It snowed in Chicago today. I mean, it is not even Halloween, and it snowed. By way of contrast, it is mostly sunny here in PebbleCreek with a forecasted high of 72.

The weather is one of the primary reasons that 200 people arrive in the greater Phoenix area on a daily basis and Maricopa County (which includes PebbleCreek) is the fastest growing county in the United States.

From my years in the Chicago suburbs, St. Paul, MN, and the cities of the east coast, I remember snow fondly (and I still love to visit it!). I am particularly grateful for the “snow days” of my youth that would pop up with regularity – giving me permission to do little else than sip hot chocolate and read something fun but absolutely mindless.

As I watch my dad continue to live his life in the Chicago area, however, I am less enamored with snow. And as I talk with my clients who are moving in to Pebblecreek from other parts of the country, I know that living in snow as an adult has its challenges.

There are the obvious challenges that have the potential to be life changing… to some of us, for example, a slip on the ice can be a devestating catalyst for any number of health challenges. Shoveling heavy snow can become increasingly difficult (and risky) as we age and taking care of cars in ice and snow can almost zero out any positive aspect of owning a car – especially if that car is not in a garage.

I have also heard my clients talk about the isolation that winter brings. When travel of any kind – even to the mailbox – requires layers of warm clothes, some boots, gloves and a scarf, it is easy for people to become a bit more isolated than they are used to being. For some folks who live here in PebbleCreek, the combination of the physical isolation of the midwest winters and the mental and social isolation resulting from retirement led to a cross-country move.

If Dad wants to go anywhere today, he will have to get his car shoveled off, drive it on snowy roads, navigate icy parking lots all while wearing lots of clothes and attempting not to aggravate the typical aches and pains of aging.

I am wearing flip flops today. I rode my bike a good 10 miles yesterday to the grocery store and back. Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in the United States. I don’t have to ask why.