Almost all of our time in Maricopa, an hour south of Phoenix and barely two hours from the Mexican border, really sucked because we were plagued with nothing but legal and financial problems. The only thing I liked was the house and the land, but even that could be a bit iffy at times.
We bought a large 4-bedroom manufactured home and had it placed on a 10-acre parcel of land we bought as well. While I loved not having neighbors a stone’s throw away, the land was a bit dumpy in some sections. It could get very windy outside the valley, and people's trash, which they usually burned since there was no trash collection in the area along with mail delivery, often blew onto our land. Also, someone had apparently gutted a trailer at some point.
The land had sage and mesquite trees for the most part with a few barrel cacti. There were no saguaros on our property, Joshua trees or ocotillos. There were a few washes running through it, but for the most part, the land was barren and boring and mostly consisted of dirt and sand. It was, after all, the desert. We tried to plant a few different things there, but the soaring temperatures, which often reached the 120s, fried anything we tried to plant.
The monsoon storms were pretty powerful and could sometimes get scary, knocking out the power from time to time. The thunder was like gunshots and the lightning flashed like a strobe light. Rain came down in heavy sheets, causing a run-off and occasional flash flooding.
The wildlife consisted of prairie dogs, tarantulas, Gila monsters, iguanas, roadrunners, vultures, quails, various snakes including rattlesnakes, cottontails and jackrabbits. The air stunk a lot because of all the dairy farms in the area.
Despite having a rough time making ends meet, I slowly expanded my doll collection. I started getting more serious about creative writing and improving my skills with that. We thought of various ways to add to our income, but as is usually the case, it just wasn't that simple. If it was, no one would struggle.