To White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. That's right, we traded white snow for white sand!
WSMR (pronounced "Whizmer") became our new home during our inaugural year away from The Last Frontier. Instead of moose, we encountered oryx. Instead of ravens cawing outside our window, we would find tarantulas cooling themselves against the stucco walls. The lush grass and overflowing flowerbeds of our summers were replaced with hot sidewalks and xeriscaped stone yards. My coordination built from many years of walking carefully across icy streets and walkways served me well when the terrain was switched to burning ground and jagged rock paths, though flip flops didn't offer near the foot support that my winter boots had.
I decided to try black and white film, actual film, unaware that one year later, my husband would give me my very first digital camera to document our first move to Kansas.
The backyard was completely walled in, and was the only place that had anything slightly resembling grass. Still, we were warned that coyotes would sneak in during the evening if we allowed Anni-Cat outside. We never did, but she loved the enclosed open air porch, since lizards would find their way under the screen door.
The plant life was very... pokey, pointed, spearlike.
And then I drank the water.