Mountains, Desert, Beach, Forest?

Hello, all, and happy Friday! I bet many of you are thrilled the end of the week is here. I know My Companion is. Short week or not, it’s still work. Right?

It’s day 23 of the #AKwritingChallenge! This means we have one week left! We started on a Wednesday but we’ll be ending it on a Friday. I find that intriguing and I wonder if JC Wing will start us on Monday or Saturday for the #WingWritingChallenge. Do you like how we did that? AK and then Wing challenge.

We think we’re clever.

Back to the topic at hand, which is this question: Mountain, Beach, Forest, or Desert? Where’s your Dream House?

This is fun! The reality is that I’ve lived in each of those places so I can make an informed decision! Though we should add swamp if we want it to have all of the climates. Florida is very swampy.

I grew up on a small lake in Michigan. We spent a lot of our summers at one of the Great Lakes – usually Lake Michigan. We’d go to South Haven to camp during mom’s vacation weeks. When I was a teen we had access to a sailboat in Grand Haven. I feel like I have the beach covered.


The desert was my time in Arizona. Phoenix/Mesa/Tempe to be specific. I was there for approximately 2 years. The desert wasn’t what I expected! I read a lot as a child and teen, heck I still do, so I thought I had an idea what the desert would be like.

Reading did not prepare me for monsoons, dust storms, temperatures near freezing, dust storms, more monsoons, and random mountains that appear to be cut in half while watching, only to be back to normal when you get your camera out.

Yes, that really happened. It looked like the top half of a mountain was lifted from the base. I grabbed my camera, got a quick picture and later found out my roll of film was double exposed. So unfortunate as I always felt that would be proof of alien life. I was sober, I swear.


You may have noticed I mentioned the mountains in Arizona. They were pretty! Not very large. Camelback is the first one that comes to mind. It was the taller of the mountains surrounding the valley that is Phoenix. I had a few friends with motorcycles and we used to go tour Camelback. There’s something about the wind in my hair … that made me realize I prefer a convertible instead of a two-wheeled death machine. But that’s just me.

I also lived in Denver for a while. In that instance we really were in the mountains. I loved it in Denver! So pretty. I worked in an area called Cherry Creek for a non-profit organization. It was the Avon Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. I believe Komen eventually absorbed them the way they did other breast cancer charities. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but when the group in Denver was told that was happening, they almost held a revolt.

The foothills are gorgeous and I absolutely loved learning how to drive switchbacks. I truly do like learning new things, and experiencing things other people may or may not.


Which one did I miss? Ah, yes, the forest.

The cabin in Baldwin is surrounded by forest. It used to be a logging town and you can tell by the way the roads are designed, and by the trees. It’s almost all secondary growth in Baldwin because, obviously, the loggers took all the old growth trees.

What trips me out about that is they planted the next generation in perfect rows. As you drive through you can see deer and turkeys, pheasants and quails, because the trees are like that. Check this out – it’s not the perfect angle but should give you an idea:


Though I haven’t lived in Baldwin (because the cabin is inaccessible in winter except by snowmobile and, um, no. Not even thank you no, but no. #sorrynotsorry) I have spent a LOT of my time there.

It’s one of my favorite places to be. The deck is large, and gorgeous. It gets the right amount of sun and shade. I go out there first thing in the morning to have my coffee and listen to the birds sing.

Directly in front of the deck is a fire pit that is large enough for bonfires. I love bonfires. Small ones, too, of course! I enjoy cooking dinner on smaller fires and then contemplating life and the universe after self-hypnotizing by staring into coals and flames. Surely I’m not alone in this?

It takes about 15 minutes to drive into town on the dirt roads. The isolation is part of the appeal. Our cabin is part of a larger community, one of the first Home Owners Associations I had heard of, and it takes a certain kind of people to have a cabin in the deep woods like that. And prefer to keep the bumpy ass, narrow, slippery sand containing dirt roads!

Not once has there been a suggestion to pave it, merely to have the County come out to grade more often. That, to me, makes this a mystical, magical place, and that is why I’m basing my Baldwin series there.

Which is a nice reminder to wrap this up and get my butt back into a chair and working on the sequel to Freedom’s Treasure!

My choice of dream home would be in the woods. Maybe not Baldwin specific, but maybe so. I’ll have to figure that out when I make my first million. Maybe half million. Eh, that’s a decision for another time.

How about you? Desert, Beach, Forest, or Mountains?

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