5 Things That Just Make Sense in Arizona
Here are 5 Things That Just Make Sense in Arizona
When the summer heat hits Arizona, it gets our attention. You've heard the expression, "At least it's a dry heat" - usually captioned under a meme of a skeleton sitting beneath a saguaro cactus. The dry air at the height of a southwestern summer is nothing to mess with, but we get used to it and true Arizonans know how to adapt.
1. Driving with Oven Mitts in the Middle of Summer
Anyone who doesn't live in Arizona would no doubt think we're either losing our minds or wildly exaggerating how hot it gets in Arizona, especially at the height of summer. The heat in Arizona can be brutal. Getting into your car and preparing to drive in June requires a protocol.
First, try not to touch surfaces with your bare hands, until absolutely necessary. Don your pair of Car Mitts. (When you go to buy them, you'll find them in the KITCHEN aisle mislabeled as "oven mitts". Don't be fooled. These are for driving.
Second, remove the window sunshade, carefully. If you've had it for more than two years, it's probably brittle and faded, too. Plus, it's hot. Don't fold it. Just toss in in the back seat. Try not to hit the kids.
Third, roll down all the windows to let out some of the heat, then close your car door, and carefully start your car. Yes, with the oven mitts on.
Be sure to blast the AC and aim it towards your steering wheel. It'll be blasting hot air, but in about 5 minutes or so, you'll be able to breathe and drive.
2. Getting Perishable Groceries on Your Last Stop Before Going Home
I was visiting my mom in the Midwest once. We picked up groceries, to include ice cream and raw chicken, on our first stop before our summer picnic. I thought she was nuts.
When I mentioned that we should probably get the groceries last to avoid spoilage, meltage, and food poison-age (work with me here), she thought I was nuts. Why would we worry about the groceries melting in 63-degree heat?
She asked this in all seriousness, and made a perfectly good point, but in Arizona, you buy your groceries dead last, and then race home to put them away before they all melt and wilt in the heat.
3. Wearing Long Sleeves and Long Pants to Hike
I just told you how hot it is here, but I'm recommending you wear long sleeves and long pants - to hike. Outside??!! I'm not crazy. The sun (have I mentioned the SUN??), is brutally hot.
Wearing at least a loose-fitting cotton shirt can help protect your well sun-screened arms from scorching. The long pants will help with the heat and the sun, but also protect your legs from all the poking, brambling, biting stuff found in the desert.
The bugs, the cactus, the weeds, the mesquite is only the beginning; long pants may also help slow down a rattlesnake from connecting with your skin.
Which reminds me: always watch where you step. See reasons above.
4. Sun Faded Signs
Just memorize where everything is, because the signposts up ahead will eventually read absolutely nothing.
New businesses with their shiny, hopeful new signs would be wise to set aside a piece of the budget to replace those signs every few years. They're going to fade and/or blow away in some of our impressively high winds.
5. Carrying a Water Bottle Everywhere
Occasionally we purchase disposable water bottles in Arizona. When my kids were in marching band and sports, we bought whole flats of water bottles and donated them to the schools, the teams, and the bands.
We also sent our kids to school or to practice, basically anywhere, with a full water bottle and instructions to fill it often. If you're going to go for even a short hike or walk, take a water bottle with you.
Trust me. The sun in Arizona can be brutal! (Did I mention that already?)