We got into Phoenix last week around midnight on Saturday night after a very long day of traveling from Oklahoma City. We get to stay this beautiful, fully furnished home, the owners of which are a law professor and a speech therapist who are traveling as a family during summer break.
We’ve both grown up in very rural areas – the kind of thing where you’re accustomed to driving a half hour to eat or go shopping. Transitioning to life in Phoenix has been (and will be) fun. Hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops sit within just a few miles. But it’s also a very sprawling city, so we get the benefits of urban life and still have a yard on a peaceful street; a small yard – right now, we’re sharing a push-mower between three families.
This morning, Aleisha and I took a bike ride into central Phoenix. There are amazing murals painted on walls all over the city. We stopped for a drink at Songbird Coffee and Tea House, and then peddled through the eerily vacant streets and passed broken windows boarded over with plywood where protesters would gather again after dark. From our house we can see the helicopters whirring around the gatherings, just a mile or so from our house.
Caleb and Stephanie Reed are the directors at Aim-Right Ministries where Aleisha is interning for the summer. They’ve been serving with Aim-Right since 2008, and we get to live in the house right across the street from them. Last night, we had them over to our place for a kabobs; we’ve been making a lot of good food this week – mostly I just do what Aleisha tells me, and it works out pretty well.
Stephen and Nicole Franke are the founders of UnitePHX where I’ll be interning for the summer. In the past, this ministry has served as a connecting volunteers with organizations who need help. On the second Saturday of each month, Unite PHX brings people together for a breakfast, they listen to the various “pitches,” and then decide where they want to serve for the day. Covid-19 has shifted operations. So instead of bringing a group of volunteers together and sending them out, we’re hoping to move the process online – this way projects could happen anytime and anywhere. It will require a lot of website design work, and that’s what I’ll be focused on to start with.
I remember trying sparkling water for the first time and how much I hated it. Somehow I’ve comet to love the stuff and have taken to drinking about 3 cans a day. There’s a La Croix beside me now, and our fridge is stocked with several others brands, but our favorite is the Aha in the orange + grapefruit flavor. I convinced Aleisha, who has always had straight hair, to get a perm! It turned out really great – so now we’re both wavy on top. She’s also been making some really cool macramé plant hangers which you could snatch up on Instagram.
One of my favorite things in this house is the sign in the dining room.
“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with your and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”– George Eliot