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Desert routine

The weather has been absolutely unchanging since we arrived here in Borrego Springs last Thursday: cool mornings in fifties with still air, then a whisper of a breeze starting around 9 a.m. We get mid-sixties for the rest of the day and blazing sunshine under cloudless skies, which gives us a few hours to open the door and windows of the Airstream.

borrego-palm-oasis.jpgBut it’s over all too soon at 3:30, when the sun dips behind the mountains and suddenly there’s a chill that makes me reach for my fleece. By 5 p.m. it’s dark and back to the low 50s, and small campfires can be seen at other sites for a few hours, until finally the cold desert night chases everyone back inside to spend a night with the furnace running against near-freezing lows.

I have developed a routine to accommodate the daily cycle. At 7 a.m. I get up with the sunrise, to maximum my exposure to the light, and do a little email on the laptop. After breakfast, it’s warm enough to be outside, so I commute over to the Borrego Springs Public Library (a small place in a former bank), and take a bench just outside the front door. For two hours longer I work there, using the library’s high-speed wi-fi, until my laptop’s battery runs low, and then return to the campground for lunch.

A little more work after lunch means I’ve put in 5-7 hours and can justify an afternoon of play, which has been variously explorations around the state park or ukulele practice. By 4 p.m. when the coyotes are beginning to yip at each other, we are back at the Airstream and I can do another hour or two of work before dinner. Although I’m most definitely not one for routines, this strikes me as a very civilized way to work. I may have to adopt a similar schedule for January in Arizona.

However, all this nice routine is about to go straight in the dumpster tomorrow, I’m sure. Bill and Larry are arriving sometime tonight, and perhaps also Lisa and her son Austin. All of them are going to be in vacation mode, which means lots of “what shall we do now?” and “aren’t you coming to the …”. It’s hard to be a dedicated and responsible publisher when such bad influences are around.

I’ll have to try hard. Tomorrow or Thursday we are going to “go live” with the new website. I’ll need to be standing by at the library to identify and resolve little launch difficulties, at least for a few days. It will probably take until about Jan 1 to get all the content running smoothly.

As I type this, Bill and Larry have pulled up in their very beautiful new Airstream Safari Special Edition and matching silver truck. They made a reasonably dramatic entrance, as good Airstreamers should, with trailer gleaming and red LED clearance lights glowing against the dusky blue sky. Larry says he’s made jook, which is a Chinese thing that we will be eating tonight apparently. Whe she heard this, Eleanor shelved the dinner she had already begun. Sounds like our routine is busted already, but in a good way.