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It is a decidedly strange night. We live in the hiding mountain desert but each spring we go through a period of rain that would make you think we lived in the North West. Tonight is one of those nights.

Sometimes we are categorized as being in the North West but that is drawing a boundary in the wrong location. We are not the Pacific North West. While we do not have the craggy mountains that exist in Colorado and Wyoming, we belong to them geologically. Their mountains pushed up from the heat and pressure. Ours pushed one over the other sometimes bringing the underside of the heap on top with is what gives us our over-thrust mounded mountains. They are like folding nuts into a thick cookie batter when the bottom comes over the top.

Because we don’t live in the stereotype Rocky mountains, people may discount our mountains as not being “real Rockies.” Sometimes they spend a time trying to convenience us we don’t live in the Rockies. We do, and we know it. Except for these few weeks each spring when we feel like we are living in  a rainforest.

When the spring rains come, we have to scurry for waterproofs and wellies. I had black, utilitarian, all business wellies before the fire. When we went to replace all of our clothing after the fire I found that I had become more liberal, even more frivolous, than before. I found pink wellies for no more than serious black wellies cost. Pink it is.

The water is falling out of the sky as if it is a solid object punctuated by where its surface is pierced by buildings or people. I welcome the rain in these dry times but I would like to un-build what the last hour brought us. The same rain that keeps our forest fires in check keeps us from being able to get equipment to our house site. This rain is another delay. Ironically we have in hands the documents we need to apply for a building permit. We are finalizing the materials for the outside walls of the house to insure that it is as fire worthy as possible.

Understanding the nature of building materials is strangely related to our understanding whether we live in the Pacific Northwest or the High Mountain Desert. Our definitions of our geography, and its moisture, shape the way we think about housing.

photo of white fur dog sitting against snow with mountains