience that state is not the middle of July. Well, somehow we survived.

We spent our first week there in a hotel. Why you ask? The contractors hadn't yet installed the air-conditioning, and at over 110 degrees that was the one thing we couldn't do without. It was Ok though - the hotel was behind a drive-in theater. I remember watching Star Wars with my brothers, we were sitting on the walkway with our legs through the railing looking across the lot at the drive-in screens. We were just watching the movie, no sound of course. Ah, those were the days!

Growing up I always used to say I hated Arizona and wanted to move back to Nebraska. [That refrain will sound vaguely familiar to those of you here in Washington who've heard me drone on over the last 14 years about wanting to leave WA and go back to AZ.] I changed my mind pretty much the summer after my senior year at high school, when of course I was getting ready to leave AZ for WA for college. I still have fond memories of running through the sprinklers to get cool on a summer afternoon, of driving home from a camping trip to find a snake in our driveway, of tumbleweeds rolling into the yard as if to reclaim the land for the desert wilderness.

Arizona has pretty much remained "home" throughout my time in Washington, but now I'm very much looking forward to California. Check out the Washington and California pages for the next steps in the saga.