I cried when we went house hunting here in Joshua Tree, California. That’s a first.
I’ve cried when I’ve left friends and duty stations before but never upon arrival to one. Then we got orders to 29 Palms . . . for two whole years. Twentynine Palms is the place that you hear horror stories about when you’re stationed down in San Diego (where we spent almost 3 years before this).
Not many people choose to come here. Especially not people who want to homestead.
I’m a Missouri girl through and through. I love the rolling hills, beautiful old trees and grassy pastures. San Diego was foreign enough – how was I going to live in the Mojave Desert???
The Marine Corps would do itself a favor by not moving people here in the middle of the summer. It’s bleak. It’s hot. And it’s harsh. No wonder I cried!
We moved into our house in JT on the 1st of July last year. It was 104˚ and my Fly Guy loves to DITY (Do IT Yourself) move so imagine the scenario between husband and wife hefting a couch through the door in that heat. It was the perfect storm. Nevertheless, we made it through just like the last 8 times.
Now that I’m looking back over this last year, I’ve found that I have grown to enjoy the wild beauty that surrounds us. Yes, the summers are still intense but you work with it. I do my outside work in the morning and head inside by about 9am. I spend the day indoors, and, if we push back bedtime for the kiddos a little, we can enjoy the evenings outside from 7pm on. Still, at this point, we’re living for October.
Being a military wife, I’ve learned that there are always pros and cons to wherever you live. I’m coaxing a few veggies out of my garden by having a raised garden bed with a water reservoir and a homemade shade tent. I’m learning to do my baking in the (relative) cool of the morning or night. My boys automatically wear sunglasses and cowboy hats when we run errands – and know to ALWAYS have a water bottle with them.
The up-side? No mosquitos! Yes, that is my silver lining. I hate those things and this is my #1 perk to living in the desert.
#2 – I don’t think I’ll ever find a better place to line dry my laundry. It’s even quicker than using my dryer and there is something very satisfying about line-drying your clothes.
If you’re heading out this way, rest assured this can be a great place to live! About 9 months out of the year, my family is out of the house and hiking all over the Joshua Tree National Park. Hidden treasures abound – you just have to look for them! We’ve made some wonderful friends here and as much as we’re looking forward to a grassy lawn, there are some things that we’ll miss when we move. Like our view from our picture window at sundown:
I might even shed a tear or two.