Recently my husband and I were able to spend two weeks in the Phoenix area for a family reunion. We took advantage of our time there by visiting the Grand Canyon, Sedona, the Hoover Dam, Sunset Crater, the Superstition Mountains, Canyon Lake and more. The respite from the cold and rainy Ohio weather was wonderful and the scenery was spectacular. The arid climate and stark beauty of the desert lay in sharp contrast to the pines and green vegetation in the higher elevations around Flagstaff.

We absorbed some of the rich history of the state with visits to Tombstone and Jerome. Abandoned silver, gold, and copper mines are now tourist attractions but the dedication and brute determination of the pioneers who forged their way west a century ago remain evident in spite of the commercialization of the towns that surround them.

Our winter-deprived souls soaked up as much sun as possible and we reveled in the blue skies that stretched from horizon to horizon. Returning back to Ohio in the middle of April, we faced much cooler temperatures but the transition was made easier with the sight of pale leaves beginning to show on the branches of trees that had been empty for months. The bright colors of spring flowers bursting forth reassured us that winter is indeed almost gone. The forecaster’s snow did not materialize in Holmes County and I’m hopeful it will not be back until at least November.