It’s a different kind of life,

Living in the high desert,

Where in the wintertime

Cold winds blast across

The barren desert floor,

Chilling you to your very bones,

And sometimes it snows,

At the very least

Snow will fall in the nearby

Tehachapi Mountain range

And it’s a pretty sight

On a sunny winter day;

I don’t mind the winter cold

Or snow (which doesn’t last long, anyway)

As long as I have plenty of wood

For the fireplace,

And the ingredients on hand

To make a favorite pot of soup

Or stew,

While in summertime

Temperatures may climb to

120 degrees (Fahrenheit)

“But it’s a dry heat”

The locals claim,

(Like that makes a difference—


Everything turns brown,

And many plants wither and die.

I don’t mind the summer heat

As long as I can stay indoors

Or inside an air-conditioned vehicle.

Then after the New Year

Comes the rainy season;

Sometimes torrential

Rains that can cause flash floods

In the desert

And can make our street

A raging creek;

I love a rainy day,

As long as I’m not driving in it

And can stay cozy indoors,

Watching the water cascade

Off the roof,

And I have a good book to read

And I think it’s a good day to bake cookies.

I think I love the spring,

Following the rains

When all the mountain ranges

And canyons turn green,

When wildflowers* bloom

In the most unlikely places,

And golden poppies bloom

Even right out of sand

Alongside the road—

It is the most remarkable sight

I have ever seen–

But the poppies disappear,

As quickly as they have bloomed.

And I love the fall, autumn days

When it cools down enough

To wear a sweater outdoors,

While planning Halloween

And Thanksgiving.

It’s a different kind of life,

Here in the high desert,

Where the weather is never half-way

It’s full throttle every season.

(I am still adjusting).

–Sandra Lee Smith/aka


Sandy’s note: This November marks my tenth year in the high desert; I have only begun to discover all that this region has to offer. In an article published by the local Daily News, I read that we have over thirty kinds of wildflowers. This past rainy season, my lawn, front and back, produced thousands of tiny little lavender wildflowers I have never seen before.




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