That’s the phrase I have to use to describe our return to Phoenix. Things are familiar—yet different. I find myself straining old, unused neural pathways to remember where things are and what the best route is to reach them.
That being said, my first impression upon being back is seeing how incredibly easy it is to get around. Compared to Denver, even having to go completely across town is a breeze.
Have I mentioned that I can breathe again? It’s funny, but it seemed like the altitude had only started affecting me within the last year or so, and it wasn’t simply because of being out of shape and having to climb two flights of stairs to get to our apartment multiple times a day.
Most—if not all—of our old haunts are still in business, although as one can imagine, subtle and not-so-subtle changes have occurred over the past four years. It’s also fun seeing how memory has played tricks on me; things that I could’ve sworn were in one location are actually somewhere totally different.
When I was in Phoenix briefly two years ago to attend to my dad’s end-of-life affairs, Phoenix felt alien; it wasn’t home any more. Driving past my old apartment felt like I was viewing it through someone else’s eyes.
That’s different now. Not only does Phoenix now feel like home, in many ways it feels like we never left. But then I’m confronted with something that has wildly changed since our exodus, and I’m reminded that Denver was not, just a bad dream.
Okay, I’m not being fair. We had some very good experiences there, and the first winter was kind of fun. Because of its location, we got to see several things (Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore) that we probably would n’t have otherwise. But on the whole, I’m glad to be gone from the place. It was time. Cosmically speaking, I tell myself the entire reason we went there was to get Sammy.
And speaking of the lovable little furball, he’s adjusting to life here more quickly than I could’ve imagined. He loves having a yard to run in and doesn’t seem to mind the toasty temperatures. He does seem to have developed a garden hose addiction, however.
If I have any regrets about leaving Denver, it was that we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of the relatively quick drive up to Yellowstone. It’s still a bit of a hike to get there from Denver, but nothing compared to driving from Phoenix. Then again, the west coast is so much easier to get to now.
Fingers crossed on the job front. I had what I consider to be an excellent interview with a state agency yesterday (as well as meeting with a placement agency that was a complete waste of my time). They liked me, I liked them, but I am up against one other candidate. I’m not going to stress; I know in my heart of hearts that we’re supposed to be here and work will be forthcoming.