Flower Beds of Ease in a New Home

Now that Peaches and I have lived at Laguna De La Paz in La Quinta for 1 1/2 years, I know that March and April are the most beautiful months.

It just stopped raining and the front walk is gleaming with fat drops. Flower beds are filled with petunias of white, royal purple and my favorite, the striped peppermint and white ones. And there are deep military blues and soft lavenders.

I have never seen such snapdragons. They center each flower bed at the gated entrance to the community, rainbows of color ranging from pale yellow to mandarin orange and all the shades of citrus. My favorites are ones that are really bronze and ones that are a deep maroon, almost black.

When I moved here from Pasadena, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. I chose the house from a picture and selected the lot by scuffling through the bare dirt. I bought this house on this lot because a couple who were in the sales office before me went out and marched around, came back and pointed and said, “We’ll take that one.”

I promptly said, “I’ll take the one next to it.”

That isn’t how you buy a house. But you can scarcely go wrong because all the houses are looking at the rolling San Jacinto Mountains that shelter the houses from the cold.


My kitchen window looks out over a blue lake edged with banks of lawn. There is a colony of domineering ducks on the lake. One lady told me she was trying to feed the ducks some perfectly lovely stale bread and the ducks turned their sterns to her and paddled away.

Then she saw another woman walk to the edge of the lake and the ducks hurried to where she was standing. The new lady was feeding the ducks hamburger, thus ruining their attitudes.

Docked at the side of the lake is a small square-topped boat with a blue and white striped awning, very trim.

They have built these houses at Laguna De La Paz in colonies of 40. Soon, the builders will have an auction for a third group.

I didn’t know they auctioned anything but tobacco or beef cattle. Now, I find that this is the way a great many houses are sold. If I sound ignorant, I am. You obviously can’t trust anyone who bought her house from a sketch and because some passing gentleman said he’d take the one next door.

When I think of what a disaster I might have stumbled into, I know how lucky I was.

The sun glows on the mountains out of my kitchen window every morning, covering the waves of the mountains with colors from dusty pink to chocolate.

Desert sunsets are as dramatic as sunrises, and the evening sky is clear enough to cover the night with stars.

I have not yet been to a homeowners’ meeting. I have never been a good meeting-goer, even though I am sure my neighbors think my attitude is poor. They’re right. It is. I am delighted that so many people are interested in the greatest good for the greatest number and will trot off to meetings and pass resolutions.

It is not my desire to talk about how things should be done. As long as I can live in my pretty house and watch the mountains turn colors, I do not care about the bylaws.

Peaches is as happy as I am here. She goes out to the driveway in the morning to get the paper with me and barks three times to welcome the new day. I yell at her to be quiet and make more noise than she does. Then we come back in the house, make the coffee and watch the day begin.