All posts by Admin

White Mountains of Arizona

Arizona has been my home for my entire life and I wouldn’t change it any other way. I was born in the “Valley of the Sun” and moved to the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona when I was three years old. I have always loved living in the White Mountains. The forests, lakes, mountain peaks, and abundant wildlife set a tranquil mood for the residents of the White Mountains. I believe that my town, Show Low, is the epicenter for everything that someone needs in order to live a quality lifestyle.

Show Low is nestled in the majestic Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest which is the home to hundreds of species of wildlife. Tall, ponderosa pine trees can be found at every corner and avenue in Show Low. The White Mountains also experience four seasons from breath-taking snow capped peaks in the winter, to orange and yellow fall foliage, to meadows covered with tall grasses and flowers during the springtime, and finally hot summer days with cool breezes during the night.

Show Low has everything you need to live a proper life. The town is just only a three hour drive from the hustle and bustle of the city of Phoenix, only an hour drive to the border of New Mexico, less than an hour drive to one of the best skiing mountains in the state, and just a short five hour drive to the top natural wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon. Like I said before, Show Low has to offer everything.

Our town possesses a rich, cultural history that involves the stories of cowboys and Indians, the journeys of the pioneers, and the expeditions of the conquistadors. The White Mountains has a very diverse population as well which can show you, the reader, that anyone can live in Show Low. Our town is very involved with the outdoors. We have some of the best fishing lakes, rivers, and streams on the mountain that are the home to Arizona state record walleyes and the Arizona state record smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Our lakes are small but give the typical fisherman the feeling of comfort and calm while trying to snag the fish of a lifetime. The national forest also borders our town and is home to some of the most prestigious and exciting hunting in the entire southwest region of the United States. Our forests are the home to elks, deer, antelope, big horn sheep, brown bears, and mountain lions and an abundant variety of birds, just to name a few.

Show Low is also a hot zone for most snowbirds from the Valley and Tucson areas and attracts many other tourists from around the country and even the world. Our town is a service industry that focuses on the tourist season to increase our town’s economy and annual revenue. The White Mountains offers a variety of leisure activities for the typical tourist. We have excellent restaurants with great service and food, four star hotels, hunting and fishing, the number three RV Park in the entire country, one of the best casinos in the entire state, and don’t forget about the best skiing and snowboarding in the state during the winter season.

I love Show Low and the White Mountains so much that I am going to stay in the area and attend college for a year at Northland Pioneer College. 

I suggest that if you want to get away and stay away from the stress of the metropolitan areas, then move to the White Mountains and still live fairly close to the city. Our town has everything you need to live a stress free life and is perfect for the elderly couples that are ready to settle down and retire. Show Low is an excellent area to raise a family. I can say from experience that our schools can give your children a great education in a friendly and professional atmosphere. Many people live in Show Low in the summer and stay in a warmer part of the state like the Valley, Tucson, or Yuma but they are missing the beauty of the fall and winter seasons in the White Mountains. This time of the year is just as pristine and awesome as any other time of the year.

When you look at other parts of the country, you always notice the residents of these areas experiencing the wrath of Mother Nature in the form of hurricanes, tornados, hellacious winter blizzards, devastating mudslides, torrential thunderstorms, and blinding fog. Then, if you look at Arizona, you really don’t experience any of these natural disasters. The only thing that Arizona residents experience is a very dry, excessive heat and maybe a few dust storms. I think that the weather in Arizona is one of the main aspects that influence residents from other states to move and stay living in Arizona.

Another factor that people look at in Arizona is the amount of population. Arizona has become the second most-growing state after Nevada in the entire country. This scenario signifies that Arizona has become a haven for new residents. I strongly feel that if someone does move to Arizona, they should contemplate and seriously think about moving to the White Mountains and experiencing a perfect lifestyle. Our town is the ideal size to retire, raise a family, and experience the great outdoors all at once.

Finally, I believe that the greatest factor that influences a person to move to a different place is a change. Being a resident of the White Mountains for more than fourteen years of my life, I can say from experience that Show Low is a unique town that you can’t find anywhere else in the state. I guess you could say that any Arizona town is unique but still not as great as Show Low. Our town is one of the few places to experience four seasons, a diverse population with different cultures and customs, crisp and invigorating scenery, a tranquil atmosphere, abundant wildlife, and great people with an overall optimistic outlook on life. There is no other place like it! I don’t know about you, but these descriptions sound really fresh and appealing to me and I even live here!

Like I stated above in the essay, the White Mountains have everything anyone needs to live a great life. I truly believe that the home where a person resides affects their entire outcome and outlook on their life and their future. Don’t wait any longer. Experience everything that Show Low and the White Mountains have to offer and see what I am talking about!

Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once

Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once? I feel that I am in two places at once because I grew up in the small town of Prescott, Arizona, and I currently live in the dorms at the University of Arizona. There are varied cultural characteristics between Prescott and the U of A, such as personality types, living styles, geographical surroundings, and safety. Three main factors that contrast the diversity of these two places are the closeness between friends, the quiet town vs. the noisy rush of the U of A, and the difference in personal responsibilities. Being immersed in both cultures has brought me an instant appreciation for their distinctions. Although both cultures are different from one another in significant ways, there would be no way to choose just one.

Once I have adapted to one culture, and then accepted another, I was able to compare the values of each culture separately. What I treasure most about my life in Prescott are the close relationships that I’ve grown up with most of my life. My family, best friend and long-term boyfriend all keep my relationship with Prescott incredibly close. Though these relationships have been formed slowly over many years, living on-campus brings new, intense levels of friendship. Close relationships develop in a shorter period of time at college due to a lack of privacy and spending literally twenty four hours with some people. In the dorms, in class, and around campus, I am never alone. My U of A dorm mates and other new friends are growing together because we are going through the same experiences together, and this makes a month here seems like the equivalence of three months in Prescott. Though time changes this aspect, both types of relationships are valuable and precious.

Just like the types of friendships, the entire ambience is different. Prescott is a town that maintains absolute serenity and peacefulness, and the Tucson campus maintains an on-the-go lifestyle, even though the populations of both places are about the same. This comparison makes people realize how small Prescott is, or how large the University of Arizona is. Remaining in the hustle-and-bustle during the week is an ideal lifestyle for me, but the tranquility on the weekends is what gets me away from the pressures and chaos of campus life. Together, they are equally rewarding in terms of what makes me truly blissful.

This ambience is what shapes my lifestyle. Many personal lifestyles at the University of Arizona differ from mine, especially the parties, and drinking on the weekends. This makes it effortless to go back home to Prescott and know that I’m not missing out on anything if I stayed in Prescott. This is where my close friends that I grew up with in Prescott become so crucial in my life. My friends can fully relate to my traditional weekends, that no one seems to understand at the University. Spending time with people I know more than anyone else in the world, who share the same interests as me and have made me entirely appreciate what I have in Prescott. Choosing friends based on similar personality types are hard to find, and these friends are worth keeping wherever they may be found; walking in two different shoes has made me know where my true friends really are.

Another aspect that I didn’t think much about until I was immersed into the culture at the University of Arizona is the difference between responsibilities. Though it may not be realized, the little things that are taken for granted, becomes understood when you are now responsible for it. Even miniscule things such as cleaning the room, doing the laundry, getting enough sleep, and not skipping classes seems to be self-explanatory; but they can be easily dismissed in college because no reminders are given. I believe this is where students fall into bad habits and if you don’t choose your friends wisely, there are negative forms of guidance all around. Some realize what they need to do on their own, and some obviously need the guidance that their parents gave them, and if they are choosing the wrong type of friends, they will be leading an unwanted future lifestyle.

Until people are given the opportunity to prove what their parents taught them is going to good use, they can’t understand the meaning of responsibility. Sometimes as a freshman, away from home for the first time, it is extremely hard to keep motivated. This is especially evident when you know that there aren’t any consequences from your guardians. One thing I’ve realized is how self-determined you need to be in college to be successful, and the only one who will pay the cost is you. As un-useful as it may sound, you need to apply everything that you have been taught by your family and other good influences when you become a college student, because it is so easy fall under. Being away from home makes the pieces come together that you would never see unless you are in a position where you are accountable for yourself. Growing up in a small town, and being immersed into a new, large culture has been one of the best things I could ever ask for in terms of not just education, but knowledge of life. Feelings of great fortune and thankfulness are the only words I feel are appropriate when I speak about my astonishing family life and the ability for them to let me comprehend and experience what I needed to become whole.

When I think of what my ‘culture’ is, I feel that it’s appropriate to say that my family traditions, close relationships, and all around way of life are found in Prescott, but Tucson was the missing part of my life. I now know that I live in two contradictory worlds. Both amaze, and surprise me in ways that I wouldn’t know were possible without being able to experience both perspectives. I will never regret any of the experiences that I’ve had in Prescott, or Tucson, and I will keep on continuing to grow as not only a young adult, but as a person, because of living in these two places at once.

I grew up in south-central Arizona

I grew up in south-central Arizona in the small town of Oracle. In this charming town, I was given the life lessons to become a well-rounded and contented person. Very simply, I learned to be happy, because I was surrounded by safety, love, and support. The town, the community, the school, the landscape, and the individual people that touched my life all played a role in shaping who I am today. It was here that I learned the importance of community, family, and friends. Through my childhood experiences and having good people as examples, I learned values that would guide me through life. I am grateful for the town in which I grew up and gained my character.

We moved to Oracle when I was two, to be near our family. My mom was a single mother, trying to cope after a devastating divorce and struggling to support two kids on her own. We moved in with my grandparents, but Mom made sure it was only temporary. My mom began teaching first grade at Oracle Ridge Elementary. As soon as she earned her first paycheck, we moved in to our own place. She was now a working mom, and she needed to find someone she could trust to take care of her kids. This can be a difficult decision for a mother, but we were blessed that we didn’t have to look far. Mom began sending us to the local daycare run out of the home of a very special woman named Joy Niemeyer. We all called her Grandma Joy. Grandma Joy was a gentle, yet strong-willed woman who influenced me in a way that no other individual has. She was a cornerstone of the Oracle community, and she embraced my family whole-heartedly. Within her home and the community at large, we found the warmth and support that we needed during our rough transition.

The town of Oracle was a wonderful place to grow up. When my older brother Joseph and I were old enough to go to school, we went to the same school where my mom taught. My mom teaches in Tucson now, and she looks back on her years at Oracle Ridge with fondness, remembering a simpler time and place, free from much of the politics that develop at larger schools and the difficult demands now placed on all teachers. Mom was favored as a teacher for her innovative and caring approach. She even taught two of my best friends, Breelan and Kristen, who both also went to Grandma Joy’s.

Oracle was such a close-knit community, and the school was small enough that we could do things that would be unheard of at a larger school. For example, we had a school-wide sleepover at one time. We all brought sleeping bags and camped out in the library. Teachers read to us and we played games. It was so much fun! It was a special circumstance to be able to attend the same school where my mom taught. When my best friend Breelan and I would get in fights at recess, we would both go to class crying. My mom was Breelan’s teacher, and she would take Breelan out of class and come get me out of class so we could talk it over. Mom fixed everything.

Grandma Joy would pick us all up after school, and we would walk to her house. It wasn’t like these modern daycares where the kids are cooped up indoors, and are sat in front of a TV screen to keep them busy. If these kids are fortunate enough to go outside, they are corralled in a box-like yard with no space to run and play. Grandma Joy’s was just the opposite. There were trees and rocks to climb. There were boys and girls playhouses. There were monkey bars, swings, and a tunnel, and plenty of space to run around. We had the freedom to be imaginative and even the freedom to get hurt on occasion. They weren’t so worried about lawsuits that they wouldn’t allow us to be kids. 

If we forgot our lunch, Grandma Joy would make us Spaghetti O’s or ramen noodles. In the summer time, she would let us play in the sprinklers. The only thing that could end our fun was when it was time to go home. At Grandma Joy’s retirement party, I spoke in front of all the guests, and in a tearful voice declared that I never even knew Grandma Joy’s name was Joy Niemeyer.

The wonderful people were the greatest aspect of the town of Oracle. Kristen and I started doing gymnastics, and when we got good enough, we had to commute all the way to Tucson three times a week for practice. Our moms teamed up, and worked out a carpooling system. Kristen’s mom Helen and her dad Greg were some of the wonderful people I’m talking about. They lived on Willow Springs Ranch, and my brother and I spent a lot of time with their family. They also had a son, and the boys would go out on the ranch, rounding up cattle. One of my best memories is when Greg took all us kids riding up the Black Mountain, and we camped under the starry sky.

I truly got to experience the singular beauty of the Oracle terrain when I visited Breelan’s house. She lived on a few acres of land, and there was a creek running through her yard. We would wade all the way down the creek in the cold water and swim in the waterfall that came under the bridge. There were lots of trees and greenery. She lived in a forested area, but there was also a mix of desert plants. Down stream, we found a giant tree that was nearly dead. All the dried-up branches hung down to the ground in a huge canopy. Being the explorers we were, we tunneled under the canopy and discovered that there was a vaulted room inside. We made this into a fort, and it provided a great hideout. When we climbed to the top, we could look out over the magnificent terrain.

The time I spent in Oracle, Arizona, the wonderful people my family encountered, and the memories we share will always be close to my heart. I will remember my childhood dearly. I never knew the struggles my mom went through to provide for her family, because I always had everything I needed. I had a comfortable home and people who cared and were there for us. That is truly what it means to be part of a community. Single mothers who work often face a no win situation, because they can’t spend enough time with their kids. Our family was blessed that my brother and I got all the nurturing and love we needed at home and at Grandma Joy’s. Kristen and Breelan are still my good friends, and it is fun to reminisce about the old days. Maybe someday I can give my children the childhood I cherish by raising them in Oracle, Arizona.

I was born and raised in Kingman, Arizona

I was born and raised in Kingman, Arizona. My mother is also a native of Kingman. My parent’s chose to live in Kingman after college because they felt it was a small, safe community. I have always loved living in Kingman. As a small child, I was involved in many programs this city has to offer. I took swimming lessons and played soccer and baseball. This was a great way to meet friends. I am happy to say, the friends I met in those activities are still my friends today. 

My parents are both teachers. This was an advantage and disadvantage. The public school system has been wonderful and I feel I will be successful in college because of all the things I have learned. I also played Volleyball and Tennis for Kingman High School and feel their sports programs were very well run.

My family likes to do outdoor activities and we have always enjoyed what Kingman has to offer. The climate of Kingman is perfect. We have the beautiful Hualapai Mountains just 15 minutes outside of town. They have snow in the winter and they are a nice place to hike in the summer. We also have many lakes in the area. Lake Mohave is 30 minutes away and we enjoy spending time fishing, water skiing, and boating. 

The city itself has so many wonderful things. There are many parks and areas where children can play safely. There are two public swimming pools and a parks and recreation center that offer many activities for children and adults. The city also offers a variety of arts and crafts fairs and rodeos. Andy Devine Days is special to Kingman because Andy Devine lived in Kingman and every year we celebrate by having a parade and rodeo. 

I know that Kingman is a big part of who I am as a person. It is a very comfortable and friendly place. People care for each other and look out for each other. Being from a small town has so many advantages. I have always felt safe. I know the people of this town and I am proud to say I am a Kingmanite.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Driving on an unpaved dirt road, we pass the local Dine’ Market. Desert as far as the eye can see. Broken-down cars and trucks on bricks line the streets. Stopping to get a drink at the Mustang Gas Station, which is not too far from the Old Hogan. Giving my change to a man who seemingly slept by the pump the night before and I hope he uses it for a meal that day, and not a drink that night. Children running through the streets howling like coyotes, half-naked and filthy from playing in the waterhole. Untamed horses abruptly running loose through the recently watered cornfield, disturbing the famished crows. They are famished for a very good reason; it is 102 degrees today.

Not quite the best first impression; however, I step out of my excessively equipped, family sports utility vehicle with nothing but optimism in my heart and anticipation in my eyes. I cannot wait! I am fourteen years old and this is the year I will have my Kinallda. The year I finally become a woman. I walk over to the Old Hogan, almost overwhelmed with excitement, but slightly frightened. My hands and forehead begin to sweat. All I can think of is the look on my parent’s faces when the tradition is complete. When they at long last will speak the words, “my daughter is a woman!”

I have never had a Navajo ceremony performed in my honor before. I’ve attended many, on countless occasions, but never have I had to endure the rituals physically. My mother was born and raised on the Navajo reservation, but our family comes back to visit only once a year. These visits were insufferable for me before, however this year is special. This year I will be blessed! I am rushed into my bilth (a rug dress) and turquoise jewelry. The ceremony is four excruciating days of hard work and tests of my endurance. Testing my ability to tackle difficult situations, and teaching me the old ways of my people.

When the last prayer has been made and the last song, sung, the ceremony is complete. I am now a woman. In these four days, I felt myself grow and mature. I knew I was a different person. I was a better person! I knew that I could no longer be content with the way my Native-American family was living. Raised poverty stricken and corrupted from their infantry. Since I have grown as a person, I will strive to be more than I was before. I want to become financially stable so that I can help the community I’ve grown to love so much.

Inspiration can come in many shapes and forms, to all colors and creeds, but what precisely is it? Inspiration by definition is a divine influence. My inspiration is the home that I visit once a year, my sanctuary. I picture the colorful mountains, the sounds of the wind and eagles screaming, and the air so warm and embracing. At night the sky is so clear, the stars appear to be only an inch away. The sunrises reveal the truth that there is a God.

Entering high school is a huge step. I’ve always had an interest in business, so instead of taking all honors or AP courses, I focused on what interests me the most. Therefore, I applied for the business academy. This academy allows me to be involved within my community, from my four years of volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of Whittier to the Chamber of Commerce activities, I am invited to because I am a student representative. The minimum community service required for this academy is 30 hours but all totaling up to over a 150 hours of community service. I believe that, by pursuing my career and accomplishing my goals, I will have an opportunity to make life easier for the ones I love. Home is where he heart is, and my heart belongs to my people.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Driving on an unpaved dirt road, we pass the local Dine’ Market. Desert as far as the eye can see. Broken-down cars and trucks on bricks line the streets. Stopping to get a drink at the Mustang Gas Station, which is not too far from the Old Hogan. Giving my change to a man who seemingly slept by the pump the night before and I hope he uses it for a meal that day, and not a drink that night. Children running through the streets howling like coyotes, half-naked and filthy from playing in the waterhole. Untamed horses abruptly running loose through the recently watered cornfield, disturbing the famished crows. They are famished for a very good reason; it is 102 degrees today.

Not quite the best first impression; however, I step out of my excessively equipped, family sports utility vehicle with nothing but optimism in my heart and anticipation in my eyes. I cannot wait! I am fourteen years old and this is the year I will have my Kinallda. The year I finally become a woman. I walk over to the Old Hogan, almost overwhelmed with excitement, but slightly frightened. My hands and forehead begin to sweat. All I can think of is the look on my parent’s faces when the tradition is complete. When they at long last will speak the words, “my daughter is a woman!”

I have never had a Navajo ceremony performed in my honor before. I’ve attended many, on countless occasions, but never have I had to endure the rituals physically. My mother was born and raised on the Navajo reservation, but our family comes back to visit only once a year. These visits were insufferable for me before, however this year is special. This year I will be blessed! I am rushed into my bilth (a rug dress) and turquoise jewelry. The ceremony is four excruciating days of hard work and tests of my endurance. Testing my ability to tackle difficult situations, and teaching me the old ways of my people.

When the last prayer has been made and the last song, sung, the ceremony is complete. I am now a woman. In these four days, I felt myself grow and mature. I knew I was a different person. I was a better person! I knew that I could no longer be content with the way my Native-American family was living. Raised poverty stricken and corrupted from their infantry. Since I have grown as a person, I will strive to be more than I was before. I want to become financially stable so that I can help the community I’ve grown to love so much.

Inspiration can come in many shapes and forms, to all colors and creeds, but what precisely is it? Inspiration by definition is a divine influence. My inspiration is the home that I visit once a year, my sanctuary. I picture the colorful mountains, the sounds of the wind and eagles screaming, and the air so warm and embracing. At night the sky is so clear, the stars appear to be only an inch away. The sunrises reveal the truth that there is a God.

Entering high school is a huge step. I’ve always had an interest in business, so instead of taking all honors or AP courses, I focused on what interests me the most. Therefore, I applied for the business academy. This academy allows me to be involved within my community, from my four years of volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of Whittier to the Chamber of Commerce activities, I am invited to because I am a student representative. The minimum community service required for this academy is 30 hours but all totaling up to over a 150 hours of community service. I believe that, by pursuing my career and accomplishing my goals, I will have an opportunity to make life easier for the ones I love. Home is where he heart is, and my heart belongs to my people.