Saturday, June 5, 2010

Living in Lucifer's Lair

In honor of the fact that it is going to hit 110 degrees today, tomorrow or Monday, depending upon which weather forecaster you dare to believe.....

I'm now describing the facts about living in the desert in the summer. So all you northern folks enjoying your spring/summer frolicking in the green grass, eating fresh strawberries out of your garden and basking in the sun, please feel appropriately sorry for me. And you desert dwellers, feel free to chime in at any time.

I don't know why, but it always seems like the intense summer heat just slams us up side the head. We had a gorgeous May, with only one or two days hitting 100 degrees. So why o why can't the intense heat just sorta slowly creep up on us, kinda like a frog in water beginning to boil? (you know the old story)

Noooo, it has to arrive with a bang, within just a few days. We are ambling along, getting used to the upper 90s and then wham! The predictions of 108, 109, 110 and beyond hit within a matter of a few days.

For the uninitiated, let me describe:

Pretend that you are going to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies. First you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  And after you've mixed up your nice batch of cookies, you open the oven door to place the cooky sheet inside the oven.  You open the oven door...

And blink rapidly at the wave of heat that hits you in the face before quickly shoving the cooky sheet in the oven and slamming the door closed.

That's what it's like here every time I open up my front door in the summer.
Or the car door.

Things you learn when living in the desert heat:

You get up early to try to get everything done outside to avoid the heat. At least it doesn't hit 90 degrees until 9 am.....

Your garden shrivels up and quits producing because no sane plant produces flowers for fruit above about 95 degrees.

In fact, the only flowers that bloom in the summer are strange looking ones that may have been transplanted from the planet Mars. (except for the ever loving boring vinca-periwinkle plant).

You sign up for this weird program with the power company called "Time of Use Plan" desperately hoping that your electric bill will stay under $400 a month.   This means that you must complete all washing, drying, cooking, baking and use of air conditioner prior to 1 pm.  The AC stays below 75 degrees until then, and then it gets turned up to about 82......The entire family languishes for the rest of the day, or at least until 8 pm when the AC temp can be reduced.

The most commonly used words in the mother language repertoire is,

The only time you can visit the Phoenix Zoo is at 7:00 am and be sure to be there on the dot so you can dash back to your air conditioned car at 8:00 am.

You institute a program with your children called "Quiet Time," which they dread and hate every summer and causes extreme mental anguish and psychological trauma even to the time they are adults, until they get their own kids and realize what a great idea it is.  The program is thus:  All extraneous neighbor children, those unrelated by blood or birth, are banished to their own homes in the afternoon. This is when we all quietly watch tv, read books and play happily with our siblings while the heat of the day rages outside. (this works in theory of course)

You grow mold in your home due to the wet towels heaped up constantly by the back door. Of course you can sterilize those towels in about 10.37 seconds by hanging them outside in the blazing sun.

Cold cereal and cantaloupe become the staple on the dinner menu list.

You NEVER EVER go outside without some type of footwear on since merely treading on the sidewalk can cause 2nd degree burns in 10.37 seconds (please see sterilizing towels paragraph above). And especially necessary when you lock yourself out of the house.

Yes, you can fry an egg on the sidewalk but it's really, really messy and doesn't cook all the way through. NEVER try it on a car.

When going outside at midday, it is absolutely silent. No sound of little children happily playing, no birds singing or bees buzzing, just the sound of the humming of all the neighborhood air conditioners.

And because we live in a place that is surrounded by asphalt and concrete, it never really cools down at night.  We've never really had a good ol' fashioned 4th of July here, because it's too dang hot! Who wants to go out at 10 pm and watch fireworks on the grass when it's  102 at 10 pm?????

So feel appropriately sorry for me for choosing to live in the Den of the Devil.  I DESERVE those gorgeous winters..........

I've whined long enough, time to gird up the loins and face the heat. I'll be happy again about October 31st.

Thanks, buh-bye.


Joy For Your Journey said...

So true!! I can't believe how hot it is. I am off to the store right now so I can be back by nine. (And I just finished my laundry for the day).

Oh, you forgot that the crock pot becomes an essential cooking item ikn the summer. I don't want to heat up my oven.

But I can't complain too much this year. I am headed off to cold country. There will even be snow!! (So I am told)

Hopefully you won't wither before I get back. :-)

Mari said...

We should institute a house swap program right around the time we both get sick of our weather. After weeks and weeks of cold and rain (I think we maybe had 2 sunny days in May) I'm ready for a change. We're still using our heater for heaven's sake and it's june!
So yes, you can come here and enjoy the cool wetness that your climate does not provide.
Plus maybe you can get some use out of my garden because I still stink at it.

Jessica said...

now you can choose to go barefoot if you are in a contest with your friends to see who can walk across the street the slowest without dashing over to the cool grass....yes we did this in the middle of july. and yes I was once able to walk across the entire street slowly...sick huh.

Patrice said...

Door nazi chiming in here! I really need to escape this heat. Any suggestions?

Noelle said...

Hi Marilyn,

Oh, I just loved this post! I stepped outside this morning at 9:00 and it was already so hot. I am prepared to hibernate inside, close to an ac duct until October.

PS. Thank you very much for your kind comments.

angieinpink said...

it's even worse when you're chubby like me. haha.

i'd take hotter than heck than snowing til april.....but i agree...we deserve a beautiful winter.

my zinnias are dying as we speak. tears.

Julie said...

I am pretty sure I would never be able to handle it!

Reno said...

It's 102 here in southern Utah. I hear you and understand. I have no energy.

kristie said...

Ok, I was just telling Jacob that I have become a wimp from living in Utah. We are only in the 80's and I found myself saying it's too hot outside. That's what 12 years out of the den will do for you. (of course during that 12 years, I did a two year stint back in it when I lived in Mississippi!)

Kerin said...

I can relate.... thinking back to summers in Chandler..
Thank heavens we had a pool. It is the only place that we ever felt like we could go and stop the boiling of our blood. I remember the feeling of breathing the air as you stepped outside. It did feel JUST like an OVEN!!
We have finally shut our furnace off and today the thermometer outside my kitchen window, reads 101.7.
Time to put the cooler in !!!

Momza said...

Well, it was 88o here today and we were complaining about how hot it is for June. lol
We don't have A/C here, because once the sun sets behind the Pikes Peak, we get an afternoon shower and all is well.
I am using my crockpot tomorrow though.
One of my yahoos was born while we lived in AZ---her first word? HOT.
Stay cool Marilyn!

Suzie said...

You really described that well.

I really have a hard time with heat. But our winters are yucko.
San Diego anyone?

good luck

Amy said...

Ha ha ha! This was awesome. I was like Jessica when I was little: proud of the fact that I could WALK across the burnt-to-a-crisp asphalt barefoot in the middle of august.
We just had our ac fixed, thank goodness.
And yes, definitely looking forward to San Diego.
The heat this summer is really going to kill me.

GGMA said...

Our weather turned from cold and snow to hot in just a few days and to top that off we had to meet outside for church today because some new alterations smelled too bad. You can't win!