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Saying Good-bye to Arizona, Nevada & California

I once drove nine hours straight to the Grand Canyon from San Diego. I was with my X-wife. We ended up on the I-40 driving into the darkness of the night before we arrived at our destination. It was a magical time; 2 free spirits bound by nothing exploring the unknown in a country that we knew relatively nothing about.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a spectacular place and truly a wonder to behold. I’ve heard the North Rim is vastly more beautiful, more rugged and harder to get to but at the time we had to settle for the southern portion of the Grand Canyon. Arizona certainly is a beautiful and hot place and I will miss it.

Las Vegas, Nevada….Reno, Nevada…it’s much the same. Desert life. The warm sun. Seemingly tropical days surrounded by fine food, luxury and some of the strangest people that may walk this earth.

And then there’s Cali. A country on it’s own really but a state according to the constitution. 30% or more of the U.S. military hails from this state and there are more problems there than you or I can imagine. But there is also much beauty and you only have to get in a car and drive to discover places like King’s Canyon National Forest, Borrego Springs, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Mt. Laguna and Julian to name just a few and not really scratch the surface at all.

I once made my life in these 3 states and I made it there with my own nuclear/immediate family. I try to think about it for a moment and wonder if it makes me feel sad that it’s kind of gone. But then I realize that there are so many happy memories in all 3 of these states over the course of several years and I cannot help but rejoice somewhat in the success of my life. Even if the word ‘failure’ sneakily creeps into my mind I still also hear ‘success’.

Yet I have to stop writing now because I am tired even if there is so much more to say. Like what about that time I woke up at 3:30am and drove straight to Texas from Canada? Would I do that again and see the craziness that is the state of Arkansas? That little washroom in that run down gas station where I thought most certainly I would be killed.

But no, here I am writing. Still expressing my thoughts on a forum. And I get to sarcastically mutter to myself “What do I have to do now to get ready for tomorrow because tomorrow is another work day?”

And then with my last thought, usually the one I have before I go to bed (I see her face) and I think to myself “I wonder what my daughter is doing?” And then I fall asleep (never to be heard from again) and we get to do this over again whether the sun is shining or whether it is not.

So if I had a glass to raise right now, I would tip it to the sky and say thank-you to all 3 of these states. Those were days well-lived and I will cherish them forever.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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