It’s the first of July and a full moon. That means there will be another full moon in July. This is our hottest month of the year.
This is how we know it is July in Phoenix:
We no longer need hot water. The water comes out of the cold faucet at above body temperature. Warm enough to shower with. Our hot water is solar, so it comes out of the faucet at 160ºF. I have to wash all the clothes on “cold” and everything that can’t take warm water goes to the back of the closet.
The pool is now 103ºF. Which, of course, means it is still cooler than the air at noon. Or midnight. You get into the pool and then get out to cool off. As long as the humidity isn’t awful, which will happen more and more often, you feel cool getting out of the pool. We rinse off when we get out of the pool, and have to let the hose run so we don’t burn ourselves.
We freeze three-gallon buckets of water. Solid. That’s 24 pounds of water. We toss them in the pool. Ninety seconds later, there is no trace of the ice or the cool spot.
The thermostat is at 83ºF. It feels cool in the house. After all, it’s 20 degrees colder than outside. It’s 93 at 7 a.m., and 100 before noon. Our summer is like other people’s winter–there are few outdoor events, no group meetings, and what does happen, takes place inside. I am culling my studio and writing. In the winter, I like to be outside in great weather.
The eye drops and perfume are in the fridge. It feels good to use them. Cool drops and hot eyes are a great mix.
When we let the cats out, we set the timer to 5 minutes. If they don’t want in before that, we make them come in. It’s too hot, even at night, for two elderly cats to be out for long.
It’s not unusual to see people driving wearing oven mitts. The first time I saw it, I thought it was crazy. Now I think it’s clever. Steering wheels get hot in the sun.
Annual flowers die. We will replant them in September. Some perennials last, but not a lot. Bougainvillea, Oleander, and those purple flowers that bloom at 10 a.m. and fall off at 3 p.m. Acacia, mesquite, and palo verdes are dropping their seed pods. In July, not fall. I have to put out hummingbird feeders. They need to be cleaned and refilled every morning. I put ice cubes in the water well that keeps the ants from swarming them.
Doves, pigeons and grackles are the only birds left. Every summer, I see a few fall from the sky, dead of heat stroke. Each time, I am grateful it wasn’t me. This time.
Summer lasts till the end of September. Yes, it will get cooler at night, but not until after September 15. We know that if we move here, or soon after. It’s a different life, but the scenery makes up for anything else.
—Quinn McDonald has a lot of indoor projects going on. But she needs a nap.