I’m celebrating all week in honor of my beloved home state of Arizona. This coming Saturday, February 14th, while others are handing each other candy hearts and love poems, savvy Arizonans celebrate Arizona’s 97th anniversary as a state – the last state in the contiguous U.S. to be admitted to the Union (you know what they say about saving the best for last!).
Sadly, most of this great state’s residents let the event pass without much notice and I don’t think I’d be underestimating to say that most can’t even name our date of statehood. How sad! Particularly given our struggles to achieve status as a separate territory, much less statehood back in 1912.
I grew up watching all the westerns on TV from the time I was a tot – and I knew even then, back when I was knee high to a grasshopper, that I was going to move west one day. Then I came to Arizona on a brief vacation in 1990 and stayed at The White Stallion Ranch in Tucson and had my first glimpses of Arizona. I LOVED it. Then in 1996 I came here on a week long vacation and ran the roads of this state north and south, east and west and I was absolutely smitten. From that point on, there was no debate, no wondering where I would hang my hat for the rest of my life. It seemed I’d been pre-destined for Arizona.
Since moving here I’ve never ceased to be flabbergasted by the raw and natural beauty of Arizona, despite man’s attempts to obliterate it beyond recognition. I’ve never ceased to be in awe of the flora and fauna that survive here seemingly against all odds.
I think it entirely appropriate that the first military fort erected  in what is now Arizona was called “Fort Defiance.” Because over the course of history the land and the people of Arizona have defied all odds and persevered through many trials and still stands strong today.
In 2012 we’ll be celebrating our 100th anniversary as a state. There will be much celebrating on that grand occasion. I myself have a personal goal of having one of my Arizona based novels published by that time so that I might have an opportunity to share just a little of my love for Arizona with others.
Over the course of this week I’ll be sharing a few facts and stories about Arizona’s history. I love to examine Arizona’s history and do so whenever I can. And I hope to share just a few of my discoveries with you this week as we celebrate 97 years of statehood.
And if you’re visiting Arizona Inspiration and you have a story to share about Arizona, please do. I’d love to hear from you.