August 10, 2016

Arizona vs. Washington

Last night, when I was tucking Perry into bed, he asked for a drink. While he was sipping the milk I gave him, he told me:

"I'm so thirsty today.
It is so hot every day.
I want the hot to stop.
I'm trying to hate Arizona.
I want to go back to the other place."

Yes, our Arizona days have been quite hot. That first week I thought I would not survive. I questioned our decision. Who in their right mind would ever move to a place as hot as heck?? 

But now, whether it is because our bodies are adjusting to this weather or because monsoons keep rolling in and are keeping the extreme heat at bay, we are all handling it much better.

The "other place" (Washington) that Perry was dreaming of last night is obviously quite different from Arizona. 

(By the way, Perry does not really hate it here. Even though he said he was "trying to" (which I'm pretty sure he meant 'starting to'). He was just particularly warm last night. And he recently learned the word "hate". Yeah for that.)

Anyways, these two states could not be any more different in so many ways. Not good or bad necessarily. Just different. 

WA: green, tall trees, gray and low clouds
AZ: brown, dirt and rocks, wide open skies, sun

WA: mostly public schools, few private schools, school district doesn't have to ask or inform parents of many things they teach or do
AZ: so many school choices--private, charter schools, and even choices within the public school district, the school district is much more conscious of parents role and rights in education of children (from my opinion)

(I know I shouldn't generalize this one, but we did think that it was interesting--on the first day of school, the kids were telling us about their days. One of our boys was most surprised and pleased by this: when his teacher had to leave the room for a minute she asked the kids to continue working quietly. And so they did. Kacin was so surprised--he said that never would've happened in Washington. In every class he has been in in Washington, if a teacher left the room at least a few kids would be goofy or crazy. He told us the kids are more respectful here. I know this can't be true across the board and I'm not sure why this would be, but I'm glad this is his new experience.)


WA: roads that wind and turn, lots of one lane roads, roads with numbers
AZ: straight roads, grid system, most roads at least two or three lanes wide, roads with names

WA: hills
AZ: flat

WA: always traffic, passing everyone on the freeway when you go 65 mph, 20 mph speed limit in school zones
AZ: not much traffic, getting passed on the freeway when you go 85mph, 15 mph speed limit in school zones

WA: more than two kids was considered a big family
AZ: less than 4 kids is considered a small family 


WA: fresh, crisp, clear air
AZ: you are walking around in a sauna, thick air

WA: drizzly, misty rain or a constant light shower, rarely flooding
AZ: downpours, huge raindrops, thunder and lightening, flooding

WA: expensive everything 
AZ: cheaper produce, houses, gas, eating out, and pretty much everything else 

WA: take off your shoes or at the very very least ask if you should when entering anyone's house
AZ: go on in


At the same time, we have begun noticing that they also have similarities and counterparts. For example, the loud noises of the frogs in Washington have simply been replaced here by the loud noises of the cicadas in the trees.

So let's start with the critters.
WA: we had many many sightings around our neighborhood of bunnies, raccoons, coyotes, owls, woodpeckers, frogs, spiders, bluejays, slugs
AZ: we were welcomed into our rental house by a scorpion and too many earwigs, but we have also seen jackrabbits, lizards, pigeons, and cicadas

There are other comparables. Like,

WA: fog
AZ: haboob (dust storms)

WA: rivers, ponds, and natural lakes
AZ: canals, retention basins, and man made lakes


WA: teriyaki restaurants and coffee stands on every corner
AZ: Mexican food everywhere, and plenty of shaved ice and ice cream shops

WA: stinging nettle
AZ: cacti

WA: nature preserve trails 
AZ: canal trails


WA: "traffic calming device" sign, "fish crossing" signs on the road
AZ: "speed hump" sign, "irrigation is reclaimed water-do not drink" signs

WA: always be prepared for the weather--wear layers, bring an umbrella, keep a towel in the car
AZ: wear as close to nothing as you can, bring cold water and sunblock


WA: rain boots
AZ: flip flops

WA: being the first one down the slide at the playground and so getting your bum soaked with water
AZ: being the first one down the slide and getting covered in brown dirt


WA: green grass in your backyard year round
AZ: a swimming pool in your backyard

Those are just some of the things we have noticed between living in Arizona and Washington so far. Both experiences are quite enjoyable, but we sure are grateful to be where we are right now.
Holly Decker said...

truly an adjustment!!!! glad you are here, though :)
and i gotta say... the grass literally IS greener on the other side... haha!