By June 15, 2017

How to Beat the Heat: Water & Whine

Chris Prickett — A visitor from a cooler state recently asked me how I handle the summer heat in Arizona. Of course, my answer was diplomatic because I didn’t want to tell him that my method of coping involves mostly whining.

Between just us, I’d prefer a Phoenix summer to what I endured for nearly 40 years back east. At least I know what I’m getting here. It’s crazy hot from about 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., uncomfortably warm from 8 p.m. until 9 a.m., and we get some monsoons. Pretty consistent, actually.

During my summers in the Northeast—those ridiculously short summers sandwiched between a cruddy spring and the eyeblink of an autumn—you’d get a few nice sunny days, a bunch of humid, sweltering days, constant assaults by mosquitoes and yellow jackets, overcrowded beaches, and a fair amount of rain—usually in the middle of a picnic or during a weekend at the beach.

I don’t miss the four seasons. Two are perfectly fine for me.

I’ve learned to pull down my shorts enough to avoid third degree car seat burns, how to steer with a napkin, and the importance of toting a water bottle for the trip to the mailbox. I’ve also found that a large floppy hat is oh, so much more than a fashion statement. It’s called adapting, folks.

I admit, the triple-digits do kind of wear on me after a while. I plan my vacation mid-July as an incentive to endure the first 45 days, or so, and then I look forward to the brief respites the monsoon rains (hopefully) bring. Before I know it, it’s the end of August and the occasional 99 feels mighty fine. It’s pretty much all downhill from there.

Throw in a little pool time, the occasional day trip up north, and—when my wife’s not home—a drop of the thermostat below 70 on a Saturday, and the dry heat is actually quite tolerable. Not buying it? Well, you can always whine and see if that helps.

Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine.

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