Given what a beautiful place Seattle is people often ask Candace and me why we decided to move to Tucson. Aside from 30 years of gray skies and rain, the following article, which appeared in USA Today on April 5, 2006, sums it up pretty well for us. It's right on the money....

Sam Ward, USA Today

Get Your Party Started Before The Party's Over

The final word
By Craig Wilson

Every now and then, a news story will stop me cold. It happened the other day when I heard about some poor guy who was killed when a truck-load of lumber tipped over and fell on his car.

The only good news is that it happened so fast he couldn't have known what hit him. It was a classic case of one minute you're sharing morning coffee with your wife, the next minute you're dead.

I thought of him again when I read about the 12 Americans who had taken a day trip into the Andes and were killed when their tour bus plunged down a mountainside.

And then there were the people thinking they were floating around in the world of umbrella drinks when a fire raged through their cruise ship, killing one and injuring 11. Not what they were dreaming of when they signed up for a Caribbean vacation, I'm sure.

I'm a pragmatist. When it's your time to go, it's your time to go. Not much you can do about it. Yes, five seconds earlier and that man would have missed the timber falling on him on Washington's Beltway. But he wasn't, and he didn't.

Poor guy. Just on his way to work.

Personally, I've always thought dying on vacation was the better way to go.

The obituary would be so much more exotic if 1 fell off a camel in Morocco, say, than just "Craig Wilson died at his home in Washington, D.C., after a long illness."

I do have certain requests about my passing, though. I hope that if I die in a plane crash, it's coming from a vacation instead of heading to. I know, it's a small consolation, but I'd have a tan and would look rested at my calling hours. Not that there would be calling hours, but that's beside the point. The fun would have been had.

We can't control any of this, of course. As the old Jewish saying goes, "Man plans, God laughs."

I've done a fair share of stupid things in my life, a couple of which should have put me in the grave. But here I am, typing away as if I had a brain. The angels have carried me home more than once.

Which is why I'm always so amused by those who think they can control things. Their children. Their lives. Even the timing of their departure from this earth.

I have a friend who won't come to visit us because she says Washington is too dangerous. Lurking terrorists, I guess. Or maybe it's just good old-fashioned street crime that's scaring her away. Or maybe it's the politicians up on Capitol Hill who give her the willies.

But since I walk the dog every morning, have breakfast, go to work, walk the dog again, have dinner, and go to bed in Washington - and on occasion even have a pleasant time in the process - I find her reasoning a bit irrational.

She doesn't need to come here to meet her maker. She could die just as easily driving to work, killed by a pile of timber, never knowing what hit her. Or maybe she'd hit a cow. Who knows?

What I do know is that she'll never experience the cherry blossoms, or a hot dog at Ben's Chili Bowl, or a morning kiss on the neck from our dog, Maggie, whose job it is to wake every guest.

A high price to pay, I'd say, for playing it safe.

Copyright 2006, USA Today

I can't say how long these links will be valid, but here they are anyway.

Click here for original link to the above story.

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