Well, here I am again…stuck in the middle of “old folks” village, Quartzsite, Arizona. A few years ago I couldn’t even spell senior and now I are one. To make things worse, my free Internet here has disappeared, and that means I have to go down to the Senior Citizens’ Center for an Internet connection. Please tell me it isn’t so; it’s like looking into a mirror of truth when I go there and I can’t get used to the image I see. I better get used to it – May 13 is my 50th high school reunion and that mirror isn’t going to lie either! I’m not complaining about my place in life. In fact, I wouldn’t go back one second. Besides, even If I could, you can bet I would just screw up at a different level.
I remember when my mom was 68 and she complained that her body was falling apart at the seams while still housing a brilliant mind. I don’t know if my mind is brilliant, but you can bet it can still write a mean murder mystery – although I can’t find my truck keys half the time. My wife complains that men don’t age like women; she maintains that if men had babies, they too would look much older. That may be true, but I will not go to my grave with a pristine, unused body, and that is as it should be.
I find myself looking forward to conversations with my peers. Perhaps that is a sign that I am finally becoming comfortable with my age. I remember not too long ago when I didn’t like talking to people my own age because I didn’t want to admit that I was a senior. Besides, what could they tell me I didn’t already know? How silly is that, you are what you are. My peers also have a huge storehouse of knowledge that should be shared before they leave the planet. Holy crap, it really isn’t all about me, is it – when I learned that, I was able to release many things that made me anti-social.
This time of the year is a great time to be in Quartzsite. The traffic is much less congested because most of the vendors have packed up their tents and left along with all the motor home dealers. There are a few tents left, but even they will be getting out of Dodge before the desert heats up like a cheap frying pan. It won’t be long and this place will be a ghost town with only the hardiest souls staying to brave the 118 degree plus temperatures. It’s surprising how many seniors live here permanently now. You can bet they don’t go outside often and when they do, it’s only for a short while to stock up on grub and drink.
I will be coming back once a month throughout the summer to water trees and check on our small homestead. Personally, I love the heat and enjoy sitting in the afternoon shade sipping a cold soda while sweating like a stuffed pig in a sauna. Once a desert rat, always a desert rat; you can take the man out of the desert, but you can’t take the desert out of the man. I was watching Laurence of Arabia last night and I can understand why he (Laurence) loved the Arabian Desert so much. The Sonora Desert affects me much the same way, and it also explains why the back of my neck resembles old shoe leather….
Well, I’m off to the “old folks’ hangout” to get this blog posted and shoot the bull with the regulars. I may even learn something new today, which is usually the case.