As I take a glance down at a map of Arizona

As I take a glance down at a map of Arizona, I look for the place I call home. It is one of the small dots on Highway 89 between Flagstaff and Prescott. There it is, the small town of Chino Valley, home. A rush of emotion takes over momentarily as the beloved memories flood in. From the rodeos to lying on my back and looking up at the beautiful sky on a cool night; I remember and appreciate the privilege of living in a small town. Community gatherings were some of the most wonderful experiences from childhood to my life now. The small town school system allowed my peers and I to develop personal relationships with our fine educators and principles (most of which developed out of mutual respect for one another). Everything, from school to the grocery store, is welcoming.

If one were to look around Chino Valley, they would notice the simple beauty of the land. From the rolling hills to the humble structures of the town, everything unifies. The simple road names such as Center and One West make it easy to navigate. Countering the simplistic structure of the town itself are the beautiful homes. The houses differ between neighborhoods and each other. Around Christmas, it is wonderful to drive around and see the artistic display of lights. The individuality is apparent in times like these.

The beauty of the night sky takes ones breath away. The lack of pollution makes the view astounding. The billions of stars shine delightfully in the velvet atmosphere like diamonds. Every once in a while families lie out and watch comets pass. It is always chilly at night. Even the summer night has a cooling touch. Winter is a wonderful excuse to drink hot chocolate, warming ones self because of the icy bite.

Chino Valley is a wonderful community. A town doesn’t have much to offer if the people aren’t welcoming. As a community, we celebrate many holidays. On the Forth of July the towns’ people all go to the baseball field to watch the fireworks. The fireworks themselves are splendid every year. There is plenty to look forward to during the winter. The town cares about its people by making sure all can be touched by the beauty of Christmas. You can either be a caroler or have one visit you. When a holiday isn’t near there are other community events worth attending.

In the fall, Friday night means one thing, football. From toddlers to elders, many of the towns’ people come out to see the young men play. Other sports are also watched. The small town paper records the games for those who couldn’t attend. The theater is active. There are multiple plays annually put on by the schools and churches as well as the fabulous Chino Valley Community Theater. Needless to say there is a lot to be involved in here in this small town.

There are many churches around and they are all welcoming. There are also clubs one can join in. One specific club is the lions club with their bingo and fish fries, what more could one wish for. If one is into playing sports themselves, there are multiple leagues such as the three on three basketball league.

Chino Valley has a down-home feel imbedded in daily life. The “everybody knows everybody” and “everyone calls you friend” atmosphere makes for a comfortable environment. When one walks into a restaurant, they are welcomed with pleasing hospitality. Banking here is also an enjoyable experience. The close relationship one forms with their banker is rare in other places. You are a name rather than a number. The one grocery store is the place to go and see half of the people you know at any given time. It’s always a great social experience to shop in town. The customer service is terrific here, makes me wonder if everyone took a class on that one attribute. I love to think of my hometown as welcoming in all aspects.

There are many reasons to love Chino Valley. It could be the beautiful land or the midnight sky. On the other hand, perhaps it would be the people and their hospitality. One could correctly assume that is the mixture of all the wonderful components of this little town. Chino Valley is indeed a place to call home.

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