This week, Tina of Travels and Trifles, challenges us with Environments – What do you want to share about your environment, and how is it special to you? She reminds us of the childhood story, City Mouse/Country Mouse. It tells how the city mouse scoffs at the simplicity of the country mouse’s life.  On the contrary, the country mouse prefers the safety and tranquility of his life.

I think a place is what you make it.  Life allows us preferences, and not always a choice. Frequent moves taught me the importance of having an open heart and mind. Grabbing those windows of opportunity has brought special, to the places I have landed.

In high school, I remember driving over New Jersey’s Bayonne Bridge for the first time. My dad proudly pointed in the distance of our new home. Our annual summer vacation on the New England coast was in the rear view mirror, and school would start in a week.

I sobbed alligator tears.  Manhattan was in the distance, houses seemed stacked on top of each other, and the stark reality of no yard, no space, and no privacy crowded me. This move wasn’t new, it was our way of life.

And outside my bedroom window was the Statue of Liberty.  I learned quickly how to use public transportation to Manhattan, and honestly, you haven’t lived until you get real bagels from a street vender. Soon enough, I was taking inner-city kids on field trips to the city I fell in love with.      

April is the month of the Military Child. It seems like a great time to revisit a few places special to me, and honor those children, my own included, who don’t always get that choice. Their resilience, acceptance, and ability to bloom where planted, mimics their character. The official flower of the military child is a dandelion. Laugh if you will, but they will continue to bloom, grow, and anchor themselves with a nudge from the recent breeze.

A place is what you make it.

I don’t have any digital photos of our four years in Spain and will share some from a visit to Tuscany a few years ago.  The cultures feel similar with tiny villages that allow everyday life to happen on foot.

New England remains our beacon, even today. Family is scattered throughout Boston, and the towns that line the coast. It is our heritage, one we will continue to pass on for generations.

These days, we find the road sets the pace and the place. We have just left Big Bend National Park, in Texas and are moving along. I love that we continue with travel, our way. The tire cover on the back of the Jeep says it best, Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

And those windows of opportunity are ever present. Yesterday the Windows hike in Big Bend took us into a rugged canyon and through waterless waterfalls for the most breathtaking view.

So how is it that we settle in the desert? Arizona was our choice, the choice that came with retirement, and all the checkmarks. I could list all the reasons we landed here. I won’t. What matters is….

Home is where you hang your heart.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Thank you, to Tina for this chance to look through our photos and share what makes our environments special. Tina has traveled the world and you will find, she too, has places close to her heart. Remember to link to her post and include the Len-Artists Tag so we can find you.

A special thank you to Siobhan for challenging us with Glowing Moments last week. I love that many of the posts reflected blogger personality and were written from the heart. I am currently traveling and will revisit a few posts I missed upon my return.

Next week join us as Patti leads us with her Pilotfish Blog. Make sure you check in with her.