Thursday, June 6, 2013

Loving Desert Living

I've lived out East, in the Midwest, the great State of Texas, the South, and in the desert Southwest. The desert has a unique beauty and ruggedness to it that appeals to some of us. Over time, I have learned to love it, but it did require some adjustment. Here's a mini guide for the uninitiated:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The dry air sucks moisture from us. We have to constantly replenish it by drinking water. Don't drive away to run errands without drinking water in your car. If you have car trouble, exposure can be life-threatening.

Moisturize. Our skin, hair, and nails need heavy-duty protection or we will all dry up and blow away.

Suncreen is a daily requirement, especially in the summer months when the sun is brutally strong. Don't forget your scalp (or wear a hat). It's common practice to see a dermatologist on a regular basis, to examine any skin damage. Invest in good sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Water is precious, and we don't take it for granted. During the summer monsoons, we love to sit on the patio and marvel at the rain and smell the fragrant air.

Open-toed slippers are recommended so no scorpions can hide in the toes. Scorpion bites can be very serious, even on extremities. Have a professional service treat the outside foundation of your home to create a defensive barrier against creepy crawlies.

Splurge on pedicures. We live the summer in sandals (including golf sandals).

It's impossible to keep up with the dusting. Between the dust and the wind - it's just everywhere. Hopefully, you're not allergic to dust.

We share our habitat with critters. Bunnies and hummingbirds are charming. Javelina and coyotes are also prevalent. Remember that javelina are practically blind. Don't get too close (especially if they have babies), and they won't feel threatened. They may trample your garden and eat your flowers. And they are very stinky. Coyotes have plenty of food here. Like javelina, they are mostly out at night. They'll occasionally wake you with their howling, but otherwise don't bother humans.

Some of these facts of life about desert living may sound unappealing. To us, the beauty, the outdoor living, and the stark and gentle displays of nature have won our hearts forever. Every sunset over the mountains is a gift. Every patio gathering with friends is a new blessing. Every raindrop is a miracle. Every clear, fresh morning is a rebirth.

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