A beautiful day in the neighborhood #2: Holiday Creosote

Picture of a creosote bush in a Tucson front yard. The hand-lettered sign in front reads: Decorate Me! Neighborhood Holiday Creosote. Be Creative! Include name, address, message. No Gathering - Social Distance.
Seen in a front yard around the corner from me in Tucson: a holiday creosote bush.

Continuing my attempt to notice the beautiful and/or quirky in my everyday surroundings. Tucson is a quirky and beautiful city, so I should have no shortage of material.

I love this little neighborhood experiment–communal decorating of a creosote bush. It says so much about the kind of attitude that helps us get through tough times and lead a happy life: making due with what you have (because Christmas trees don’t really grow in the desert) and inviting others to share what they have to create something beautiful and joyful.

New Year’s Eve time travel

Husband: “So, what are we doing for New Year’s Eve?”

Me: “Well, I hear the living room is nice this time of year.”

To be fair, I’m trying to remember the last time I was up at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and… well… hmm… OK, I got nuthin’. But sometimes we do travel this time of year or do, you know, *something* that involves leaving the house, even if we are home and asleep by 10 PM. This year? Well, I hear the living room is nice this time of year.

So what’s a bored blogger to do? Dig through the archives of years past, of course. Let’s climb in the Wayback Machine and set our course for 2005. I don’t have any pictures from New Year’s Eve, but the day before that, we were in Leavenworth (Washington, not the prison. Haven’t I mentioned at least a few times on here that I am incredibly boring?) Anyway, here we are in Leavenworth, a village in Central Washington known for being Christmasy:

The husband takes aim at either the child or me. Probably the child.
Looks like the child is seeking revenge.
Look at all those germ-producing humans, and not a mask in sight.
Heartwarming scene of commercialized Christmas.

You know how I was trying a few paragraphs ago to remember the last time I was up at midnight on New Year’s Eve? Well, this might have been it. 2006, Y&T in Santa Clara, and Kristy and I were in the front row.

Nothing says rock ‘n roll like balloons.

2007, and we were back to acting like old farts by ringing in the new year with: Monopoly. Any of you who know me IRL can tell which token is mine.

Let’s twiddle the dials on the Wayback Machine and skip ahead to: 2010. New Year’s Eve was memorable that year, because we were in the coldest place in the lower 48. Northern Montana? Nope. Hole in the Road, North Dakota? Bzzzt. We were in…

Wait for it…




The coldest temperature on New Year’s Eve 2010 in the lower 48 states was -30F, recorded at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon–and we were there.

This is the face a Californian makes when confronted with temperatures more appropriate to the Arctic Circle. Imagine a thought bubble above my head containing just 3 letters. W T F.
My son is somewhere under all those wrappings.

Scenes like these made it almost worth braving the cold… Almost.

Snowy afternoon at the Canyon
Snowy Grand Canyon near sunset

Apparently the cold wasn’t enough to scare me off, because three years later, we moved to Northern Arizona. Our first New Years Eve in our Flagstaff home looked like this:

And… that’s it. If a year isn’t featured here, it was even less interesting than the years that are featured here. Because I am boring.

I hope that wherever you are, you are safe, healthy, warm, and comfortable on this last day of 2020. May 2021 treat us all better.

Happy New Year!