I live in a subtropical climate, and I spent much of my youth in the "Land of Lakes." These events may have shaped me, or I may just have an unnatural fear. I hate the desert. That being said, I have never actually been to a desert. The idea alone causes shivers to creep along my spine. I have friends from such dry places as Arizona and New Mexico. These people will rave to me about the majestic, untamed wilderness, and I shudder. The thought of not living near a water source is terrifying - winds blowing sand at you all the time, no thanks. Looking across a wilderness without leafy green vegetation is just not for me. Having considered the desert often, with trepidation, I thought it would be the parched landscape that would drive me insane. Last weekend I learned, it would probably be the wind.
Being raised in "the windy city" (which refers to politicians more that weather), and having lived through numerous tropical storms and low-level hurricanes, I never considered the wind a problem (at least wind that doesn't require storing water, boarding windows, & a safe room). Until I spent a few hours in the pasture. Teen was volunteering for a child abuse awareness event (as a face painter), we arrived bright eyed etc. at a field remade into a child's haven of bounce houses and crafts. The wind, which ad been blowing for 2 days straight, was whistling by as we set her & friend up in their tent. It was proving a nuisance, but nothing more.
Until youngest and I spent over 2 hours walking, playing, talking, and trying to complete crafts, I had never really understood the references to the "Santa Ana's". While making a Lowes project together, I had hammers set on the directions, a pouch of nails under my leg and was trying my best not to lose parts as the nailing progressed. The parents across from us lost their nails 2x's, and seeing their tempers grow short was a reminder to me to hold tight to my nails! I wondered if they arrived grumpy, but honestly believe it was the wind - blowing their patience to its breaking point. The constant feel of dry air, was nerve racking. Now, before you go thinking I am melodrama personified, let me mention that not 1 but 2 port-a-pottys were blown to their sides. YUCK!
I spent the day wishing fervently for rain. The sky stubbornly remained an unblemished blue. Until Saturday night. The rain began. I confess, I had to temper my feelings to rush into the early morning for a chance to feel the moisture. I did sit on the porch and watch with thankful eyes as the rain drenched the world around me. The subsequent rainy day proved to be a refreshing reminder that I will face a hurricane over a desert any day. (and the dust-bowl, forget it - I would have run screaming)