In recent weeks my morning walks to the office were punctuated with increasing evidence of a very early spring. With this came a growing sense of concern as it has been an exceptionally dry winter. 

Since December 12, the day I encountered the near blizzard like conditions near Seligman on our return from Prescott, Arizona, we have had little more than a spit and drizzle of rain as well as unseasonably warm temperatures. So, I welcomed the howling winds and the sound of sleet and rain pounding the windows last evening.
My concern, however, is that this morning is calm and warm, and that the rain received was most likely less than a half inch. Without a storm or two with more moisture than this, it will be a long spring, summer, and fall punctuated by wildfires. 
Water and its cost has been the primary reasons for our abandonment of a garden. Of course, the extensive travel schedule isn’t exactly conducive to tending to the vegetables that wilt quickly under an unrelenting desert sun. 
The encyclopedia, research for it, the writing of that book, and promotion of Ghost Towns of Route 66 and Ghost Towns of the Southwest have consumed most every spare moment in the past two years. I am not complaining as this is what I enjoy most. Still, it has left the house in need of paint and repair, Barney the wonder truck overdue for some maintenance, and cut short my schedule for long walks in the desert with my dearest friend. 
Contrary to popular sentiment, you just can’t have everything. So, long ago I learned to be content with what I do have, and not to obsess over what I do not have. 
Having a day job to support the writing habit greatly constricts my schedule. Still, I am quite   thankful for this job as it takes a great deal of stress from the writing and photography as we do not have to depend on its fickle nature for our sustenance. 
We may not get as many long walks in the desert but we are blessed with wonderful road trips and that leads to the making of new friends. In the past year we have met some of the most delightful people – Connie and Riva Echols, Joe Sonderman, Mike Ward, Rich Dinkella, Dave Clark, the Mueller’s, Richard Talley, Jane Reed, Michael Wallis, Bob Lile – to name but a few. 
So, I take a deep breath, begin a new day, and look ahead to what promises to be a very exciting year. First, there is the walk to work, another full day at the office, and then another four hours of writing captions. 
Meanwhile we eagerly await the arrival or our new granddaughter, and lay plans for a year of road trips and adventures. And to ensure boredom is held at bay, I continue to look for the next project, work on taxes, and make plans to keep the homestead from falling in around our ears, and Barney on the road for another dozen years or so. 

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