It was a lunch hour trip to the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, where Julia first experienced Joshua Tree. The exhibit was the result an annual photographic expedition to Joshua Tree National Park. Finding out it was an annual event, Julia put it in her heart to attend and take photos the next year - and she did.
During that weekend, Julia says her soul shifted and, “I felt really connected to the area for reasons I couldn’t explain.”
After a number of trips back and forth to visit from her home in the Corona area, Julia moved to the desert in 2010, at a time when the local housing market was in decline. She and her then partner found a three bedroom, two bath house for $50,000. The downsides were Julia was still working in Riverside and continued making the two-hour commute for five years. As well as dealing with a squatter at the property next door.
This past summer Julia took a trip with her daughter to see family in the northwest and two weeks after returning home, Julia found herself going back to Washington state to provide additional support for the family after her sister was diagnosed with throat cancer.
In this episode, Julia talks about the bliss of retirement, blurring the line of time, allowing herself to do things when she feels inspired and not looking at the clock. She describes it as allowing herself to just ‘be’, starting new projects in the moment.
On her summer family visit Washington state, Julia signed up for a drumming class and talks about making and using different drums. Julia drums at home and finds it transformative, with hours going by as she is just 'being'.
Julia is also an artist, painting and using the solar eco-printing process to make one of a kind items for her wardrobe.
We also cover some of the changes she’s seen in Joshua Tree, the inspiration of community and attending the very first Transition Joshua Tree meeting, as well as the reduction in vacant homes, squatter issues and the increased park and vehicular traffic.