And we are definitely not talking American Express card here. There are certain things that you realize about desert living that sets it apart from residing anywhere else and that is never walk out the door without these three things. 1) Water, 2) Sunglasses, and 3) Sunscreen. The foolish forget, the wise consider, the sane indulge. Whether you are driving or walking, the sun will find you, the glare will get you, and the heat will embalm you. This is glare city. A day without sunglasses is a day with a migraine. You will also run parch dry quickly without regular water intake. I’ve always chuckled inwardly at the perennial suggestion … “would you like to take some water with you?” That offer always seemed ridiculous to me. My thoughts, “I’d like to take a million bucks instead, drive a fast car and vacation in Marbelle, but … I’ll pass on the water, thank you“. And my thoughts continue … “what a ridiculous notion. Water runs freely from faucets. Why on earth would you need to transport it so desperately like you are a wilting flower. Are we living in the Sahara?” Well, not Sahara, but Sonoran desert, and it’s different now. That sun will suck you dry as sure as a water will make you wet. That be a warning.
And Tickey has been prepping for her desert debut, too. Firstly, a trip to the MVD … and not the DMV as in every other state … the Motor Vehicle Division. Warned to take a good book, I was in and out of the bureau in under twenty minutes before my seat was warmed or I had a chance to surrendering to dismay at my “M” number when they were only calling the “A” numbers. Arizona License, Arizona Registration, Arizona standard single license plate and a wish-you-well. Can’t be all that bad?
Then a long consideration of Baby Tic’s new personalized name plate to be ordered on-line. T-I-C-K-I-E was taken, T-I-C-K-E-Y was not and as it turns out, the original inspiration, “19 Century slang for a Southern African, threepenny piece“, as in, “can turn on a tickey“, was spelt T-I-C-K-E-Y. So Tickey it is and the “Baby” is an official Arizona Cowgirl complete with Saguaro Cactus. Yeehaw!!!
Travelers Insurance company arranged for Tickey’s windshield replacement without cost, except for new wiper blades, through Safelite Autoglass in North Phoenix. An almost two hour process that feft like the wave of a magic wand. Gone was the cup sized scar, gone too were all reminders of New Jersey. The registration tag with unneeded inspection extension to seven of eleven, the impossible-to-remove EZ-Pass velcro tabs. Just brand new.
And along with her license plate, ‘desert debut‘, another more important auto consideration. Window Tinting. Required here. No ‘ifs‘, ‘ands‘ or ‘buts‘. Your sunny car temperature will rise above 120˚ in August, be impossible to enter and the hot blast of an open car door will suck your lungs dry. Let alone dashboard damage and vinyl turned to BBQ briquettes. New vehicles arrive that way, new entrants get laminated. With promises of a 60% temperature drop, a 99% UV ray protection, Tickey is scheduled for her perfect-for-the-hood look two weeks from now. She won’t know herself.