By the time we left our six year interlude in Las Vegas to drive back north and settle in Minnesota I was finally able to whisper, I think I might really be a northern woman. I was shocked to feel even a twinge of a pull toward the cold. But then the sadness of withdrawal pushed back. So much to miss.
Beautiful wandering desert life. Paint box landscape colors: red rocks and purple mountains; greens, yellows, and blue-grays of tenacious exotic flora displayed against the never-ending, never-cloudy, always-everyday blue skies. Hiking in the close-by desert in winter and in the not-too-far-away mountains in summer. Balmy, bug-free, movie-set-perfect nights, screenless patio door always standing open. Being able to drive 20 minutes away from the crowded Strip out to dangerously isolated wilderness. Taking two black cats for a walk in the raw desert outside our door, then watching them avoid the scorching sun by running between cactus shade patches in order not to be left behind. Beautiful memories.
Desert was gone now. Time was coming to meet my northern teacher. I feared her name. Extreme Winter.