Closing the dining room curtains in the late afternoon to keep the sun out and the room cooler, pure genius. Too bad it took me 5 years to think to do it. I didn’t even think about the curtains when I looked at blocking the sunlight coming in the top arch: summer sunshine in the southwest. I also brought our tower fan downstairs and circulating the air makes it feel cooler on the first floor. Now I am wondering what other insanely easy things I could be doing to make life more pleasant.
I am tired of sweating. It has been “summer” since April. School has been in session for a few weeks now. There is supposed to be a hint of fall in the air, a little coolness in the morning. No relief yet and it could be another month before the weather changes. Humidity is replacing a little of the heat which doesn’t entice me outdoors at all. I walk the dog around the block and tell him he can only stop and sniff where there is shade. August and September are tough months to get through in the southwest, rather like February and March in other parts of the country.
I admit I have not embraced the desert life. I know there are people who love the heat and think cacti are beautiful and don’t mind avoiding a rattlesnake. I am very happy for those people. Right now I am not so happy for me.
I have lived in many places over the last 30 some years and always found things to like and fun stuff to do. But I am struggling here in Tucson. I pine for a front porch, a shady backyard and four true seasons. I long for rain that actually makes the air feel cool. The weather makes it tough to get outdoors for a good six months out of the year. Six consecutive months. Up north you have days when you don’t really want to leave the house but they are days, not months. If it is thirty degrees and lightly snowing I would love going out for a walk. Here the sun has been broiling with temps near or over a 100 degrees for months. Months.
I think I am getting “cabin fever”. We don’t take any trips this time of year because we want E to be able to adjust to his school routine and focus on regular bed and wake up times.
I have tried to focus on some positives of living here: Pima County has an excellent library system. (But I have to leave the house to use it.) We don’t have to winterize our trailer so we can
escape Tucson go camping year round. My husband has a good job that he really likes and enables me to be a full-time stay at home mom. When I am feeling particularly miserable that last one is what I focus on. I could move back to Montana or New York but what havoc would that wreak on my son’s life? I love my son way too much to do that to our family.
I remind myself that I am making a choice to put my son and our family ahead of my own location happiness. It is not always an easy decision to live with. Sometimes I have to let myself be a little sad. But then I focus on how much I love my son and what a great childhood he is having. I am happy and grateful that I can make choices.
And always I remember, this is my choice for right now.
P.S. I have embraced the coolness of the dining room in the afternoon, relieved to find it is not gloomy at all with the curtains closed.
How do you survive six months of summer sun and blistering heat?