The promise of ocotillo green

Monday, January 16

The desert is greening up!

When Reggie and I pull into Midland Long Term Visitor Area back on the eighth of December, I’m struck by how brown the plants appear.

Is it the contrast with the green fields and forests we saw in Colorado last summer or are the desert plants dying?

Our first walk in our winter home reveals the skeletons of ocotillo plants lying about, gray and forlorn-looking.

I inspect the woody stems of those that are upright.  I hope that life still resides here.

The ocotillo . . .

If ever a plant could send the message that there is more to life than what we see, that there is a promise of more, that hope exists no matter how desolate the landscape of our lives, it’s the ocotillo tossing its blossoms to the sky.

Ocotillo at Sore Finger Road boondock, Salome, Arizona, March 2014

While walking Reggie this morning, I find signs that another cycle of green has begun!

Ocotillo and palo verde along wash near Big Maria Mountains, Blythe, California, January 2017

The brittlebush plants are no longer a bunch of sticks.  In a few months their green mounds will be covered with yellow blooms.

Hmm . . . What is this?   I crouch to take a photo of a tiny seedling.

Will it survive?  If it does, what will it become?

“Hey, Reg!  We even have grass as green as any in the park!”

Okay, so the patch of grass is only 10 inches by 12 inches . . . . Still, it’s GREEN GRASS!

~ ~ ~

Another episode in The Great Desert Mail  Delivery Adventure . . . .

I’m fed up with the confusion regarding the four items I ordered:  a lounger (received), a handbag (returned to seller), a jacket for Reggie (returned to seller), and oil cloth for my folding table (in transit).

I do what I should’ve done earlier.

I drive into Blythe and visit Right Space, a storage and mail service facility that Netta and Jim, Midland’s camp hosts, use for their mail deliveries, mainly because the post office, unlike United Parcel Service and Fed Ex, doesn’t deliver out here.

Jose, the owner, tells me I can rent a mailbox for $10 a month.

“Well, that’s reasonable,” I respond as I begin filling out the registration form.

“Plus there’s a twenty dollar, one-time charge for setting you up on the computer,” he adds.

I put down the pen.

“Oh.  I won’t be having very much mail come in.  Only a few packages.”

“If you don’t want the mailbox, you can have your packages sent to our address.  The charge is five dollars per package.”

“That’s what I’ll do.  Thanks, Jose!”

Once the dust clears and I see a refund on my credit card statement, I’ll reorder those items.

As Reggie and I rumble towards our home, I burst out laughing.

“Hahaha!  I can see that aqua lounger all the way from here!”

Later . . . .

A car rolls up to our campsite!  It’s Jim and Netta.

“The UPS truck was out here but we weren’t home.  They left this note.”  Netta hands me a little slip of paper titled “Sorry we missed you . . . .”

Further down it reads “Someone must be here to accept delivery and sign for your packages.”  It also indicates they will try again on the next weekday (Tuesday, the 17th).

This must be the oilcloth I ordered for the folding table. 

Netta tells me they will be home tomorrow and I promise to stay home also.  I apologize for the inconvenience.  She laughs it off as no big deal and we commence gabbing.

Reggie whines at my feet.  I lift him up to the window.  Max, the Boston terrier, comes forward from the back seat to stand on Netta’s lap.  Canine noses meet through the open window.

Tuesday, January 17

It’s mid-morning as I type this.  No sign of the UPS truck.  Not yet . . .

That truck WILL arrive today!

I choose to believe the ocotillo promise —  “There’s always hope!”

To be continued . . .



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