Retreat

    

Retreat: Definition –  OxfordDictionary
Verb – to move back or withdraw; to change one’s mind or plans; to withdraw to a quiet or secluded place; decline in value of stock.
Noun – an act of moving back or withdrawing; a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax; a decline in the value of shares; a signal for a military force to withdraw; to provide someone with food, drink or entertainment at one’s own expense; to give medical care or attention.
Re-treat – to treat again.
And so, I guess that’s what I am doing now. Retreating, going on a retreat, re-treating myself. For the first summer in thirty years I have withdrawn from the 105-115 degree temps in the valley of the sun. (Phoenix, AZ for those of you who have never lived here). I drove north two- and a half hours from Gilbert on Sunday and began to settle into my new abode, a nice two-bedroom condo in Bison Ranch, just east of Heber-Overgaard, AZ. A true quiet and secluded place in which one can rest and relax.
It is the 4th of July and fifty degrees. I can’t even begin to think back to a time where I didn’t sweat for hours waiting for fire-works to begin or sit in my air conditioned living room watching them burst over the White House in D.C. In fact July 4thhas become a non-holiday that I rarely celebrate.
I needed this retreat. Thirty years in the six- month heat of the desert has grown too long and too invasive. I blame it on my age but who knows? It’s a dry hell I read recently – yes, but it’s still hell. Even my daughter’s swimming pool is already tepid bath water – unwelcoming and un-refreshing. How many movie theaters can you go to in a week to stay in cool? Each year I count “how many weeks? how many days?” until October 30 when over night it drops thirty degrees and becomes livable again.
Yesterday I found the community library and got a library card: the first thing I do wherever I go. I located the IGA, the Ace Hardware, the Dollar Store, and oh yes, the Dairy Queen. Two months – those are all I need. There’s a Redbox at a Circle K and a few antique stores and boutiques. I’ll survive two months of no shopping malls, fancy restaurants or
I’m going to write every day and walk and sit on the deck, play games on my Kindle, and read. I have retreated to heaven if only for sixty days!

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