Depending on which direction you gaze, sure ... there are more picturesque mountain ranges surrounding the Phoenix metro.
But these silent sentinels are what my eyes are drawn to each weekday.
I'm going to miss them.
It's a foregone conclusion (that) my days in Phoenix are numbered.
As we grow older, I think it's critical to be near loved ones, our support systems.
But(!) being a chronic planner, I'm finding the where's and when's annoyingly elusive.
I force myself to remember .....
"Man Plans, God Chuckles."
(Yes, on several occasions I've forced the outcome -- and had to live with the consequences.)
Are y'all familiar with Trace Adkins' splendid song, "You're Gonna Miss This"?
(No? Well, grab a box of tissues and click on the link.)
You know, it doesn't seem all that long ago, when crossing the Florida border I whoo-hoo'd, did a little fist pump ... and vowed never to return.
OK, I know there's nothing wrong with Florida!
Unfortunately, tumultuous events surrounding those last several years were (in my mind) irrevocably linked to certain locales.
Convinced the end of the rainbow pointed 'that-away', I pointed my car west, away from my past.
But memories are a curious thing, aren't they?
They never really stay hidden.
I'm blessed having a few old (and a two new!) friends who are residents of the Sunshine State.
.... Whose posts have unleashed a flood of memories, and unwittingly, a smidgen of longing!
Long before I moved there, Florida's gulf coast was our family's 'go to' spot each summer. Daddy's brother was a pastor in Sarasota and in 1960 my folks built a tiny rental house in Punta Gorda.
I'm convinced, one of the biggest draws was a legendary St. Petersburg eatery called Wolfie's.
There, I was introduced to my very first banana split.
There -- observing 6 year-old Myra consume seconds (then thirds) -- a fellow at the next table hollered, "Someone, call a doctor!"
Imagine my dismay when I moved there and learned Wolfie's had closed its doors years ago.
So many of my favorite memories are set against a culinary backdrop. (Well, maybe not culinary. That sounds kind of snobbish.)
Like my father I love good food ....
perhaps, to distraction.
A few months back, I awoke from the most vivid dream and wanted to weep.
Like my dad's fascination with Wolfie's, I'm remembering a hole-in-the-wall Italian deli that's been playing prominently in my subconscious.
It features something I've not been able to locate anywhere else -- made from scratch, softball size mozzarella.
If one's lucky to get there before noon, the white butcher paper is still warm. I can close my eyes and watch rivulets of milk oozing out of its soft flesh.
If I ever win the lottery I'm seriously hiring a private jet!
In my last post, I mentioned "Houses of Belonging."
This image - pinned up in my 'ish' room - captures an exquisite camaraderie. It was the best of times.
Until it wasn't.
One-by-one we've gone our separate, geographical directions.
Several of us have rediscovered one another on Facebook ... but it's different.
One recently commented, "I miss us."
My friend Paula recently asked her followers what they might advise today's graduating class.
I've forgotten my original answer, but now?
'Pretty sure I'd say, "Take a good look around. Be present. Feel it deep inside."
"Take it from someone who knows. You're going to miss this."
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Thank you for stopping by!
... and to all the dad's out there, a very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!