We are about to set off for a visit to the Mr.’s childhood home in Arizona. Specifically, to the red dirt and open nothingness of a place northeast of Flagstaff that his family calls “The Land.”
The Mr. is well used to this tract, having grown up there with his 8 siblings and 2 parents in a house they built by hand. After nearly a decade with the Mr., I am still not used to this place. Happily, for me, it is modernized some since he ran around barefoot as a kid – back then there was no hot water, no plumbling, no electricity. Solar panels and some other updates have helped. It is still a place where you can get up close to nature – you have to: Here, with nothing but flat red earth and fresh, sharp air for miles, nature hits you in the face.
It is the first time in 5 years we’ve been back, and then first time our little Punkernoodles will see Daddy’s childhood home – “The house that’s half underground!” as they’ve been chanting for weeks. Any anxiety I feel roaming the emptiness of a place so big and frontier-like, 45 minutes from the tiny town of Winslow (cue The Eagles), should be tempered this time by the excitement of these two little innocents, running around the mud and stone and salt bush, exploring this new world in amazement. Or I hope, anyway.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone near and far!