Summer in Phoenix is hot. Turn the slow cooker off, I’m done. Turn the grill off, my internal temperature is the same as a well-done steak. Let’s eat out; I’ll cook the eggs on the patio pavers.
There’s no doubt about it, summer in Phoenix is hot. I’m not complaining, I’m stating a fact.
You’ve probably seen all the memes about summer in Phoenix: the ice cream truck melting on the sidewalk; God roasting Phoenix in the oven; Phoenix as the first planet from the sun in the solar system; signs in front of restaurants offering 5 minutes in the walk-in freezer with any purchase . .
The Valley of the Sun
Phoenix is known as “The Valley of the Sun.” I figured the sun rolled down from the mountains, liked it here, and decided to stay. A lot of Phoenicians don’t like 110F degree weather for four straight months, so they head north on Fridays, following a caravan of cars, SUVs, campers, motorcycles, boats, up the hill to Flagstaff, elevation 7,000 feet, to sit in the cool pines. Sunday afternoon the caravan heads south, causing wrecks on the Interstate with tempers flaring like the heat that radiates up from the blacktop.
It’s a Dry Heat
Lots of Phoenicians escape to summer homes in cooler states. Hubby and I had a summer home in Minnesota for 15 years. We called ourselves “Sun Birds” instead of “Snow Birds.” This is our first summer since 2005 back in the furnace. I keep telling myself, “it’s not that bad,” as I rip off another layer of clothing. Minnesota was a novelty, and I enjoyed the lakes and fishing, but to be perfectly honest, I’m glad to be away from the mosquitos the size of donkeys, the rain, the black flies that bite, the rain, the ticks that your hairdresser finds nestled in your scalp, the rain, the tornados, the rain, and the humidity. Did I mention the rain?
Phoenix, on the other hand, is a dry heat. That means instead of simmering in a pot of stew, you bake in a 350-degree oven.
Acclimating myself again to summer in the desert hasn’t been bad. Here are a few survival tips:
- It’s an absolute necessity to have a swimming pool. In fact, we should be able to use the installation of a pool as a tax deduction, like children.
- Never run errands between noon and 6:00 pm, the hottest part of the day, not to mention rush-hour traffic, which begins at 2:00 pm, because we have California transplants, and they think the outside temperature is the speed limit. However, Happy Hour at 4:00 is okay if you can sit outside with the misters.
- Take your dog for a walk at 5:30 am when it’s only 90F degrees.
- Your car needs a sun shade for the front window, and don’t ever park facing South or West.
- If you forget the sun shade, it’s possible to bake a batch of cookies on your dash.
- Carry a pair of oven mitts in the car if you don’t trust yourself steering and shifting gears with your pinkie.
- You and your passenger can wager how many stoplights it will take for the car to cool down.
- Never go outside in your bare feet unless you like spending your afternoon in the ER.
- Never pick up a shiny object or expect third-degree burns on your fingers.
- You can turn your hot water heater off since the tap water runs a continuous stream of warm water.
- Never wear dangly earrings to save on face burns.
- Wear eye makeup sparingly or your spouse may be accused of domestic abuse.
- Meals must be made in the crock pot or microwave.
- Keep window coverings closed. Oblivious to my stern objections, Hubby puts foil-lined cardboard in the windows. Our neighbors refer to us as “trailer trash.”
- Expect your electric bill to match your mortgage payment.
There are advantages to summer in the desert. Let me see . . . well, I thought there were. Oh, yes, the fancy resorts give you special rates for a stay-cation – and you get to use their cabanas and swimming pools. The Snow Birds aren’t clogging the streets and restaurants. We have beautiful sunsets. And, during a pandemic, it’s easy to quarantine in an air conditioned house.
Just in case you’re wondering, I’m proud to say I survived the hottest day ever in Phoenix: 122F degrees on June 26, 1990. It shut down the airport.
Books For Sale
We watch the cute Gambel’s Quail run around in Phoenix during the summer. The heat doesn’t appear to affect their little feet. You can even hear the quail calls in my Quincy the Quail books. All my books are discounted to $9.99 each if you buy them from my website. I’ll personalize and sign each one and mail them to you.