I’ve lived in Nebraska my whole life. Generally, I like the weather there, or the results of the weather at least. I like the first few flakes of snow that make the world look clean. I like the buds on the trees and flowers that burst into new life with excitement. I love the rains that turn the trees and ground green on green. I love the fall foliage turning multiple shades of fire orange, gold, and red. I don’t even mind the humidity most of the time, when I remind myself it is good for my skin and sinuses. Most of all, I like the fact that not that many people demand to live there, so you can pretty much live life without having to wait in line on the highway, a restaurant, or anywhere else you want to go.
I was perfectly happy. Until I decided to try Snowbirding. There is really only one thing to say about that. It is Winter’s idea of Heaven. I am staying at an AirBNB in Southern Arizona for six weeks, writing the next novel, visiting my daughter’s family and spending time outdoors, something I deliberately avoid back home this time of year. The casita I am living in has heat and air conditioning, but mostly I haven’t needed either. I have opened the window and doors to the fresh air, which oddly is devoid of insects.
I brought my heavy winter coat and a jacket, but so far here, I have only encountered sweatshirt weather and tee shirt weather. If it wasn’t so darn sunny outdoors, I’d move my computer out onto the pergola covered patio. Yes, that’s another heavenly thing. The sun shines brightly almost every day. In February. It’s almost alarming. But not really. It’s Heaven after all.
I’ve done a little hiking, but my knee complained, even using my Native American inspired walking stick. So now I am riding on the excellent bike paths in the neighborhood. The bike paths don’t seem to suffer the same wear and tear from the summer heat here that the roads do. Flying down a bike path is a lovely way to experience the weather in Snowbirdia.
If that wasn’t enough, there are mountains surrounding the city. Walking out of Target yesterday, (and I wouldn’t call anywhere Heaven if there wasn’t a Target) I was struck by the beautiful view. I would like to bottle that and deliver it back to our local Target. Every so often, just walking or driving around, I have been struck by the majestic and changing view of the mountains. When you are not used to them, they seem contain the mysteries of the ages.
The other amazing thing is that seniors are not marginalized here at all. I had a ninety-year-old man approach me at the gym when he saw my Nebraska license plate. The merchants love seniors, mostly because they are plentiful enough to support whole areas of businesses. Everywhere you go, even on the bike path, I have found people older than I am. That’s always good for your outlook, once you hit retirement age.
Of course, like most good things, my time here will end. I will come back home to experience spring all over again. I know only too well what Southern Arizona is like when they turn up the heat. But it is not like that yet. Now it is still Snowbirdia, a little slice of Heaven.