For the May 10, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, we are asked to put Home at the top of the page and freewrite away in less than 300 words.
First home in the Desert
As young newly-weds in the Valley of the Sun in the early 1970s, Hannah and I began looking for a house within walking distance of the U, by that I mean Arizona State University.
A little three bedroom, one-story place at just under $21K looked out the window and called our names. Hardly able to contain our enthusiasm, we offered a thousand less. They countered that for the original price they’ll include all the furniture for the entire house. And so we had our first home at the corner of Roosevelt and West 16th Street.
Our neighbors got a good laugh when we bought a push mower to cut the thick, wide-bladed St. Augustine grass. With Arizona’s constant sunshine and irrigation water from the town that covered our lawn like a small pond, the grass flourished and needed constant cutting. Out of the blue, the Tempe Garden Club put a sign in our yard that we were the Lawn-of-the-Month.
Raised in the Northeast, Hannah and I thought, what says Arizona more than a backyard pool? Paying $5K for the in-ground 40′ pool, the cool decking, and all the tile, we had our antidote to the dry, oven-like heat of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Without air-conditioning for the 115 degree summer days, we did have a swamp cooler on our roof. Swamp coolers operate by water dripping down reed mats and then a fan blows cool air into the house. Though functional for low humidity days in May and June, swamp coolers provide little relief in the humidity of July, August, and September.
Even so, we were living the dream in our first home in the desert.