The dry season is upon us.
In Arizona, it lasts from late fall through midsummer pretty much. Summer contains the wonderful, fickle, thunder-filled Monsoon. But the rest of the year is pretty dry. Now, in mid to late April, we’re warming up nicely. Soon it will be time for me to be careful when touching the steering wheel of my car. I’ve gotten blisters before. Right now my swamp cooler, an evaporative device, is working very well. It’s a cheap form of air conditioning – a fan blows air through something like a damp sponge to cool the air down. So it won’t work in high humidity. Right now if we run the thing full blast we can get the house down to sixty degrees or so.
In Tucson, keeping cool is an art form. Sure, you could sit in a modern home and turn on the air conditioning. Yet, it’s much more fun to find a shady spot, perhaps in a wonderful old adobe building, with open archways to let in the breezes, and sip some cold agua fresca or maybe some real Mexican Coke in the glass bottle. Yes, it is better. Maybe a bowl of ceviche when you get hungry. Now, that’s staying cool in style. My own place is flat roofed, with heat-shedding cinderblock walls and cool tile floors. You can open the front and back doors, shut the screens, and let the breezes flow through. Keep the blinds drawn in the daytime, open them at night, and you’ve got a house that stays at a livable temperature on all but the hottest days.
Sometimes, though, I don’t hide from the heat. I get a cool beverage and sit out and bake. Even for just a few minutes, on a work break. Heat like this is a touchable thing, it’s like being hugged by the day. It eases my A/C chilled bones and reminds me I’m alive.