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Wednesday, June 29, 2016


(Arizona joke:  It was so hot I saw a coyote chasing a jackrabbit and they were both walking!)

Those of us who have lived in Arizona for a reasonable amount of time understand what the place is all about with regards to lifestyle and the effect that weather has on it.

My wife and I have been permanent residents of Scottsdale and Phoenix for the last 27 years.  Before that we were mid-westerners having grown up in Cincinnati and later living in the Kansas City area for 20 years.  We knew all about seasonal changes like ice and snow, humid summers, and raking leaves.  Corn fields were a common sight as were lush green lawns plus we had daylight savings time.

Living in Arizona is a whole new ball game.  As described by local writer S. E. Schlosser in a hilarious recent column about the differences between Arizona and the more northern climes, we always carry our own water with us.  Most of the time, especially in the summer, almost everyone will be holding a bottle of water, usually the large economy size.  It’s what one does when the temperatures start going up around March to a steady diet of 100+ degree days.  The record for March is 102 degrees set in 1988.  As I write this in June, I still remember June of 1990 when it hit 122 degrees.  Carrying your own H2O makes a lot of sense under those conditions.

Winter in Scottsdale (usually)
Here are a few more observations from Ms Schlosser concerning the summer Arizona lifestyle:  1. Do not expect cold water to come out of the cold water tap (see above listed temperatures as why that is so).  2.  Arizonans consider 90 degree weather as representing a cooling trend.  People take certain jobs because covered parking is a perk.  (Caution: do not touch a dashboard that has been exposed to the sun for a long period!) 3. Outdoor activities start at about 5:00 a.m. and end about 8:00 a.m.4. You run INTO the rain instead of out of it (That is assuming that there IS any rain!). 5.Umbrellas are used on sunny days, not rainy ones.  6. You are happy to see a lizard in your yard because it proves that something is alive.  7. The local weather report is a looped tape.  8. You would rather get a letter from the IRS than have to open your utility bill. 9. You’re an expert on ceiling fans because you have one in every room constantly in use.  10. You buy sunscreen in quart size containers.

So, why would anyone want to live in such a place?  A lot of residents flee in the summer to the northern climes because of the above mentioned items.  In the winter there is the opposite:  People flood back to their winter homes in Arizona because of the nice sunny days and temperatures in the 70 to 80 degree range.  The golf courses are reseeded so they are green during the winter.  Of course green fees rise also but if one can afford to live in Arizona in the winter, so what.  In short, it is a nice lifestyle that I wouldn’t trade for anywhere else.