It is spectacular here today. The windows and doors are thrown open, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and things are starting to bud. It hasn’t quite hit the “green haze” moment, when the ends of twigs turn absurd shades of chartreuse and the trees look as if they’re swathed in viridian fog, but we’re only a week or two from it. The magnolias are out in full force.

Being a perverse sort, even as I feel spring twitching along my spine, I find myself missing Arizona. I think it was the bouganvillea at the garden shop, a plant I would passionately love to grow, and cannot possibly. Same with lantana. The full sun deck will become a mostly shade deck in a month or so, condemning sun-suckers to a spindly leggy demise, so I pass them by, with regrets. Suddenly I feel homesick.

I’d like to think I’ve been pretty cheerfully adaptable. I’m pretty good at being happy pretty much anywhere, which is a knack that I realize I’m damn lucky to have. I don’t love the South, and I don’t think I would want to live here permanently–the climate, and the bugs, and the politics are none to my liking, and I have never entirely gotten over the fear that I will take a wrong turn somewhere*, accidentally leave the city, and dueling banjoes will start up in the distance, and they’ll never find the body. And let’s not kid ourselves, a place where people think “hash” is something you make with meat instead of something you smoke is fundamentally an alien landscape. But I am desperately fond of the birds, and my hit parade of defective squirrels, and my container garden, shade or no shade, is certainly more impressive than any I’ve managed before. I am fond of the coffee shop here, and I have some excellent friends. I haven’t had to shovel snow yet. I live within driving distance of one set of parents. It’s not a BAD place. I can see how one would like it. It’s just not really my place.

I miss eating dinner outside in the summer. It’s a weirdly specific thing to miss, and yet it’s the thing I’ve been thinking of. Possibly the warming temperatures in some way have triggered it. A lot of the restaraunts in AZ have terracotta brick patios, with huge bouganvilleas crawling over the fencing, and in order to keep the temperature bearable (the city holds in heat like a furnace, so after a certain point in summer, it never gets below a hundred, even at midnight) they have little pipes threaded along the edges of the patios, and every few minutes, they release a fine spray of mist. Because the droplets are so fine, and the air so dry, you don’t get wet, you just get a wash of coolness across your skin as the droplets evaporate before they quite touch you. A lot of places string lights from the pipes, and there’s a generally festive air to the whole thing. I miss that, specifically. I don’t really know why.

Job situations what they are, Arizona may not be in my future until retirement, when I suspect I can at least convince James that I need to be a deranged snow bird and drive thirty-five on the freeway and a hundred and ten down residential streets. That’s…err…thirty-five years off, at least. And I am capable of being happy in Outer Mongolia if there is a games company there. Just every now and then, for some reason, I get this twitch.

*Probably in Raleigh, a city built entirely of wrong turns.

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