The Cali-zona-sotan

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As in all these blog posts, any pictures below are all linked to full-sized versions.

Being the ramblings and (mis)adventures of a man, born and raised in California, drawn to Arizona by the simple fact that he is a desert rat, who now finds himself in a brave new world, living on the edge of the prairie in central Minnesota, where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and nothing, NOTHING, is the same.

Ocotillo 

How We Got to Where We Are

We lived in Tucson for ten years and were happy. We had Milo the Sonoran Husky at our side, and all was well. Then in May, 2014 my wife lost her job after 13 years with the same legal firm. That spring day, she had a doctor's appointment and took the day off. While still at home, she received a phone call from her employer telling her she was laid off. This was a devastating blow for her, and it's been a long road getting beyond it. Meanwhile, I worked at the library at the University of Arizona, and was more or less happy with where I was. Then a new guy moved in to a supervisorial position over me, and things deteriorated for me as well.

Into the Wild - Eastern Sierra Nevada
Into the Wild...

All the while, my in-laws were in Minnesota, and my wife missed her family. Her parents are aging, and it became apparent to both of us that moving to Minnesota was what needed to be done. So, I put in my notice at the library in March, 2015. We began packing in preparation for our cross-continent move, and in April, we took a trip to California so I could visit my old haunts again, and so my wife could see the places I'd been ranting about all these years. The three of us, my wife, Milo, and I, had a great trip and visited the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada and Mono Lake, a place I truly love.

When we got back from our trip, Milo developed a cough. Three years earlier he had his left hind leg amputated because of a malignant tumor. It turned out that the cancer had come back, and this time the prognosis was not good. We decided to assume the best, and continued our plans for moving. I hoped that Milo would live to see winter in Minnesota, a true Husky dream. We committed to the move, and pulled into the driveway in Minnesota on May 15, 2015, but Milo began a rapid decline. He enjoyed his time in our new large yard, with soft green grass and shade from two very large maple trees, but he didn't see his winter; one month from when we first noticed his cough, we laid him to rest on June 9th, just three weeks after we arrived. Devastated, adrift, and dangerously unbalanced, my wife and I took a week and traveled to Northern Minnesota in an effort to come to terms with our loss and the utter chaos in our lives.

Maya and Pearson
Maya and Pearson

When we returned, it became apparent that we required canine companionship, so even though losing Milo was still so recent, we once again wandered off to Northern Minnesota and got Maya from a breeder over the July 4th weekend. She was sweet, and had been raised a show dog, replete with ribbons from several shows. However, she did not like life in a kennel, and had developed some behaviors that indicated she needed to be a household pet, not a kenneled show dog. She settled in and found our hearts. Later we saw that she needed canine companionship of her own, Huskies being a very pack-oriented breed. We got Pearson at the beginning of November from Adopt A Husky Rescue, (a fantastic organization), and now the four of us exist out here together on the edge of the prairie.

I work at North Hennepin Community College in the IT Department. My wife is struggling with chronic back pain, and is working on a plan to get beyond it. The dogs chase each other around the yard at breakneck speed all day, and join us on adventures whenever possible. This will be the place where these adventures are recorded, discussed, and otherwise shared.