Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Phoenix, that Land of Two Seasons

This past MLK day, after walking the dog, my kids were whining, begging and crying pathetically, because I wouldn't let them run in the sprinklers. My youngest girl had her bathing suit, sunscreen and bejeweled flip-flops on in anticipation. "It's so hot!" she complained.

And it's not even the end of January.

Can't they be reasonable and wait til spring? I asked myself. After all, February is just around the corner.

People in New York would be cursing me now if they knew I existed. What the heck is this lady talking about? they'd exclaim. The North Pole migrated south for the winter, and we're in it! Where does this crazy lady live? The equator?

I live in Phoenix, actually. You know, that place where men wander around at night in sandals, shorts and goose-down jackets. The place where women get their style on by wearing the classic tank top/scarf/capri/knee-high boot ensemble to pick-up the kids. The land where you start your day in frigid 50 degree temps wearing your gloves, snow goggles (just in case), and pea coat and by late morning you've stripped down to cut-offs, flip-flops, and tube top and put your hair back so your neck can breath. My closet is almost completely stocked with various bright-colored tank tops. They're the perfect wardrobe staple.

We have two seasons here: summer (May to November) and spring. Phoenix is one of the few places where spring falls right after Christmas. The rattlesnakes are already sunbathing, waiting for hikers.

Because we have just the two seasons, it is quite a shock when we encounter fall in our wider travels or, God forbid, wa-waa-winter.

Our family went to Idaho for Thanksgiving one year. Our relatives were wandering around in light windbreakers and regular, thin, non-fleece-lined clothing. "This is beautiful weather!" they kept saying, the ice on their smiling teeth giving them that extra special gleam. Meanwhile, I wore socks with my heels, a heavy, military-issue pea coat indoors, gloves, head scarf, and wool blanket.

My husband went to San Antonio for a week-long training late one fall. On the last night the resort staff built a bonfire in the middle of the circle of cabins, and invited everyone to come out for a ranch-style meal of homemade baked beans, hunks of medium-rare beef, and bread around the blazing fire pit while being entertained by harmless cruise-certified yodelers. My husband and his Phoenix co-workers staged a sit-in. They sat in their rooms and demanded room service, because, as he put it, "Who are they kidding?! It's like 65 degrees out there."

You may laugh, but when the temps hit 115 or higher, you'll never meet a braver group of people. But you'll never know. You'd be nuts to come here in summer.


I love your comments!