Dry Heat vs. Wet Heat

Having just spent 3 days in the Arizona Summer, I feel I have become an expert on the variables of heat and humidity or the lack thereof. For years I pooh-poohed the very idea that 110 degree heat was tenable and asserted that is was similar to being in an oven and that the people living in Arizona were wacko. As far as their politics, I still feel the people of Arizona are wacko, but now I’m one of them, having purchased a home in Sun City West. Temperatures averaged 107 during our stay reaching the top f 116 yesterday. You may assume that most Arizonians are dried up crispy-edged folks spending their days slathering on the antiperspirants. Not so. They adapt very well, rising at 4:30 AM to tend their gardens, walk their dogs and pursue their daily duties before the heat of the day arrives.  In Sun City West only the stalwart or crazies venture out between noon and dusk to play golf, walk their dogs or water their cactus. When a flash fire in an electric power plant occurred, real panic developed among those sans air conditioning, but other than those unfortunate few relying on paper fans or visiting friends in other parts of the area, life went on with the streets of Sun City West abandoned midday.

There are many perks to living in Arizona…most of them during the winter months when 5s and 60s are welcome balm to the snowbirds who flock there.  If the fruit trees in your own yard aren’t producing well, those of your neighbors will be. And the neighbors are very generous with their fruit. Sunsets are reliably spectacular. A little known benefit is the fact that during the summer the water gushing from your cold water faucet is as warm and toasty as can be…we showered for three days without turning on our hot water heater.

Upon returning to Illinois on the redeye flight, I instantly felt uncomfortably hot. Temperatures were only in the 80s but the humidity factor hit me in the face as I exiited the airport. Mist rose from my garden. It seems that dry heat may actually be better than that with humidity. Oh well, winter is only a few months away…and besides Illinois politics is also full of a lot of wackos and some criminals as well.  Bu tI can guarantee that I’m not getting up at 4:30 AM no matter where I am.


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