Ah yes, remember a few months ago when those of us up in Montana were getting tired of the cold weather and the wind. Remember, all you folks in North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan wishing the ever ending snow would stop? This is what we here in the Phoenix valley are facing today. I want to think of myself as a tough ol bird, after all I fought cancer and lived. I almost died in 1972 from loss of blood. I have lived through several bad car accidents and one or two motorcycle mishaps. However, this bird just about melted a few minutes ago by going to the grocery store. I drove past some carpenters hammering away on the new roof decking on a two-story house and me in my air-conditioned truck, running full blast. Then we passed men trimming shrubs and trees. I parked the truck as close to the front door of the Safeway and was soaking wet by the time I got indoors. Then the cool air hit me and sweat really started flowing. I looked like I had just got of my bike on one of my early morning rides. I’m not tough anymore, I’m just old.
I think of Peoples in others countries that deal with even higher temperatures, higher humidity and I wonder how they do it. Ok, I think of the people here, in New Mexico and West Texas and wonder who they keep from melting. All I want to do right now is go lie down and sleep the afternoon away. Just when I thought I was getting use to this heat, blam! Arizona throws another heat wave at me. No wonder the people who settled this part of the country didn’t live long, they died from the heat. Women with their layers and layers of under clothes and long dresses and men in their wool long johns and wool or deer skin clothing. If I had been out here and the Indians came to raid my little sod hut ranch home, I would have let them kill me and get me out of my misery. Not even a fan to cool the home or themselves off. Maybe those sod huts stayed cooler than our homes today?
The other day we were riding out by the San Tan mountain and we saw an old two-story clap board house that had seen it’s better days. Who in the world would have built a two-story house out here in the middle of the desert? OK, so it’s not in the middle of the desert now, but then again no one is living in the place and it didn’t look like anyone had lived there in a long time. Truth be known, the owners probably roasted to death and the coyotes carried them off a hundred years ago.
It was much easier to be tough yesterday. I spent most of the afternoon outside, enjoying 109 degrees and a friends pool. If you are wet and a slight breeze hits your body, you can actually stand to be outside. Oh, don’t stand on the concrete around the pool for very long. That stuff is hot, hot, hot!
So today, my ol butt is spending the rest of the afternoon indoors with the a/c running and the ice tea glasses being kept full. I’ll even drink a toast to all those that came before me and settled this Valley of the Sun. They sure had that right. One saving grace other than the a/c, is that we are so much further South and the sun sets before 8 pm. If it stayed up until almost 10 pm like in Montana, there would be nothing left of this land. Nothing but ashes where everything burned up.
I keep in mind it could be worse but that’s another story.