25 Things I’ve Learned in the Desert

By Carol Dove

1) It isn’t as ugly as I thought it would be.
2) LED lights are wonderful. A $6.57 monthly electric bill says it all.
3) I live in a 30-foot trailer and have as much fun as the guy next door in a $150K motor home.
4) Swimming twice a day feels lovely.
5) Wearing shorts every day feels terrific.
6) Close windows when the wind is blowing from the direction of the stockyard. The one 10 miles away!
7) As you age, you’re prone to pulling muscles. Stretch before walking, riding a quad, or e-biking.
8) Some people shouldn’t be dog owners.
9) Canadians have funny sayings, eh? Did you know date bars are called matrimonial cake in Canada?
10) People from all walks of life come to the desert, and for all sorts of reasons.
11) When you leave your French bulldog in the trailer to go swimming, close the windows. Neighbors may think you are in severe agony or own a parrot.

12) Rumors spread quickly! Start one and see how fast it comes back. And how much it changes!
13) You can hand-feed a snapping turtle — and they won’t snap your finger off.
14) The desert is full of sharp things or sweet tasting things. Thorns (sharp) can go through a flip-flop. Dates (sweet) can make you fat if you’re not mindful.
15) You can get a dark tan while in the water. Even at 9:30 in the morning!
16) Take down your awning when the wind comes up.
17) A tooth filling in Mexico is 90 minutes away. And it costs about $50.
18) An electric knife is excellent for cutting foam… and a roast.
19) Making couch covers takes way less effort with a Canadian friend who is a retired upholsterer.
20) A junkyard bucket seat strapped to the back of a quad may look a bit “Beverly Hillbillies.” But it makes the ride much better on wash-boarded roads.
21) You and your neighbor can win 3rd place (!) at a chili cooking contest by just opening seven cans and gussying them up a bit. Do not tell anyone! (Let’s see how long it takes for that rumor to spread!)
22) There is something fun to do every day: Horseshoes, soaking in natural pots, aquacise, cribbage, dances, quad rides, Mexican train, bingo, poker, line dancing, or fellowship. You don’t have to know how to dance to dance. Or know how to sing to sing. You do need to know how to drive a quad though, or you might fly-off like our grandson did. (He’s OK!)
23) Beautiful blue skies. Beautiful sunsets.
24) Floating on your back, in the pool, on a moonless night, starring at the wonder of so many stars.
25) As our Aquacise instructor says, as we close each session, “We are all special!” We really are! Even with the aches, and the pains, and the hard things in life, I am thankful every day to be alive and to see new wonders all around me. Be content in your own skin, in the life you’ve been given, and realize what a great gift it is just to be alive. Learn to just be! For all of that, I am thankful and grateful to the desert.


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