The winter winds bring us our version of cold-weather living in Twentynine Palms. The wind brings character into our otherwise predictable and sometimes boring winter days of endless sunshine. When the winds blow it is not with gentle breezes but with consistent gales. It rushes through the palm trees with a distinct rustling sound. Flags flap and flutter, furling and unfurling, as the wind whips them around. Open trash can lids hit against the side of the can in an inconsistent rhythm. It whistles through the holes in the stop sign poles and hums through the electrical wires. It is a cacophony and not a symphony of sound.
Being outside in the cold wind for any length of time is tough but doable. At a park and rec flag football game during a recent windy evening, the sidelines were filled with parents wearing beanies, sweatshirts, and their biggest jackets. Some had blankets over their laps as they were watching their sons and daughters play. A few even had a kerosene heater set up in front of them, cranking out heat at the highest setting. These were the people who have lived in Twentynine Palms for a while. Those who just arrived to Twentynine Palms from much colder climates were watching the game in a sweatshirt and baseball cap.
When the winds blow we prep our house for them. Windows have to be shut throughout the house otherwise a layer of dust will be on the windowsill and surrounding furniture. Garden flags need to be brought in because the wind will work them off their pole and blow them east to Wonder Valley. We had a shade umbrella for the children’s small outdoor picnic table but lost it because we didn’t bring it in and the wind lifted it and took it somewhere over night. When setting out trash cans for the trash truck to get them the next day we learned from our more experienced desert-dwelling neighbors to put a large rock on the lids so the wind wouldn’t blow them open and carry our trash all over the desert.
Windy nights make for good sleeping weather. The sound of the the wind blowing outside in the cold makes me thankful that I’m inside my warm home. It makes me appreciate my blankets that much more. My young daughter doesn’t appreciate the windy nights. The wind whips especially loud passed the corner of the house that forms her bedroom. She can’t sleep while the wind blasts past the outside corner of her bedroom. My daughter usually ends up sleeping on the floor of my bedroom on those cold and windy nights when its windy chaos outside and warm peace inside.