Two Climates, Two Worlds

Dec 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The last several weeks have been spent in Arizona. The time included Thanksgiving with family there, assisting the move of parents to an independent living facility, especially enjoying our grandchildren, and spending time in the condo we call home there.

The climate there is most always pleasant, particularly this time of year. We even experienced a day or two of rain, which is unusual and welcome.

To be sure, in many ways, Arizona presents an entirely different climate. Seldom does one need a jacket or hat; a sweater, on the cooler evenings, usually does the job. We even turned on the fireplace a night or two.

What is remarkable about Arizona that it almost seems like another world. Until, of course one looks very closely and examines the realities of living in these times. Housing values have dipped by at least 30%, there are more for sale, for lease and foreclosure signs than in the past; there seem to be fewer winter visitors; there is a visible tightening down. Arizona, over the recent past, had become the destination of nomads from California. Many made a killing there on real estate, bought or built here, and now find that their investment has taken a beating.

Outdoor Christmas decorations are widespread. There is the sense that a splash of red and green, and reindeer and snowpersons (artificial of course) may lift the spirits a bit.

There is also visible evidence that commerce has slowed. While there are lots of Hummers and sundry SUV’s and Cadillacs and other exotically expensive automobiles, the car dealerships reflect a dearth of business.

Clear evidence in our neighborhood indicates a pulling in, a drawing back, an absence of interaction. It is as if folk are burrowing in for the winter, perhaps a longer one than usual. There is the universal acknowledgment when any discussion of the downturn occurs, that it has hit almost everybody.

Now, we are back in Texas. Some have suggested that the downturn hasn’t had such an impact here. That, of course, lacks veracity. It is here. There are pockets of comfort, but considerable discomfort emerging here and there. Our house has been on the market a while. While a desirable piece of real estate, there are fewer lookers. The same is true in Scottsdale with properties there.

Gas prices seem to be about the only universal good news. People shop for bargains everywhere. Goodwill is doing a booming business.

Arriving home in Texas, we were met early this morning with a major storm, a deluge of rain, not unusual here, but a real contrast to Arizona. What is normal in one place, is sometimes abnormal in another.

The common denominator seems to be that while it may seem one is residing in Two Worlds and Two Climates there are enormous similarities of circumstance. People are attempting to cope and plan and expect and ready themselves with what may come next.

The election seems to have calmed many of the nay sayers and critics and negative disillusions that were present before November 4. There is a wait and see attitude. It comes out in poll taking as mainly positive. Maybe we are grabbing at straws. Maybe we are just allowing our positive side to be in charge for a while. Whatever it is, wherever you live, whatever climate, realize that you have many brothers and sisters in other worlds. May the star of hope at Christmas and the joyful feast of Hanukkah shine upon us all, wherever in the world we may be.

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