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Friday Five: Location, Location, Location

I haven't played RevGalBlogPals' Friday Five in, well, forever. I kinda miss it, and this one caught my fancy. Singing Owl is moving--again--and her husband suggested the following topic for the day. So, she says:

This post is about locations. My husband has lived at 64 addresses in his life so far (16 with me) and he suggested the topic since we have moving trucks on our minds. Therefore, tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there? If you have lived in less than five places, you can tell us about a fantasy location.
As I turned over the eight or so locations (and at least 12 different apartments or houses) I've lived in during my life so far, my responses, it turns out, have more to do with landscapes than buildings. So, here you go:

1. Arizona. My family moved to Arizona when I was six years old and I grew up there--and the Sonora Desert remains my favorite space on this planet to date. My husband doesn't get it, heh, but for me, it is beyond beautiful. Even as I think back over my walk with God, this is the place in my imagination where I met (and still meet) him. Deserts appear in special places in Scripture, and it takes a bit of work for me to imagine them any different than these. My concept of them is so colored by the breathtaking-ness of the Sonoran that it most likely influences my spiritual experiences in them, too.

2. Northern California. I lived in California for over 15 years, but my favorite place was Sacramento. I must admit, part of that is because I met and got to know my best friend there, heh. But the places I lived also bordered on landscapes I enjoyed as well. My husband and I lived in apartment for several years across from farm fields, over which you could see for miles and miles. When we moved into a house, it was nestled in a neighborhood in the nook of one of the major rivers that intersected in Sacramento. There was a wonderful park and marina near our house I really enjoyed. Add to this that San Francisco (and the yummy food in Chinatown) was about an hour to the west and the giant Sierra Nevadas (and skiing) were an hour to the east, and, well, you've got a pretty darn good space to live in for almost a decade.

3. Alabama. We moved to the Deep South in the early 2000s, and the first thing I noticed was how incredibly green it was. For a girl who grew up in the desert it was almost like moving to an Eden. Almost. The summer's humidity and heat made it feel more like another biblically referenced place, heh. But the thing I loved the most about the landscape there was the Spanish Moss that grew in many of the trees there. In the winter, it was simply gorgeous (above). We made some friends for life in that space, as well. You can check out photos from our life there here.

4. Northern Virginia. This is where we live now, and frankly, it's amazing. The way they do green spaces in the D.C. Metro area is impressive. Our house, like a gazillion others, backs up to a wooded common area that blocks out the houses behind us in the summer and provides a wonderland in the winter (those are my kids above in the woods behind our house, whom I swear were on their way to Narnia). D.C. is only about a half hour away, and I never get tired of driving over the hill and seeing that city--and I've yet to get bored of the museums and monuments. We've made some good friends here, too. You can check out more photos of our life in this area here.

5. Dream place: Monument Valley. I don't think they even let people live there (isn't it a national park or something), but I'd love to wake up to this in my backyard every morning.

(Images: Sonora, public domain via Wikipedia; Monument Valley, public domain via Wikipedia; the rest are mine)