Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blowin' In The Wind

I believed that all I needed to know about the Santa Ana Winds I had learned from reading Joan Didion, who famously described how the hot dry winds blowing up from the South as inspiring meek housewives in the Valley to cast their eyes from the knives they were using to bone chicken to their husbands necks.

Cool, right?

For the past few weeks, the Santa Ana has been 'a'blowin' here in the Desert. And, like, the Big Deal would be what?

In the wind, palm trees have this silvery tint, making them look like tinsel on a christmas tree. Apparently people who suffer from sinus problems have a hard time with the winds, and it does make my eyes red and watery on occasion, but I barely notice them, other than how they make the beauty of this place I call home even more striking.

They blow off and on, and they haven't slowed me down much. On Friday, I was washing cars with my fellow members of the College Of The Desert Architectural Club. (The purpose of the club is to raise money so that we can go ogle architecture. And I support that!) The car wash went well, marred only by my doing my best Not To Freak Out when I realized that the mini-van I was soaping boasted a "Yes On 9" sticker in the back window. So there I was, washing the Bigotmobile so I could go see Falling Water in May.

On Saturday, That Cowboy and I set off on an adventure. Way Back When, That Cowboy was named Scout Master of the Year in Montana, and he loves nothing more than the prospect of being out in the wilderness relying only on your wits and your Bowie knife for days at a time. In this case, it wasn't days but a day. We took the Tram to the top of Mount San Jacinto and spent the day hiking, rock climbing, and taking pictures. We found a nice little granite outcropping all to ourselves, the Coachella Valley spreading out before us with a view all the way to the Salton Sea, and from his backpack That Cowboy produced a feast that even included a nice Merlot to wash down the jerky, cherry tomatoes, and cheese.

(Impressive, no?)

The winds are blowing pretty strong today, but perhaps I don't notice them because I'm new in these parts. I can only describe the weather as "hot and beautiful," which is a description that could apply to every blessed day since I've been here. Perhaps after enough time, my sensitivities will be sufficiently refined to detect all the different varieties of Hot And Beautiful that the climate offers.


Gotta run. Today is the day I make my monthly run up to Desert Hot Springs to do my banking.


'bastian said...

One of the best things about Palm Springs is that you can be in the desert, take a < 30 minute trip up and over the mountain and suddenly be in a lush forest.

Grrr, and soon, SIR, you'll have 15 words for "hot wind" like the Eskimos don't really have for ice. ;)

Anonymous said...

Joan Didion always was a bit high strung, but you don't notice that when you're living back east, are impressed with her vocabulary, and the freshness of her observations makes them seem real.