So, after we agree that I must be crazy to pass up the cool of Portland for the baked treat that is Phoenix, what does someone do when it is too hot to touch the steering wheel? Actually, I have noticed a fascinating change in how locals approach summer. Folks used to simply hibernate. Virtually all activities stopped until fall. Many resorts would close for a few months. No business conventions would be caught dead in town. Concerts, plays, art openings......nothing. The town hunkered down (I love that phrase) and went into survival mode.
But over the last several years, things have changed rather dramatically. While most of us don't leap for joy at 105 degree afternoons, the tendency to hide and wait it out is no longer the first choice. Just like residents of Minneapolis or Fargo or other frozen places who don't lock the doors and stay inside until the spring thaw, Phoenix is running at full throttle year round.
No resorts close anymore. In fact, with special rates (and even better ones for locals), they are full all summer long. Using someone else's air conditioning, taking a dip in a beautiful pool, using the spa, and eating at nice restaurants makes the hottest days not so bad.
Cultural activities like plays, concerts, museum shows, lecture series, and documentary films at the local library can keep someone busy all day. The Diamondbacks play baseball in an air conditioned facility, while the WNBA team play just down the street at the home of the Phoenix Suns. The Arizona Cardinals start their preseason games next month, again, in an enclosed stadium.
Very likely, with most of the Valley going to a year round school calendar, it has become more difficult for those with school age kids to leave for weeks or months at a time. Our grand kids begin their new school year in two weeks, for example. What that means, is that things to keep kids and the family busy and engaged have to take place all year. Shutting down everything for the summer just doesn't work anymore.
So, for whatever the reason, Phoenix in the summer doesn't shut down and doesn't flinch in the face of the heat. Betty and I are staying every bit as busy and active as we do during more temperate times of the year. Maybe it is attitude, maybe it is just accepting what the good Lord gives us. We take Bailey for her romp in the park. She still loves to chase birds and smell those smells only doggies smell, regardless of the thermometer.
Granted, Phoenix in the summer is not for sissies, nor is it everyone's cup of tea. Neither is it a time to complain and simply sit inside. We desert dwellers are accepting our reality and living our lives as fully as we choose. Heavens, Betty and I are even in the market for a pair of bikes to explore our new neighborhood....now, not just when the temperatures drop.
Our satisfying journey through life continues.