You don't call Tucson your year-round home if you hate the heat.
It's a different kind of dryness when the temperatures are well into the triple digits and the nearest body of water is at least a state away. You don't perspire, let alone sweat. You become one with the air as you feel your flesh begin to sizzle. Just a little. Unless you are G'ma, whose 88 years on this planet have depleted her body's supply of collagen and left her with the thinnest skin either she or I have ever seen. It's soft and transparent. We keep her out of the direct sun as much as possible. No one wants to watch her spontaneously combust.
There's absolutely no walking barefoot outside. Beyond the usual desert detritus of cactus spines and sharp stones, the ground itself, be it pavement or dirt, is hot. Egg frying hot. Make you dance on your tip-toes hot. Hot enough that a person with a gimpy leg does a very funny dance as she makes her way back from the mailbox. It's hard to skip when your psoas is stuck and your acetabula (the socket where the hip and the leg bone connect which lives beneath that psoas) is in no mood to cooperate, either.
It would have been funny if it hadn't hurt so much.
Strange things happen if you are foolish enough to venture outside for any length of time at all. I was ennervated after retrieving the newspaper this morning. Watering my pots must wait until the sun is out of the frame. I know they'll be happier if I douse them in the morning, but the thought of lugging the hose from the bib to the flowers is just overwhelming. I have the physical strength by now; it's the emotional piece that sends me scurrying to the air conditioned splendor beyond my front door. Sorry, vinca. Your time will come when the sun goes behind the house.
The Schnozz told me that it was 1010 outside his frame - and this was in the garage at 9am. The drive to physical therapy wasn't long enough to cool the interior; by the time I returned after my appointment the air was un-breathe-able..... I was just gasping as I typed it and remembered.
|thanks for the image to cafepress.com|
A friend once wrote that she could feel the moisture being sucked right through her pores as she walked between classes at the UofA here in downtown Tucson. Dessicating was the word she used, and doesn't that even sound like the right word?
We slather on sunscreen, and no one complains, not even the kids. We become cranky when there are clouds in the sky, on those 10 or 15 days a year when the weather is not perfectly clear. We wonder when the monsoon will begin.*
It may not be perfect, but it's home.
*Here's my original rant on NWS and the monsoon:
The National Weather Service has decided to take charge of our monsoon season. Up until 2008, the monsoon season began after 3 consecutive days with the dew point over 54. In 2008, the National Weather Service decided that that was too much to deal with, and they set June 15th as the official start date. Too bad that it's still dry as a bone. Too bad that their own data shows that the average time for the start of the monsoon by the old standard, the one based on actual facts and science instead of bureaucratic comfort, was sometime in July.
It's just another example of our government at work. The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and they are trying to control the weather.