Southwest Salsa

     I grew up in WI, and since about the time I was five,  my parents would pile the three kids, the slobbering dog, and our belongings and drive like mad in our rattletrap car down to Tucson, AZ during spring break. My Grandparents were snowbirds down there and we took the opportunity to escape (if only briefly) from the grips of the Wisconsin winter.
     We somehow managed to weave around snowstorms, rain, tornados and dust storms on our journey to the southwest.

     Despite the challenges, it's worth it considering what we were escaping from. Back in Wisconsin–still in the dead of winter, the senses are not satisfied. Trees lie dormant, flowers and shrubs are covered in a thick blanket of snow. When it's really cold even the birds and critters that remain become dormant too. There is no sound or smell outside for weeks. By spring, the persistent cold has kept the snow around for months–everything looks drab and dirty. The dim winter sun is just starting to wake up again.

     By the time we make it to Arizona our mouths are salivating for salsa, our eyes squint in the southwest sun, our nostrils drink the fragrance of sage bush from the air, and our ears fill with the sounds of local birds and creatures. The change to the southwest climate is a blast to the senses. And this is why we come back again and again.