Summer in the Valley
Withered potted plants, pavement too hot for pets to walk on, air conditioning that seems to run nonstop. These are just a few of the things that are part of my new "normal" as I spend my second summer as a Phoenix transplant. I love it here in the Valley but I have certainly learned to change my habits during July and August. No more walking home from work, keeping oven mitts in my car in case I have to park in the sun for any length of time, and generally just cutting back on physical activities are just a few of the changes I've made this summer. While my friends in other parts of the country go out and enjoy their patios in the evening, my furniture will stay covered until at least September. And I definitely won't leave my laptop in the car because I'm afraid I'd come back to a lump of melted plastic.
Of course, I also stress about kids and pets being left in cars and I worry for the well being of the people standing on street corners, heads uncovered, asking for assistance. I feel fortunate for the job I have; working in a climate-controlled building certainly makes the temperatures bearable and I feel for those whose job keeps them outdoors most days.
I recently read in the paper that over the next decades Phoenix may have summer temperatures as high as Baghdad. It makes me wonder how downtown may change and what other habits we may have to adapt in order to continue living and working here during the hottest of the summer months.