For the past 10 days The Car Guy and I have been Canadian Snow Birds. Yes, we packed up shorts and sun tan lotion and headed south to a place where snow flakes rarely fall – Phoenix Arizona. We have a few friends there, several who like us well enough to invite us to stay in their home. So stay we did – 5 days with some fellow Canadians, and 5 days with an American couple we met in the Middle East.
We enjoyed ourselves immensely, which made us wonder how we could stay there for several months a year. We made some mental calculations. How many friends would we have to have if we wanted to stay as guests in their homes (as opposed to buying a house or hauling a honking big RV down south each year?) There were too many variables to come up with an exact number, but it appeared that 5 days was about the maximum we could expect to be welcome before the host ran out of wine and beer and the towels needed changing. So, let’s say we moved to a new home every 5 days, and let’s say we planned on staying south of the border for about 4 months (and let’s say each month has 30 days, just to keep the arithmetic simple). That means we need to have 24 friends.
The 24 Friends who live in Arizona Plan is no more likely to happen than my 52 Friends who live all Around the World Plan. So we ended up back where we have been many times before – a discussion about a combination of staying with friends, buying some more timeshares, and/or a mobile domicile of some sort. We have never seriously considered buying a house there, though. Note the word ‘never’. Never is a word you should never, under any circumstances, say out loud. It will come back to bite you every time.
Our Arizona-Canadian friends, who also don’t have 24 friends who they could stay with, have bought a winter house outside of Phoenix. The second evening we were there, a family of Javelina strolled through the back yard. Dad, Mom, a couple of little Javelina kids. I didn’t get a very good picture, but I have good memories of the warm evening air and the lovely dinner on the outside patio, (and the wine and the beer). That night we watched the stars from the comfort of our lounge chairs.
The next morning our host picked a bucket full of oranges off one of his fruit trees. He made them into juice which accompanied our breakfasts on the patio.
Many of the prickly plants (which all plants seem to be to a greater or lesser degree) were blooming. On the day before we were leaving, the Echinopsis finally opened. What a huge trumpet shape flower!
But – getting back to Never. We were never going to buy a home in this Never Never Desert Land. But a respite from a long Canadian winter looks more and more attractive as the years tick by, and we are, by nature, people who like to have a roof over our heads that we can call our home. We returned to Canada with a list of housing options, and the willingness to open the door to the thought that we would like to be Snowbirds. It wasn’t all that hard to think this change is a good thing, because when we got home, it started to snow again.