I've spent some time thinking about this topic - the various virtues of the Phoenix valley - for a very specific reason. The reason - I never wanted to live here! It's hot, dry, and rain-free, and my love is for the weather of the Pacific northwest - cool, cloudy, and rainy. So Phoenix is not really my kind of place!
But you know what? God placed me here! Not in Oregon or Washington or England or Scotland. Here. Furthermore, I may be here for the rest of my life! (Which would be fine with me, as a matter of fact - I very much dislike moving!) That being so, it is a case of needing to learn to have a spirit of gratitude for God's provision - and a "learn to love it" attitude.
With that in mind, here are all the things (in no particular order) that I love about Phoenix!
Hospitals & Doctors - You hope never to need them, but when you need a hospital or doctor, we have them by the thousands. We have three hospitals within ten minutes of our house!
Naturopathic Doctors - Probably due to the naturopathic medical college in Tempe, our area abounds with wonderful naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medical resources. Love it.
Museums & Attractions - We have wonderful museums and attractions in the Phoenix valley! From the Musical Instrument Museum and the Firefighters' Museum, to the Phoenix Zoo and the Arizona Museum of Natural History - hundreds (I'm guessing) of things to see and do. We haven't seen even a small fraction of what there is to see here!
Parks - When I was growing up in Southern California, parks (in my mind) were definitely classified as "dirty, scary places that I would never even think of wanting to go to." Ick! But here in the east valley, the parks are wonderful - safe, clean, attractive, and fun. And there are lots of them!
A Cleaner and Prettier Living Environment - Cleaner and prettier than my area of Southern California, that is! Of course, that's not saying much. Pretty much anywhere is - my home county was recently classified as the "dirtiest place in the U.S." Yup, it's true. When we went back to visit this summer, my first thought was, "How on earth did I manage to live here for twenty-odd years?" Phoenix has cleaner air, prettier communities and freeways, far less traffic, and is just a nicer and more attractive place to live.
The Desert! - I'm not a desert rat, but the desert is beautiful! Especially on a fall or spring evening - mmmm. I love the desert! Add in cool weather and a beautiful sunset, and I'm one happy camper.
Monsoons - If you haven't yet seen a monsoon, you should join us for one! Gorgeous! Best lightning displays in the country. We always go out onto our patio to watch the rain and the lightning show - and to look for spadefoot toads, which only come out during monsoons! Love those summer storms!
Homeschooling Laws - Unlike other unfortunate states, where the government does its best to usurp the rights of parents by interfering heavily in home education, Arizona has awesome homeschooling laws which promote a healthy homeschooling culture. God grant that it stay that way.
Homeschooling Community - We are still getting to know our awesome homeschool community, which here in the valley is large and thriving. We have met so many amazing people!
Birth Community - Phoenix, especially the east valley, has a large, active, and thriving community of birth professionals, with lots of professional associations and community events, and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know this community.
Community Resources - I've always wanted to live in the country, but I have to say that living in the city is definitely convenient - we have any and every resource at our fingertips.
Midwifery Laws - Though they're in a state of flux at the moment, Arizona has excellent (not the best, but still excellent) homebirth midwifery laws. Thanks to those laws, we have had three legal and safe homebirths with several of the valley's wonderful certified professional midwives.
Wildflowers - Reverting to the desert - Have you ever seen desert wildflowers? They are splendid! Which reminds me - we need to get out and see them!
Blooming Palo Verdes - I am waiting anxiously for these - they are a beyond-gorgeous sight.
No Natural Disasters - Monsoons are dramatic, but they rarely do serious damage (and they're fun!). It is nice not having to dread hurricane season or flood season.
Christian Community - We have discovered a large and wonderful community of Christian believers here in the valley, many of whom are now lifelong friends and have a very special place in our hearts.
The People in General - We have made so many friends here (store clerks! neighbors! church friends!) and really enjoy getting to know the wonderful people of Arizona.
Okay, my lovely readers! What do YOU love about Phoenix? Or about a place that you live (but which wasn't your first choice)? Bring it on!