As I sat on the couch and looked at the rain and gloom of another wintry day in the wilds of the Northwest, a voice in the back of my head made the not too obvious observation that there was a place in the sunny Southwest that had our name on it. We are, it must be noted, paying for it, the voice reminded me, and admonished that it was a waste to have it and not use it. Girded thusly, and reconciled to two days travel through snowy mountains and cold basins, we bravely made our way to the sunny environs of Mesa, the retirement mecca on the eastside of the Phoenix megalopolis.
Once arrived, we spent the better part of 5 weeks painting the interior of our humble doublewide to more reflect our desire for a warm welcoming kind of place-to match the nearly eternal sunshine that animates the American Southwest. That we went down to work rather than simply lounge in the light might strike some as counterproductive, but people such as we are so constructed, and to deviate is often a proscription we only acknowledge only after the fact. The more apt expression is one of work well done and of having made the place our own.
An important distinction, I believe.
Home now exists in more than one place. That 1400 miles separate the two might not be the most advisable, but it does provide two very different experiences: the cool of the verdant northwest and the heat of the southwest desert. And to be honest, the winters of cold, wet, and dark-even for me, a 36 year veteran of such weather-began to be wearying, especially in our Covid discontent. By the same token, a summer of 116 degree days also is wearying such that the cool clines of Washington become very inviting.
It’s the American dream, or was when I was a kid and I find I’ve fallen into it.
Whether or not it will be a regular part of our yearly existence remains to be seen, but it provides a reason to sit in the car and watch the world pass by with either destination something to look forward to.
©2021 David William Pearce