Jo Ann J. Lovelace
It was February 1956 when my husband was sent to New Mexico for two years. He was in the Air Force and of course I wanted to be with him even though it meant moving to a strange place. A place that was two thousand miles from home. At first I felt out of place in New Mexico but it was the place that the Air Force had decided we would live for two years. I was like a fish out of water gasping and flopping around in a strange environment.
A dust storm raged through our first night there. The wind roared whipping brush against the windows. Dust filtered through every little crack in the room. Being terrified I was ready to wave down the first greyhound headed East.
We all love our natural surroundings. The place we feel secure but I soon met many hospitable people and became accustomed to the dust storms wrath each evening around six p.m. and I no longer viewed the desert as a threat.
During our temporary stay in the desert we marveled at the radiant clear blue sky. A tumbleweed tumbling down the dirt road in front of our car that burst into a million pieces just before hitting us head on. Cactus that appeared to be at least thirty feet tall and Road Runners beeping as they raced along the roads.
Home to us was a small town in Tennessee. We missed the mountains that stretched out far as the eye could see. Brilliant shades of orange, yellow and brown leaves covered the trees in the fall. People would drive for miles just to see the beauty of the trees changing colors.
After two years we were home again. Things were somewhat different. The town had grown during our absence. There were more automobiles on the streets. There were more restaurants and an abundance of new places to shop.
I missed the friends I made in New Mexico. I missed the old gentleman and lady that were our landlords who had practically adopted us. I even missed those predictable dust storms that played havoc stowing dust throughout our home.
I liked the ravishing cool nights. I liked the feel of the sand between my toes. I liked hearing a coyote howling and seeing a straggly coyote who had gotten misplaced during a storm scurrying to get back to his natural habitat.
I liked the friendly smiles on friend's faces. I liked the closeness of the military families. I liked the hospitality the people showed and I learned to love the desert.
Anticipation was at its height several years ago when we went back to visit the desert. No one lived there that we knew anymore but new friendly faces had taken their place.
Copyright © 1998 Jo Ann Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.