Summer in Phoenix: It’s Baaaack

There is a season we huddle in our houses–no sense ruining your day by going out. Comfort drinks to soothe you while you listen to the weather report, wondering when it will all be over. That used to be winter. Now it’s summer in Phoenix. It will be 110 degrees by the end of the week, and it will be followed by 120 more days that are 100 degrees or above.

Things I’ve learned from my second summer in Phoenix:

—You CAN fry an egg on the sidewalk. This is best done around the summer solstice, when the sun is directly overhead at noon.

Victoria's page in the Sonoran Traveling Journal

Victoria's page in the Sonoran Traveling Journal

—A dip in a 95-degree pool is refreshing.

— You will walk half a mile in heat so hot your feet get stuck in the parking lot tar. This is not to get close to the mall entrance. This is to get that space under a tree.

—You carry a small cooler with a water bottle or 3 in it. A water bottle left in a cup holder is hot enough to make soup.

—You don’t leave CDs in the car. They melt. Even in the CD player.

—You don’t carry a black purse. The contents is too hot to touch.

—You put your iPhone in a light-colored cover. No one believes that iPhones  don’t work if it gets over 95 dgrees except for residents of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts.

–You bring plants in for the summer. It gets too hot for many plants outside.

—You know there will be churning dust storms and rain storms so violent they are called “monsoons.” You leave extra time to clean your pool after these storms.

—“Geezer Glasses”–those giant sunglasses that slip over your regular glasses suddenly seem like a good idea. The glasses that get dark don’t work in your car because your windows are tinted. And you can take them off when they fog over when you walk into a store.

—You carry a sweater into a store because the difference between the outside temperature and inside temperature is often 30 degrees or more.

— At midnight, it’s still 96 degrees. You think that’s cool.

One of the Traveling Journals came back–Summer in the Sonoran. It will go out next week, I need to keep it for my class at Changing Hands on Saturday. That’s an image done by Victoria Pearman, above.

You can write in the journals, too. Check out the details about all the journals here. Or, drop me an email at Rawartjournal [at] gmail [dot] com.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and journal keeper who loves living in Phoenix.

Summer Heat Effects in AZ

cv  ewwdPeople warned me about July and August in Arizona. I was here last August for a week. But nothing prepared me for someone turning the temperature to “grill” and leaving it there.

I read that in the 1850s the military imported camels, but gave up because the mule lobby was too strong. No one knew how to pack an animal that came fully packed with two humps already, so they turned them loose in the desert to die out. The camels loved Arizona, swam the river like spaniels and multiplied. They were finally rounded up and ummm, eaten.

If you’ve never been here in July and August, here are a few hot facts about Arizona:

–You can take a comfortable shower using cold water only. The pipes aren’t buried deep enough to keep the water cool. Tap water comes out around body temperature.

–I toss two icepacks into the bed at night, like I used to toss a hot water bottle in the bed in New England’s January cold. By the time I crawl into bed, I can put one on my forehead and another under the small of my back.

–I keep a bottle of water next to the bed, but I put it in the freezer for an hour before bedtime. Otherwise it’s unpleasantly warm to drink.

–Yes, I have air conditioning. I’m trying to keep the bill for my apartment under $200 a month, so I keep it at 86, which is cool enough most of the time. After all, it’s 20 degrees cooler than outside.

–The door handle is too hot to touch.

–CDs, plastic cups and bottles left in the car will melt if you leave your car in the sun. And pretty much, the only place for your car is the sun.

–This is the only town I know where people will choose a parking lot for shade, not proximity to the mall doors.

–Pool temperatures are frequently above 98. That’s not the hot tub, that’s the pool.

–Mascara melts in the sun. It then runs down your face with your perspiration. Everyone looks like an extra from a KISS concert.

–The temperature at midnight is still 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try frying an egg on the sidewalk. No reason it shouldn’t work.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach in Arizona. She believes in September.

Image courtesy