I don’t know if you have spent much time in the towns and cities of the south west but I am here to tell you they have invented the word ‘neat’.

I realize it is partly because of the big heat in the summer but remember I have been to Mexico as well and no one would accuse them of being too ‘neat’. 

But I digress.  If you drive through a residential neighbourhood in any town you will see house after house with an immaculate front yard.  There is no messy grass needing a haircut, no messy plants dead from lack of watering and no messy lawn furniture in ragged condition. There will be colored small rocks or clean gravel, possibly a few larger rocks to add interest and some lovely local plants with colorful spines.  There might be a tree or large cactus.  It will be pristine and nobody goes there with the exception of delivery men or strangers.  It is far too hot to sit out there and far too public.  Almost every back yard has a 7 foot fence enclosing it.  You can’t really tell what is back there.  But I have been in a number of back yards and they are neat too.  More in the social fashion of barbecues and lawn furniture.  They sometimes have a swimming pool or hot tub. (remember the desert gets cold at night) .

And that’s not all.  The overpasses on the freeways are planted and decorated for your viewing pleasure.  

Now, in Mexico they too like to be neat  (in the ‘cool’ sense) and it often takes the form of  elaborate entrances.  Most construction always starts with a showy gate, laid bricks or adobe walls which often surrounds the property.  I know this because all the construction that was in progress when the banks failed are still sitting there. There are hundreds of such projects in every city.  It is a great pity.

But I can’t get used to the neatness, possibly because I live on 5 acres in the country in the mountains of Washington State that is mostly natural, overgrown grass and trees, but in spite of it’s messiness, I love it.  

Looking forward to going  home 

More to come 

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