Since Mother Nature has jacked the heat up in Tucson and surrounding areas, tonight’s Saturday Night Snarks is all about Desert Living – Perimenopausal Style.
If you are anywhere near menopausal, perimenopausal or otherwise, I recommend putting off moving to the Desert SW. Just don’t do it. Not that the Desert SW isn’t a uniquely beautiful part of the country, because it is. It’s overwhelming heat from April – November. If it’s unavoidable, at least wait until toward the end of the year. You will thank me later. (There isn’t much one can do with such intense heat, just as there isn’t much one can do to prepare for an unseasonably cold winter).
You may be thinking, “isn’t it a dry heat?” Yes, even the dry heat is still intense heat with little to no cooling breezes or much in the way of clouds to help filter the sun. As a friend of mine once quipped, “It’s not the heat, it’s the temperature.”
Four years ago, this past April, I made the move from the Midwest to Tucson. I was 41 years old, the season of early menopause. The night my flight got in, the temperature at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, was 100 degrees. I can only imagine how hot it had been when the sun had been out earlier. Actually, I didn’t have to imagine anything: the next several days I lived it.
My fiance, who had flown with me, was gracious enough to walk to the parking lot and drive it up the curb to pick me and our luggage up. As I stood there, a hot breeze washed over me. It felt like I had stepped into a blow torch. All my life I was used to cooling to downright cold breezes. This was a whole other beast to contend with. To make matters more interesting, the air conditioning in my fiance’s car, at the time, wasn’t working. Fortunately, he had the where with all to drive to a nearby restaurant where we sat to eat until the sun had completely set before we ventured on I-10 toward Tucson.
I had left the Midwest where the promise of warmer days was just around the corner. People were getting outside more often + enjoying the hints of Spring in the air. After a 3 hour flight, I ended up smack dab in the worst kind of summer heat and it wasn’t even near summer yet.
The next several weeks, as in months, was a learning curve.
Things I learned:
- You cannot possibly drink enough water;
- It doesn’t begin to cool off inside your apartment until well past 1 a.m. (even though outside it has cooled off considerably);
- There are not enough fans in the world;
- You MUST be sure to have your sandals at all times when you are at the pool to prevent burning your feet;
- Sunglasses are a MUST (The sun is ungodly bright);
- You may think you are able to stay out at the pool for hours like you used to do back home;
- Too much exposure to heat will quickly make you sick including migraines;
- It’s a damn good idea to have a hat if you are outside for more than 5 minutes;
- You will consider unloading the deep freeze to make it into a sleep chamber;
- You will consider moving your mattress outside to sleep at night;
- Eating a freshly cooked meal is not a good idea;
- A cold shower only cools one off for 15 minutes; +
- Don’t get married in Vegas in July.
Four years later and I am still not used to the heat. If I am outside for long I feel nauseated. My superpower has been to radiate heat. I am not exaggerating. I wish I was. Even as I type this, with my wrists resting on the computer, the heat from the machine is causing a surge of heat that no middle-aged woman needs.
Things I dream of:
- Alberta clippers (Only if they could make it to AZ. The rest of the country gets enough of that action)
- Rolling around in a snow bank (The last time I wanted to roll around in a snow bank I was 7. The desert changed that quickly).
- My feet radiating heat at night while I am trying to get to sleep (I can’t even)
- A bed made of ice packs
- A hose to continuously drench me with cold water
- Being able to shower + get ready for the day without breaking out in a sweat making me want to shower all over again (Makes me feel like a dirty girl + not in a fun way)
I envy those who are adjusted to the weather. I wish I could go out + do activities without feeling sick. I want to hang out by the pool, from time to time, for more than 20 minutes. I also would love to be able to work longer on the computer, but I am getting far too warm and need to take a dip in the pool. In the meantime, I will be dreaming about late fall + winter in AZ.
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