Wish You Were Here!

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I always hated it when people would travel to warm places for their winter vacations and send back postcards of bronze women in bikinis dipping their toes in the tepid blue-green waters of a tropical ocean. Or of guys in short sleeve shirts and plaid Bermuda shorts playing January golf on a stunningly beautiful desert canyon course.
Well, “hate” might be a little rough; insanely jealous would be the more accurate feeling. 
Hemmingsen used to get a kick out of calling me in the newsroom from his hotel overlooking Waikiki or some other place in Hawaii where he and his family traveled each winter, just to rub it in. “Hey, I hear Janklow closed the South Dakota interstates because of the blizzard. That’s too bad.  
Oh, Betty and I are going snorkeling in a bay off Maui this afternoon. The kids spent the morning swimming with dolphins. Only 82 degrees here today..heh, heh, heh.”
Come to think of it..maybe hate is the right word.
Anyway, I vowed that if it was ever financially possible, Linda and I would find a way to escape the frigid Midwest and vacation somewhere warm if only for a few days each year.
It’s a vow we’ve been able to keep for the last 13 years thanks to our desert daughter’s hospitality here in the Phoenix area.
Throughout that time, I’ve tried to keep unsavory gloating, to shivering family and friends back home, about how nice it is here, to a minimum.
But now that most of you are finally emerging from the mind numbing, snot freezing, super sub zero cold of the last couple weeks, I gotta tell ya, that  while most of the country has been sending Al Gore nasty e-mails about global warming, the weather here has been unbelievably fantastic with highs in the mid seventies..several degrees “above” normal. Too warm, actually. Had to have the air on while driving around town yesterday. Okay, that may have crossed the line. I’ll stop.
Below is a view of the valley from Fry’s grocery store parking lot in Fountain Hills. It’s almost enough to justify the insanely high prices they charge inside..but that’s a story for another blog.Linda and I have our eye on that little fixer upper on the  right if she hits it big on the penny slots.
 
I’ve been trying to find out more about this scrap iron sculpture of a horse that stands in a shopping area near the big fountain. All I can say is the closer and longer you look, the more you appreciate what masterful skills the artist had to create this perfectly formed horse from hundreds of pieces of junk.I hope you can enlarge this photo to see more of the amazing detail in this scrap iron horse. 
 
Well, my wife and our desert daughter are off to the casino with a promise not to spend anymore money gambling than I do on golfing. So, we’ll either be looking for a house to buy out here with all Linda’s winnings..or we might be coming home earlier than planned.

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