Leaping from long johns to longing for lakes

These lightweight long johns will be too heavy soon enough.

They’re pajama bottoms actually. A cute patterned garment with a waistband and cinch tie designed like long johns. Ideal for mild winters. For hot springtime — such as Phoenix’s — not so much.

Phoenix came thiiiiiiiiiiis close to cracking the barrier today. The mercury reached 99 degrees (37.22 C).  On April 19, 2019. Good Friday. What’s good about it for this uber non-religious person is that it stayed a degree shy of that Triple Digits.

We know it’s coming. The light of the train in the tunnel that’s speeding toward us. It’s unavoidable. Sho ga nai, in Japanese. Can’t be helped, loosely translated.

Weather’s much talked about in the desert. As it should be.

While Phoenix fell juuuust short of its initial and official entry into the Triple Digits — and I’m grateful! — the looming inevitability gets mucho airtime on the radio. Like the annual first blizzard in New England. Stats are kept, dates written down, records are created and broken. Theirs center around snow, ours sun.

Crossing that boundary from double to Triple Digits foretells what everyone already knows! It’s psychological as much as physical. Once the Triple Digit is achieved, there’s no turning back for about six months.

I’m not new to a desert climate. Resided in southern Utah, whose climate is similar to Phoenix’s. Also visited Phoenix briefly — only way to visit, especially in summer — during the hot months. I blistered, flopped about and withered like a fish outta water.

I’m a new resident (as of October) so this is my first cycle through the seasons. Having visited, I know what’s coming. Having visited, I had an immediate built-in escape — an effusive PHEWWWWWW!!!!!! Having no real affection for Phoenix or plan to stay, I brace myself for the miserable looming Furnace by telling myself two little words:

It’s temporary.

Or three words:

You’re passing through.

I don’t need Triple Digits daily highs around 118 (47.7 C) exhausting brutal heat and yeah at least it’s a dry heat to know I don’t wanna be or stay here.

But here I be, for now, bracing for what’s quick around the corner, adopting best I can a philosophical stance — a perennial favorite for those surviving horrible circumstances and trauma.

I tell myself — or perhaps kid myself? — this:

Experience has value.

One full summer in Phoenix, then I can say I did it and be gone.

No real value there in the context of philosophy, life experience and cultivating wisdom. It’s simply what is, for now. 

Today when I got up, it was 91 (32.7 C) outside and 81 (27.2 C) in my studio apartment. A 10 degrees difference ain’t much. I shudder imagining my studio — which faces west, oh boy! — when it’s 118 outside!

The air was warm, still. I craved a whisper of a breeze.

And it’s not even HOT yet! I mean, 99 (37.2 C) is laughable. We’ll all be celebrating 99 in September!

Weeks ago I switched from flannel sheets to uber lightweight summer cotton sheets.

Now it’s time to launder and store these PJ lightweight long johns. Even rolled up, they suddenly feel like heavy heat traps.

Is there a garment light enough for sleeping in a Phoenix spring-to-summer?!

Perhaps. It’s called skin!

From long johns to longing for lakes … it’s a quick leap here in Phoenix, Arizona.


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