At Our Secret, Undisclosed Location…

This week Matthew and I escaped the tireless heat of the Arizona desert. Most people don’t realize that just two short hours away from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix can be found rural America. Here, the closest grocery store is three miles away and the closest bigger town is a windy, two-laned twenty miles. Here, there are no fast food restaurants just around the corner. Here, most everyone has a pick-up truck, an ATV, or both.

Watching the afternoon rain from the front door.

This is Big Sky country. On sunny days the azure blue sky seems to continue forever. On cloudless nights there are more stars than can be imagined and the easily visible Milky Way reminds us how small we are in the universe.

I love it up here. There’s a quiet you don’t get in the city. When someone drives past it’s so infrequent that you look up to see who it is. All the neighbors know each other by sight and most by name.

Each time I sit on the covered deck of the folks log cabin I am reminded of the effort it took to build. Logs were delivered, all one length. It was up to my parents to design, cut and bolt together. The result a rustic mountain cabin just as you would expect to find yet inside modern enough for the most ‘connected’ individual.

Yep, I could ramble on and on. But I’ll save it for another day.

My friendly squirrel friend. He has been busy since we arrived finding acorns.

This is one of my favorite months in the mountains. Monsoon storms rumble in almost every afternoon, cooling it from the low 90’s to the 70’s in minutes. The clouds open and showers will drop from a few sprinkles to three inches within an hour. Suddenly the crispy crunch grass turns vibrant green with life. Dust washes off the ponderosa pines and they sway in the breeze enjoying the respite.

This week the animals seem particularly focused on winter preparations. Drinking my morning coffee I watched a bushy tailed squirrel chase off a dozen red headed woodpeckers as both moved the prize acorns to their stashes. The squirrel in the back yard doesn’t seem to mind the tiny baby bunny munching on grass next to him but continues to chew out the bossy blue jays who want to steal his treasure.

Matthew adjusts to this quiet life readily. Of course, he has his cable TV so doesn’t miss any important programming. There are also plenty of videos, books and puzzles which are as usual good conversation starters. He loves wildlife and was especially excited to see the large elk munching grass beside the road.

In a few hours we’ll head back to the valley. Bob says the kitties miss us. (He is a dog person—need I say more?) There will be a stack of paperwork calling to me. But for now, I think I’ll refill my coffee cup and sit on the front porch and just soak in a little more fresh air.