The desert is not a neutral place. I either feel intense happiness and wonder, or I'm pretty discouraged.
I'm learning to wake up early, in the 5am hour, both to see the sunrise, and to begin working when both the house and outside are relatively cool. Getting up so early makes for a very long day. I can get lots done in morning. (See cross-offs on lists below--I live by lists.)
Then around 11am, I begin to wander in circles and get overwhelmed. Because I'm heating up and don't think clearly when hot, it's time to crank up the AC in one of the rooms and rest. The afternoons are not usually good. I get crazy and feel like we'll never get the place in any kind of shape. The trash still on the property weighs on me. The large projects we can't seem to get started (electricity repair, for example) hit wall after wall. At least we have water.
Besides psychological highs and lows, there are the physical ones. Earlier this week we created a temporary outdoor shower, using a table top (found on property), garden house and sprayer. We set up some old metal doors (found on property) for a bit of privacy, but in reality, there's no need. We are totally alone, and could run around all day naked if we wanted to--not a pretty picture! It's so beautiful to shower under cool water and puffy clouds!
The day's true low... when do you install a window AC unit? At night when it's still 102 and you're sweating, and a biblical swarm of bugs flies in the open window, landing all over your bed, that's when.
Next day is a new day, though, and I'm high again, and looking forward to my midday shower under the tamarisk trees.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.