Returning home should be an interesting journey

It’s been an interesting transition the last five-and-a-half years going from the desert climate of Arizona to Wisconsin, where there’s plenty of green—until the snowstorms hit and bury it in white.

I made the journey partially out of necessity, as I had lost my job at the newspaper I was working at. I could have returned to Yavapai County and tried to find another job there, but I was also in love with Wisconsin. My parents and my sister had moved up to Wisconsin a few years earlier, and I found that I was not content with just flying to see them once a year or once every couple of years. It was time for a new adventure.

A new adventure, indeed. I had to get used to having four seasons in a year instead of just hot and cold, adjust to a culture where a football team was almost worshipped instead of being the subject of barroom jokes, get a new driver’s license and much more. It’s been quite the ride.

However, one thing that changed was the fact that the cost of airline tickets soared since my last visit to Wisconsin in 2009, and I wasn’t able to return to Arizona to see other family members like I’d been able to when I was living in Arizona. For several years, I’ve sworn to come visit, and each year ended in failure. This year, I was determined to make that happen, as I have two grandmothers in their 80s, and they deserve to have more from me than just an occasional phone call or Facebook message.

One of my grandmothers, Barbara Pulaski, who I hope to spend some quality time with, as I’ve been absent from Arizona since 2011.

The journey is close at hand. I’m heading back to Arizona for a week and seeing my grandmothers, as well as some close friends from high school. I’m also wanting to see how much the place I called home for more than 25 years has changed. I’ve seen glimpses up until 2011, when I made the move to Wisconsin, but this will be a longer visit and a chance to explore.

My first noticeable blow that “home” had changed was in 2005, when I went back to Chino Valley for my 10-year high school reunion. I drove past where my childhood home had been, and instead of seeing the house as it was, the newly remodeled house had the car parked where my bedroom used to be.

The home where I grew up in Chino Valley, Ariz. It doesn’t look like that anymore.
The Prescott Fine Arts Theater used to be an old church but has served for several decades as an arts hub. It should be interesting to see how this place and others have changed over the years. (Photos by Lee Pulaski)

There are plenty of other memories of home I hope to rekindle, and hopefully they won’t be traumatic like checking out the house I called home for more than 12 years. To that end, I’m hoping to share tidbits from my journey.

I’m hoping to post daily on here about the things I want to see or fun that I’m sharing with family and friends. That’s the goal, anyway. We’ll see if it happens.

Sunday starts the journey. Should be interesting to see what seven days in Arizona in 2016 will be like.


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