This is NOT about Sedona
Before writing this, I did a quick search on "Sedona"...just to see how many articles had already been written about this beautiful little town in Arizona...and if I could write yet another one and make it somehow unique. I then did a search on "Jerome"...another lovely little town in Arizona and found that there weren't as many articles written. So, this is NOT an article about Sedona...
I just happened to be in Sedona while visiting Jerome. So if in fact there is any reference to Sedona, AZ whatsoever, it is merely a coincidence. Since this is an article about Jerome and not Sedona.
See how unique this already is?
I've now resided in the state of Arizona for twenty-two months. Or in Arizona time...that's TWO summers. This seems important to clarify with the locals. Before that, I resided in New Hampshire for thirty years. In New Hampshire time that's...uh...thirty years. Natives of this state are too busy measuring the annual snowfall to care about time.
New Hampshire is a teeny tiny little state. In thirty years, I am proud to say, I have covered most of it. I stood at the top of Mount Washington in August and froze, I rode the Cog Railway, hiked her hobbit-like trails, and camped in the dense, fragrant wood. In the summer, I explored New Hampshire's coastline...all thirteen miles of it. I've bagged all those really colorful, pain in the ass autumn leaves that tourist flock to see but never stay around long enough to rake. I've gorged myself on her seafood and maple syrup...not at the same time. That would be gross! I was there when the old man fell off the face of his mountain...and mourned the fact that he was already on our state quarter. Basically...I have a wonderfully intimate knowledge of my most native state. At certain times, like now...I miss her.
Now though, I've inherited this land called Arizona. Let me tell you...she's very intimidating. First thing you notice is that this state is BIG. I'm sure I could fit about a million New Hampshires into it. Okay...maybe not that much...sometimes I exaggerate a wee bit. My second thought after assessing the size of my new home was..."How will I ever learn enough about it?"
In elementary school, they are forever teaching you about the state you call home. It starts out simply with the flag, the state motto, the state bird, the state flower, the state dog... No seriously. I heard that the Taco Bell Chihuahua is our state dog. Of course this was from the same jerk that tried to sell me the London Bridge...heheh...he said it was right there in Arizona too! Yah, right! Do I look THAT gullible?
Where was I?
Oh yes...our educational system. After the basics, things move really quickly. You get to sing the state song and learn about all the people that get elected...and what they're good for...even though Dad seems to have an opinion that differs from the teacher's. The cultural history of the state is revealed along with the natives that once inhabited the state before the white man came and gently inserted himself into their world and showed them a better way to live. But weren't they amazing? There are counties to know, cities and towns, geography, history, meteorology and tourism. By the time you exit elementary school, you are a font of knowledge about your home state.
And I'm jealous.
I would love to have the opportunity to cram my adult-sized body into one of those tiny little desks and learn all about Arizona. Even if just for a week...it would at least give me some sort of idea where to begin... Did I mention it's a very BIG state?
Even after initialing arriving here and basking in the sunshine, palm trees and sand that make this place feel like a perpetual resort. ..minus the ocean...I knew there had to be something more. Fortunately, my husband has lived in Arizona for longer than I have and he had an inkling of neat places to see. Some of these even in our own back yard!
I remember our very first excursion was to the nearby Superstition Mountains...home of the still Lost Dutchman's Mine. We couldn't find it either... But we did find some really lovely and lethal cacti. The cholla. Every hear of it? Some people refer to it as the "jumping" cholla.
I was off a hundred feet or so, taking some lovely saguaro shots, when I heard Donnie say in a very conversational tone, "Uh...we have a situation here." I think I can be forgiven for snapping off a few more shots before sauntering over to find out what the situation was. If he'd screamed...I would never have sauntered.
The "situation" was a cholla jumping. Having not been there for the initial assault, I can only believe Donnie when he stated that he in no way antagonized the chunk of cactus that was now attached to his finger. He merely moved in for a closer look at a poor, defenseless little piece of plant life that had been amputated from its source.
I was appalled and I sympathized with my husband's pain after taking a few pictures for blackm...err...evidence. Now I know I will probably sound totally cold-hearted, but for some reason, unless it's a life or death situation...or MY pain... things of this nature always send me into paroxysms of laughter. I try to tamp it down...but then it just leaks out as these awful snorts and spewing raspberry noises. Better just to laugh and be hated for a little while.
It WAS humorous. The harder Donnie tried to remove it from an appendage, the more it attached itself. It was like a prickly little tar baby. By the time he decided to approach it from a less emotional position, he had eight fingers glued to the ball of bristles. What would MacGuyver do? Well, we hadn't thought to bring tweezers or a pair of pliers so Donnie had to make do with what was available. Armed with a stick and his footwear, he carefully removed the cholla from his fingers, one barbed needle at a time. I think he would have kicked that sucker across the desert if he wasn't afraid it might stick to his boot.
Since that first trip, we've tried to explore various parts of the state. I feel like I've seen so much and yet, I feel as if I've not made a dent in the smorgasbord that is Arizona. I still haven't seen the Grand Canyon...can you believe it? It's on my list though...
Well, I was going to write about Jerome and not Sedona...but as usual, the muse took me elsewhere. I honestly believe that it's the best way to write anyway. If I only wrote what my mind had already assembled, I couldn't enjoy the journey with you. I hope you had as much fun as I did...
Perhaps next time we won't talk about Sedona again.