This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The Saguaro Apartments, Phoenix, Arizona

I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, so a place like Phoenix, Arizona, where it never snowed, was just a fantasy to me. But when I turned eighteen, I started on the road to making that fantasy come true.

I really had no idea what Phoenix would look like. I guess I imagined sand dunes, or cowboys and Indians walking around. But it didn't matter at all to me. All I wanted was to get out of Minneapolis, and away from the cold and the snow. And even though it's been, uh, longer than I care to mention, every winter I am reminded, very vividly, of why I am an Arizonan.

I have a lot of friends who grew up in Phoenix, and for them I know that it's impossible to see it my way. All they see is a ratty old apartment in a "questionable" part of town. But the Saguaro Apartments, on 9th Street just east of Indian School Road, was the gateway to another world for me. Pure magic.

Like so many places where I've lived, there was no point to it. It was a place to hang my hat. I had driven into Phoenix one beautiful August day (in a car without air conditioning, of course), and I needed a place to stay. I bought a paper, visited two places without having any kind of idea of neighborhoods, etc., and settled on the first place. If you asked me why I lived there, it was simply that the sun was going down, and it was a place with a vacant apartment. I stayed there for two years.

As I write this, it's December 18th. And I remember doing a lot of sitting out by the pool during my first December in Phoenix. I just sat there, marveling at it. The air was warm, the sky was blue, and not a trace of snow. Heaven is a place called The Saguaro Apartments.
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