My Parents’ New Home in the Desert

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I stole myself away from my busy life and trekked out to the desert to visit my parents and help them unpack their new home in the desert this last week. I really wish I could spend more time out there because it is sooooo awesome! I’m seriously considering retiring out there myself if I don’t pull off the cottage on the beach dream. It’s just desert and rocky hills and cacti and big skies as far as you can see.  And it’s so peaceful! I kept asking my mom if she wanted to turn on a radio or something because the quiet was almost unreal.

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But we didn’t. We kept it quiet except for our chatter as we unpacked. We worked and worked and worked at finding places for a lifetime of treasure-hunting. My mom has so many treasures! It is very, very, very hard to get rid of them for so many reasons. Each thing has a story or a special person they were picked out for. It breaks my heart when she tells me she’s saving this or that for this granddaughter or that, knowing that this or that granddaughter also has a busy life and no room for more “stuff.” It’s just sad because the stuff is so special!

Hoarding (and I say that affectionately. My mom is not as bad as some.) is such a difficult terrain for everyone to maneuver. Both my mom and I have felt deprived of things in our lives so we hold onto “stuff” so closely because we think someday in the future we might need them. It’s a psychological mine field. I inherited the gene too. I love a good treasure hunt through a thrift store but my house is getting more and more cluttered and I don’t want to end up with so many things I have no where to put them. I’ve often pondered getting a storage unit to let my hobby continue but I know it would be a bad idea. If only my mom and I could just open a store!

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This is just a fraction of the many many treasures. A fraction! And that’s not even counting the hundreds of trips they took to the dump and the goodwill. So many treasures. I am proud of my mom though. She has done the work. She has let go of soooo much and it has been hard. I’m really proud of her that she can navigate such a big change so late in her life. It is not easy. I cannot ever accuse my parents of being lazy. They are not.

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Somewhere underneath the layers of unpacked clutter you can see the bones of a really cute house. I love their new house! It has a lot of light and quirky colors on the wall. You don’t feel like it’s a mobile home at all, which I love.  It looks a lot better than this but my mom and I worked deep into the night and I stopped taking pictures because the light was bad.

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I will say this: Home is where the cats are. My mom’s cats have seemed to take in the new home with no problems. All five of them! (I have her sixth at my house: Kady.) They are not allowed outside which is a big change because they are used to roaming a half acre at their old place. But their new place is so close to the hills in prime coyote territory so they are staying inside. My dad plans to built an elaborate cattery outside for them and rest assured, I will definitely try to be part of that project. How fun, right?

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I wished I could have stayed longer and helped him get started on it but there was just too much to do AND too much for me to do back home (which is why I’m so late on this post). I’ll try to get out there again soon and maybe take the girls because I know they’ll want to explore the desert.

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My dad and I took a walk the next morning and checked out the scenery. It’s so pretty. I’ve always been a desert girl so this open space and desert fauna makes my heart sing.

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Look at that mist coming over the mountain. Isn’t it pretty?  It is really hot out there but they get a really strong wind that whips up around 3pm every day that cools the valley. Then the mornings are cool also. I am curious to see how cold it gets in the winter.

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I just love these plants. I know lots of people like lush gardens with neat and tidy rows of flowers. I am not one of those people. Give me some prickly cacti and some sage and I am happy as a lizard on a warm rock.

I look forward to many more happy visits!

Desert Vibes and the Last Pan Party

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My parents sold their house (yay!) and moved all the way across town to a retirement community nestled in the hills. It’s way way way way out in the sticks except I don’t think I’m going to call it The Sticks anymore. I’m just going to call it The Desert. Because it is! It’s the real legit desert with sage and decomposed granite and rocks and sand and cacti. It’s kind of like where Bella’s mom lived in Arizona in the first Twilight movie except less fake. I kinda love it.

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I didn’t take any pictures of their new home but it is nice. It’s a double (or triple, I’m not sure) wide mobile home but stuccoed in to look like a stick house. On the outside it looks like a trailer park but on the inside it looks like a really cute little home. I love the layout and they have lots of windows and space. In fact what they lost in real estate and their old park-like front yard, they gained in square-footage inside the house. Not foot for foot but definitely a feeling of openness and serenity. It’s great for my parents because they really need to spend less time outside trying to wrangle their massive yard in the hot sun and more time inside taking care of their glove business.

It’s going to be a while before I post any photos of inside the house because I’m not there as much as I’d like to be (I live too far away and I have too much family and work—gah!) and my parents are up to their ears in dusty boxes and don’t really want to be photographed. Though I really do wish I had taken some photos of my mom going through boxes in her new kitchen and sitting in her chair by the window. My mom is so cute. Next time I’m out I will make an effort to capture her in her new element.

But I did take a few pictures of the desert vibes when I took their dog, Spreckles, for a walk.

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It was hotter than Hades out there. But so pretty! I love how they are situated right up against the hills. It gives me some comfort that the sprawl of the city will have to stop at some point and my parents are right on that edge. Stay back over-population and all your problems! I’m happy for my parents. The only thing that would make me happier is if they found a way to move to Orange County but that’s not going to happen so this will do. I look forward to many more stories coming from The Desert.

 

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And speaking of stories, we wrapped our last Pan Party last Thursday. Nobody came but me, Payam, the kids and their friends. Which isn’t that bad actually. I wasn’t sore about it because like everyone else, I kinda sort of forgot about it until it was the actual day. I wasn’t so good about reminding people and making sure they were coming. People need to be hassled, that’s what I’ve learned.

I’m glad we did the pan parties this summer. It’s going to be a fun tradition and I can’t wait until we start it up again next year. I’m sure we’ll have more picnics and pool time before winter but we’ll give the monthly enchiladas a rest.

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Even though the temperatures don’t feel a bit like we are saying goodbye to summer and it will probably be hotter than dog’s breath until Halloween, we are saying goodbye to the laid back summer routine. It’s back to school this Thursday for the kids and Bug is going to middle school! I’m so excited for her.

Did you see my instagram story about her orientation day and how I embarrassed her in front of all her new classmates? I need to illustrate that one. It was a doozy. Definitely a parenting fail at it’s best.