valley of the sun

In this home live some important people to me, my husband, and my children. I came down to Phoenix to get a break from my daily grind, and while here, was able to reconnect with these friends who introduced me to the gospel almost 30 years ago. They are gems. 

Each morning I have gone out for a run through these immaculate neighborhoods with cactus and palm trees and the scrumptious smell of orange blossoms. The sun was warm on my skin and in my soul as I listened to The Alan Parsons Project sing "Blue Blue Sky". It was good good medicine. 

Today we put on "mud shoes" and spent an hour picking oranges on a five-acre farm down the street. There had been a day with rain earlier in the week, and this ground had just not absorbed it. We must have hauled 50-60 lbs of oranges out of that grove. As we were picking we talked about things of consequence, like how Benny and Willa both grew up working hard on ranches. This 70-year old woman could still take me in a fight. 

And this 74-year old retired Air Force colonel is all papa bear on the outside and all teddy bear on the inside, tearing up when he talked about the struggles some of his children were dealing with. I love them both dearly. 

When we got back to the house we kicked off our shoes and cranked up the juicer. I drank and drank until my belly was sloshy and my heart was full.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sent from my iPad


Rebecca Blevins | March 24, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Fresh oranges and juice? YUM! I'm totally envious, but happy for you to have such a good time! You look like you're really enjoying that juice. ;)

TisforTonya | March 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

some of my favorite people alive live in Gilbert AZ (truly) so I'm a little jealous... the fresh OJ isn't helping either :)

glad you can get away and take some time for your fam :)

Kazzy | March 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Thanks, guys. It has been a nice little diversion this week. :)

Marianne | March 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Sounds like a heavenly visit. And I'm sure the weather has been good for you!!

Glad you could get away for a bit.

Kristina P. | March 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

That looks perfect!

Joanie | March 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Sounds like the best vacation, good friends,great weather, delicious food and drink. Enjoy!

Kimberly Vanderhorst | March 24, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Sounds like heaven on earth!

gigi | March 24, 2011 at 8:10 PM

What an awesome way to spend your spring break! Lucky you :-)

Welcome to the Garden of Egan | March 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Alan Parsons Project!!!! Love them!
Time.......rolling like a the sea.............

Glad you are in AZ, awesome to connect with people that are so wonderful.

Your juice made my mouth water.

Stacy | March 24, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I'm refreshed (and jealous!) just from looking at your pictures! Man, I miss the sunshine!

The Way I See It | March 24, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Reminds me of my brother's place in Gilbert. Love the smell and taste of citrus there. What beautiful people you have in your life.

Dona | March 24, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Hey! I grew up in Gilbert! It was much smaller then. My Dad is still there so that's where I go when I need a little vacation. So glad you had the chance to get away and enjoy the sun before it gets super sunny down there.

LisAway | March 25, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Sounds like a perfect getaway! Not too lazy or lonely or cold.

Connie | March 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Oh, that brings back great memories. We lived in Gilbert when it was a town of cotton fields, orange groves and adorable subdivisions. The orange blossoms smell divine, the fresh squeezed, full of pulp orange juice is the best drink on the earth! Enjoy!!!

Lara Neves | March 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Oh man. This made me cry. I miss Phoenix SO much, living there was one of the best times of my life. And since I'm still covered in snow up here...well.

I'm so glad you had a nice vacation though! Sounds wonderful.

wendy | March 28, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I felt "all wrapped up" in the emotion of this post.
What a lovely time it looks like you had.
Fresh oranges. oh my!!!
and I was very moved about your 74 year old "teddy bear" friend, tearing up over some of the struggles of our children
no matter how Old we get, and how Old our children get, the emotional glue remains the same.

Heidi | April 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM

What a great opportunity. How do you like your ipad? Is it the new one?