I often “wax nostalgic” for the good old days. It’s such a tempting thing to do when you hit my age. But this morning I had to admit how lucky I was to have my house cooling to a perfect 78 degrees despite the outside temperature in Arizona quickly rising to triple digits. For those of you who live outside our state, that means anywhere from 105-120 degrees. Yes, that’s actual temperature outside. The interior of the car after sitting in the parking lot at Safeway for forty minutes – ouch!
Last week I agreed it was hot, but I have my own method of testing when summer has arrived, and it’s not here quite yet. There are many ways to test for summer in Arizona. If you slide onto your leather car seat in shorts and get third degree burns on the back of your legs. Equally bad is the burn you get from your metal seat belt buckle as you pull it across your arm. If your grocery receipt fades to blank paper in the passenger seat before you get home. If you can’t keep your windows and doors open past 6:00 AM. If you have to refrigerate your lipstick when you return home. If you don’t have to wait for your barbecue grill to heat up. Some people test the heat by frying an egg on the sidewalk. That’s always fun to watch.
My personal test takes place during my morning shower. On a normal winter day, it takes about three minutes for the water to heat up as it moves from the hot water heater in the garage to the far side of the house and into my bathroom. By spring, it may take only a minute or so. But when Arizona turns hot in the summer, there is no cold water anywhere along the pipes or in the ground. Your water is instantly hot. Yesterday, I forgot and shoved the circular faucet way left of center, turned for a second to grab a towel and turned back to find instant steam. I quickly cranked the handle as far to the right as possible hoping to find some cold water to even it out. I let it run for a few minutes waiting for it to cool.
This morning I tested again. I turned on the faucet in the kitchen and waited. It took two minutes for the water to become cool, then (almost) cold. So it isn’t summer here yet folks. The first day I leave it running for five minutes only to find lukewarm water — that’s the first day of summer at my house!