- This is a slightly revised story from the one titled, “Desperado”.
I never thought we’d leave Lake Havasu City. It’s a beautiful place to live although my wife and I don’t call it home. We always think of our stay as an extra-long-vacation.
For the past seven years, like clockwork, I developed bronchitis during the winter season. Bronchitis is a serious infection for older people because it can lead to pneumonia. Just recently, doctors discovered I’m highly allergic to sage which grows abundantly in the Mohave desert, especially in the Colorado River basin. The weed as I call it blooms and then spreads like wildfire. Pollen from this bush irritates my bronchial tubes, causing inflammation and ultimately a nasty congestion.
During windy days, I wear a bandanna over my face while outside much like cowpokes do to filter out dust. There’s no way I’m going to be seen sporting one of those paper hospital masks. Joleen claims I look like an urban terrorist of sorts. I view it more as a desperado, because I’m extremely desperate to overcome scratchy eyes and a constant dry cough. Folks with allergies know what I’m talking about. If it takes a scarf over my nose and mouth to overcome such – so be it.
One of my physicians suggested I move elsewhere as there’s nothing she can do to make things better. Pills and shots failed miserably. Where would we go? I suggested Alabama, but Joleen is deathly afraid of tornadoes and hurricanes. Alaska is definitely out of the picture. Been there. Done that. We put up with cold and dark Alaskan winters for many years, along with endless rainy days in summer.
Good friends, Jim & Pat Brownfield, suggested we relocate to Prescott, Arizona where they recently purchased a home. We seriously considered it, until I found out the place is crawling with juniper trees. That’s something the medical tests showed I can’t be around. It’s worse than sage.
Last week, we decided to take a drive and discuss the problem. Picking up lunch from FIVE GUYS BURGERS in Kingman, we chose a small canyon near Cerbat Cliffs to eat. The place is beautiful with huge red rock and cliffs much like those viewed in western movies. Joleen and I came to this location approximately 14 years ago by accident. Back then, we thought it would be a killer site to build a house, but there was no property for sale. We elected to live in Lake Havasu City instead.
This trip to the rugged canyon was different. A newly placed sign sitting on a large piece of property at the bottom of a flat-top-mesa advertised the land as being available. It appeared the sign hadn’t been there for long. We called the listed phone number, and after a couple of days of negotiating with owner, Pat Carlin, a deal was made. Joleen believes God led us to this spot for a reason. I tend to agree.
Recently, I mentioned to a friend about our plans to leave Havasu. His initial comment was,
“So you intend on building your dream house?”
That thought never crossed my mind. What I didn’t tell him is that our dream home is already constructed. It’s actually a mansion perched high above the vibrant-blue Arizona sky.
Our new pad in Cerbat Canyon is simply going to be a place to shed our shoes until heading on to higher ground. The dwelling will be small and easy to clean with wide doors just in case. All new houses should be constructed with wheelchair access. Having to add such changes afterwards can be a major undertaking.
Our hopes are that living in a vegetation free canyon at a slightly higher elevation will solve my nagging, yet serious problem. Just driving to Kingman I can tell the difference in my breathing. The cooler Kingman summers will be a relief as well. To put icing on the cake, the home site’s only two miles from Kingman Regional Hospital where Joleen goes for cancer treatments. Our closest grocery store will only be one mile away.
Last weekend we were able to meet our neighbors to be, Scott & Rhonda. The couple are also Lake Havasu City refugees. They’re extremely nice people with much of the same ideology as us. When Scott told me one of his reasons for moving to the canyon, his comment brought a smile to my face.
“We came here to get away from allergies!”
It seems Scott had problems with dust and pollen in Havasu much like I do. Since relocating, his problem disappeared. That was great news to hear!
It’ll take at least a year to get the house built. That’ll work perfectly with the time we need to pack our goods, sell the old place, and hit the road. Joleen and I are looking forward to our new adventure in Kingman. I’m especially elated to be leaving all the nasty Havasu dust and pollen behind!