Baby, It’s Dry Out Here

Retire to Denver instead of Retire to ArizonaAbout a year ago, I moved from Tucson to Denver. I know, most people retire to Arizona, rather than from Arizona, but SB 1070 seemed like legislated racism to me, and it was just the last political straw. The majority of my family members live in Denver, along with dear friends, and it has been a good decision. And as a bonus, both the Mayor and Governor are progressive Democrats and the Dems re-took the legislature during the 2012 election, so as a liberal, I’m happy with both the personal and political climate.

It has been good to be closer to my sisters and brother. We get together for family birthdays and holidays, and meet each week for coffee and crosswords at the nearby Starbucks. I’ve also discovered that I really like winter—you know, that hunkering down, cozy feeling of being in a warm home when baby, it’s cold outside? I also love the brilliance of spring. My little house has a wonderful yard with year-round blooms, and more to be added.

However, one thing I’m having trouble with is dryness. When I tell Denver locals that Colorado is as dry as Tucson, they are often shocked. “But that’s the desert!” They’ll say. Desert or not, it’s very dry here. Right now, I’m writing this, leaning on all my comfortable pillows in bed and as I look at the things crowding my night table, I realize the majority of it has to do with the lack of humidity.

In addition to books, glasses, a lamp and phone, there is moisturizer for my face (including sunscreen) an enormous jug of body lotion, both which I apply at least twice a day. There are saline drops for my eyes, Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm (the best I’ve found), cuticle oil (I try to put it on frequently, otherwise, dry raggedy, ugly cuticles), a cup of mint tea and a large water bottle. Oh, and tissues.

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up irritated because my hands, my eyes, my mouth and my lips are so dry. I have to do the whole routine: drink water and/or tea, moisturizer on my face, body lotion on my hands and arms, oil on cuticles, saline drops for my eyes, lip balm for my chapped lips. Then, once all these irritations are assuaged, I can snuggle back into my cloud of down and go to sleep in comfort.

I tell you, it’s dry. I wonder if there can be negative humidity?

About Christa King

Christa King has a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Information Resources & Library Sciences, both from the University of Arizona. In her public life, she is executive assistant to a department chair with the University of Colorado. In her private life, she is a poet, writer and editor, gardener and adventurous cook.

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