Sunday, June 02, 2013

Why Would Anybody Move To The Desert?

Renault: And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?

Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

Rick: I was misinformed.

Jennifer moved to Palm Springs to begin her new job. The first day she arrived the temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit. For the next month after work she spent every evening crying at a local bar. Where we live is often determined by the career we choose and the city we opt to live in.

Some come not for the waters but for the lack of them. Though modern science has made significant improvements in medicine there is still a lot that can’t be cured. “The clear air and hot, dry climate continued to attract people seeking relief from lung problems or arthritis. June LeMert Paxton and Elizabeth Campbell wrote of its benefits in their books, ‘My Life on the Mojave’ and ‘The Desert Was Home’. The Pearce and Gehr families opened a rest home for tubercular patients in Pipes Canyon.” I know some that came here with severe arthritis or significant lung issues. The heat and dry air make living for them easier than cold and damp climates. So they come to work or retire in better health and lower pain and discomfort.

My wife came to the high desert because she fell in love with me. I came to the high desert in an effort to save my first marriage. Some move to the desert because it’s two hours from Los Angeles and they can telecommute for part of the working week and drive in for only a couple of days.

We reside near Joshua Tree, the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. As it is on the edge of the park the area initially attracted a large mix of artists and types that love the outdoors. The Morongo Basin has over one-hundred artists in residence; enough to promote a Morongo Basin artist showcase for two full weekends each October.

Jennifer just spent her sixth year in Palm Springs, I’m going onto year number eight. We come for many reasons. We stay because we put down roots, we get comfortable and we adapt. Would some of rather be on a plane to other cities? We think so. The reality is that contentment isn’t dependent on where you live but rather who you are.

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