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  • Writer's pictureCherie

Change is good.

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

It was time for some change. A new website. Some new photos. A way to link together all of the stuff I do. What better way to kick it all off than a whirlwind trip to Arizona to get some photos taken by my talented photographer friend, Jared Platt? It turned out to be just the thing.

I had been having a gut feeling for a while that I needed some grounding. Maybe to find a piece of myself that had been missing for some time. It's weird that my idea of "grounding" was to catch a plane, but it was the right thing to do. It's been a couple of years since I've returned to my hometown in Mesa, Arizona. My husband has typically traveled a lot for work, especially over the holidays, and we have young children. Long story short, traveling has been complicated, and I haven't made the traditional holiday trips most people take with their families. It's made more sense to stay put for a while. But the winds are changing a little. My kids are getting bigger, Joe (my husband, how I love him) has been getting a lot of work closer to home, and some things have opened up to make it easier for me branch out. It would only seem natural that branching out might include visiting my original nest.

Arizonans typically have a lot of pride in their home state. I'm no exception, though I've lived in Utah long enough now, (longer than I ever lived in AZ) that I have some perspective. Look, I know that the sprawling strip malls of many parts of Mesa are not going to make it into Arizona Highways magazine. And it is so freaking hot! But my heart felt happy as I drove down streets I knew and saw places I used to go. Barro's Pizza was the hot spot after the high school football games. Pete's Fish and Chips was the place we zipped to during lunch if we really wanted to press our luck with the time limits and couldn't shake the craving. Thrifty Drug isn't where it used to be, but when I passed the shopping center I had memories come back to me of biking there for a double scoop of chocolate malted crunch, with cylindrical scoops.

As I looked at the street signs I remembered nervously driving my mom's big white Chevy at 10:23 at night, trying not to speed, but praying I'd make it home from Crystal's house in time to not get in trouble for curfew. My dad left the lamp on next to his bed, and I had to softly walk in to turn it off, hoping not to wake him and have him see 10:43 on the clock. (I totally had a 10:30 curfew. And my friends were so pure, this normally meant that I had to miss the end of an old Turner Classics movie or bow out of a broadway sing a long around a piano.)

The palm trees everywhere made me so happy. Something about the color of the sunlight in Arizona is just kind of magical to me. I'll admit that my whole past life in Arizona wasn't all sunshine and flowers, but there really was quite a bit of sunshine, a lot of flowers, and home is home.

Luckily Jared did take me to some beautiful parts of Arizona for photos. Yellow wildflowers! Palo Verde trees! And citrus blossoms. Jared thought I was crazy to think they smelled any different than other fruit tree blossoms, but they do. I have peach trees at home that I love, and they smell sweet in the spring. But not quite like a grapefruit or orange blossom. I almost cried.

When you take a look around the new website, if you didn't know it already, you'll maybe gather from the library of music I've recorded, or maybe just the lines on my face, that I'm not the new kid. I couldn't pretend to be even if I wanted to. Sometimes an artist of my age will try to reinvent herself somehow. Maybe start over. I don't feel a pressing need to do that, but I feel like putting everything together for this website has been a little like putting together a beautiful puzzle about who I am now and who I have always been. I love how the big picture is taking shape. I like where I have been, and I'm not even close to being done with all the things I want to do. I'm so happy to have you along for the ride. I hope when you hear my music, that it feels like home to you somehow in your heart. That it can maybe be your version of a delicious enchilada from Matta's, or an al pastor taco from Backyard Taco. (Half of this post has been about food, and I don't even care.) Thanks, everyone who has been with me from the beginning. If you're new here, welcome!

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Feb 28, 2022

From your first post on the new blog, as this is my night to discover you, I'm curious to find more...and I got a trip down memory lane as a gift!

You confirmed my feelings of wanting to check out my nest (Tampa, Florida), very happy memories of years of AZ Highways mag - the best ever! More...Magical Light in AZ from Phoenix thru Sedona (many precious trips), and Thrifty chocolate ice cream discovered living now in CA - so yum.

Thanx 🤗

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