Monday, April 24, 2006

The Last Week of April

Around our house, the last week of April usually means the last week that I enjoy the "summer." Here in Phoenix we have two seasons: summer and summer extreme. What the rest of the Northern hemisphere refers to as autumn, winter and spring is our summer. We are coming to the end of said summer and entering "summer extreme." Summer extreme lasts from May to October--five to six months long. This is as long as winter is in the Northern states.

People in Arizona like to tell others (and themselves) that summer extreme is "only three months--June, July, August--and even June and July aren't that bad and then the monsoons are here in August and that cools everything down!" Don't listen to them! Summer extreme is almost half the calendar year. They like to make themselves feel better. They tell themselves that the dry heat is better than the humidity (which, frankly, is true) and that summer extreme is really only "summer" and things Aren't That Bad.

Garrison Keillor once described how Minnesotans prepare for winter. He described the mental preparation of knowing you were going to enter a long, dark tunnel and emerge at the end sometime in May. Just as those Minnesotans are emerging from their tunnel, I am entering mine.

To which I say in a small, whimpering voice that asks for mercy, "Summer Extreme, bring it on!"

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