Day by day, little by little, Bill and I are getting settled in our AZ home. By the time we’re completely settled, it will be time to fly home for the holidays.

Of course, it doesn’t help that practically from the time our plane’s wheels hit the runway at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, we have been going to various and sundry doctors. Ya got your dermatologist; ya got your dentist; ya got your podiatrist. When we haven’t been to doctor appointments, we’ve been handling prescriptions that keep being filled in Denver despite the fact that we’re 700 miles away in Mesa, AZ. Every time we walk into our neighborhood CVS Pharmacy, they give us a side eye and then pretend they don’t see us.

It seems like this year, getting our house ready for our long winters’ nap in AZ (December 25 through May 1) has been more complicated than usual. For one thing, we don’t switch our Dish Network account to AZ until we arrive at the end of December. It just seems easier to keep it in Denver until we’re here for the long haul. So when we’re here at this time of year, we use the antennae that Bill installed when we purchased this house in 2010. It’s worked like a charm. Until this year, that is.

I’m looking at you Dish, because you are at the seed of the problem. Dish Network users know that Dish and NBC are in a fight, and it’s apparently a fight to the finish. And I don’t know when the finish is. So I was looking forward to our antennae so that I could watch two of my favorite programs live: Sunday Night Football, and The Voice. (I hear you all tee-heeing, but I am loud and proud.)

We turned on our TV the first night we were here, and quickly learned that our antennae was not working. Apparently it had something to do with the strong winds that they had here this summer. Bill, being Bill, managed to get CBS (thank heavens, because BLUE BLOODS), ABC, and the local Fox network. Alas, NBC simply wouldn’t show up as a working station. I kept wondering how Dish could ruin my television life even on antennae. But yesterday morning, Bill set his mind to it and was somehow able to make NBC show up via the antennae. I asked him what he did, and as usual, he had no idea. “I just poke a lot of buttons,” is always his answer. Doesn’t matter because it’s there.

Mesa, AZ, has such a different feel to it than Denver, CO. It has a lot to do with the fact that the population — especially starting about now — consists so much of retired seniors. The seniors mostly come from the Midwest — Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota — and so they are also mostly conservative. I would guess if we traveled out of our safety zone into downtown Phoenix, there would be considerably more Gen X, Y, and Z-ers than here. But if we headed north to Scottsdale, even the old, rich white folks would be conservative.

On the roads, drivers must always be prepared for the last-minute decisions senior drives make about taking exits. They might be in the far left lane, but if they see their exit, they GO FOR IT. Speed limits on surface streets are much faster and there are more lights at night for those driving with cataracts. Of course, one must also be prepared for the inevitable Phoenix Flips — U-turns that are legal because most surface roads have islands.

But the weather is nice and we have been able to have our cocktail parties out on our patio and watch the sun set every night. Bill has been enjoying his twice-weekly boxing class. I have been busily filling up our larder with food to get us through this month.

I think we’re ready to sit back and enjoy our time here for a few weeks.

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