The High Desert (Week 8)

Is there anything worse than the smell of burnt popcorn? Not only does it smell bad, IT LINGERS. It seems to permeate the curtains, furniture, and walls. I have tried opening the windows and the use of air freshener and candles, but here I am a week later and still smelling it. I digress.

I can’t believe I have less than two weeks here. The weather has changed and there is a coolness present in the air. It makes me think of Mary Poppins and her statement “I shall stay till the wind changes”(I know she didn’t mean that literally, but it still comes to mind). I have been working feverishly with the administrator to tie up loose ends, finish projects, and establish an exit plan. There is not a prospect to take my place, so I want to ensure that I leave them with the ability to “carry on” in my absence until they can find a replacement DON.

I am witnessing a migration south. The travelers come every evening to the campground and head out the next morning, headed towards warmer weather for the winter. The people that have spent the summer here are headed out as well, trying to escape the harsh weather that is to come. Wookie and I meet new people/dogs every evening at the dog park.

I have not committed to my next assignment yet, but I have found myself daydreaming about home lately. It has been exactly 6 months since I started this journey. I have only been home for two weeks in that time frame (most of it sick with COVID). Besides missing my family, I miss our bloodhound waking me up at night by standing beside the bed and laying his head beside mine, breathing his hot breath on me. I miss our fat cat that plants herself on me in the middle of the night. I miss my husband coming through the front door and calling out “Mamasita!” Or “Alissa Maria!” followed by “Where are you?”. I plan to spend a week there between assignments, but I know if will fly by too quickly. It would be an absolute blessing to be closer to home for the next contract. If I could just be within 10 hours of home or near an airport……

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