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The wind

This place, the Desert Oasis RV Park on Double Adobe Road, is very windy.

The wind starts midmorning and goes off and on all day. It usually goes east, down from the mountains to the west of us. It’s gusty and dusty, and when it really gets going it just beats everything down, blowing sustained for hours.

The wind is serious enough that we can’t put the Airstream awnings out for shade, and often it’s too strong for the windows or roof vents to be open as well. This has been of note for us because we are still working full time, and often times, in the sunny, 80-degree heat of the Arizona midmorning, the Airstream is our office.

We do open the front screen door for cross breeze from time to time, but one day last week a dust devil whirled up and nailed us, coating everything in our living room (including our keyboards) with fine layer desert powder. Usually now we just turn on the AC.

Our first couple of days here we tried working out of the RV Park clubhouse, but that didn’t last long. The high speed internet up there was not as high speed as we’d thought, and three days into working there a memo went out about limiting individual wifi use to 2 hours a day. Then Len scolded us for rearranging tables in the clubhouse without asking, (even though a resident puzzle-worker told us it was fine).

So, we’ve been cooling our heels in Old Bisbee, working at the Copper Queen library or various cafes in the afternoons. But in the mornings we just work from Totto, and we do our dance with the desert wind.

The air is calmer around sunset, and we often go on walks then through the trails here after dinner. Then at night the wind returns, and this is when it gets the strongest, buffeting the Airstream until it rocks like a ship at sea. By then the temperature is down in the 50s or 40s, and we click on the furnace until dawn, when the last gusts of the night are waiting to greet us.

Leaving things outside is a risky proposition here. The wind has flipped buckets and toppled folding tables. At first we put stones the size of baseballs on the corners of our rug at our front steps, but the wind blew the rug out from under them. We found larger, t-bone steak sized rocks, and put them on the rug, but by morning still the whole apparatus usually slides out of place. Our camp furniture currently lives face down on the dirt (more aerodynamic that way), with a big rock on each chair, another on our camp table. So far those haven’t blown away.

For the flagpole dedication ceremony on our first day here Paul and Len had zip-tied tiny American flags to the campsite address posts all around the park. For several days these flags held fast, being tormented by the endless cycle of wind like some kind of metaphor for arbitrary resilience. But now the flags have finally started to break free, and we see them at rest in the dust of the gravel driveway, cradled at the base of the thorny mesquites.

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