Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

Summer in Arizona

Diane Keneally

I’ve heard it told that the desert heat can fry a man or woman’s bones if left too long in the hot sun. There are myths and truths abounding about those lost in the ills and plains of the deserts. Why complain though? Isn’t it a DRY HEAT?

What is the difference really from a wet or a dry heat, heat is heat. Coming from the East Coast, where there is wet or humid heat, I can now tell the difference. Humidity adds weight to the body, expanding the fluids inside, gaining pounds. A good excuse, right ladies? Really uncomfortable when the mercury its 90 degrees and above.

This dry heat, with temperatures rising to 114, makes you feel as if you just stuck your head in an oven and aren’t wise enough to remove it! Since this is our first full summer in the famous Arizona heat, I will tell you of my experiences and thoughts.

At first it was welcomed. It felt good, the sun on your face and warming your bones. As the days wore on, so did I. I found I was lethargic. I had no energy and didn’t want to leave the house. The car was a furnace, too hot to touch. The leather seats seared your legs, the steering wheel could only be touched with a finger or two new sun shields went up faster than you could say “Jackie Robinson.” Isn’t that how the saying goes?

The battle of the thermostats inside commenced. I like it cooler, he likes it warmer. Up, down, up, down. When he wasn’t looking, it went down. When I turned my back, it went up. We both could tell within a degree if either of us fiddled with it.

The decision came, should we argue about it to get our way or compromise and try each other’s temperature, exterior and interior? So, we settled. I would go to the mall where it was cool and spend the money we were saving on the higher temperature and he would stay home, in the heat of the house.

Okay, that wasn’t working. Finally, he relented, just a little bit, and I did too. We settled on it cooler in the living area during the day and leaving the bedrooms warmer. Then switching out at night.

It still is too hot to go outside, though. Forget about the BBQ. You’d have to eat at 12 midnight to catch the cooler (?) night air, if possible. The oven stays off during the summer, eating is light and fast. The toaster connection oven is getting a lot of use and we’ll probably need a new one at the end of summer. Just how much does that cost? We could have put the thermostat down a notch or two instead.

So, I’ll survive the summer after all, as everyone says the winters are worth it. Is that why the neighborhood is like a ghost town with everyone away for the summer to the cooler climes waiting for the better winter weather to come?

Right now you can find me in the pool and I’ll let you know next year if they were right.


John Heimann

Everybody complaining about the heat here in Arizona makes me think of those hot summer days back in Missouri in the 1950s. In 1951 my Dad and my Uncle, both carpenters, had just built our new 1 ½ story house. This meant that there was an upstairs. This upstairs had mine and my sisters’ bedrooms. It also had a half bathroom with a sink and a toilet.

In the 50’s there was the “Cold War.” Everybody was setting off nuclear bombs. The Atmosphere was a mess and nobody seemed to care about what it was doing to the environment. During those days, in the Mid-West the tempertures were seldom under a 100. In those days, most homes didn’t have Air Conditioning. So, the upstairs of our house was HOT! I had to share my bedroom and bed with my Uncle. He had been like a big brother to me since he came home from WWII. The only cooling we had was to open the windows and we had a fan. Needless to say, it was hot and sweaty trying to sleep. Since we shared the bed it was probably even worse than if we had our own. We did get twin-beds later on. When you got up the next day, the sheets were wet and had to be changed each day.

Nothing was ever said about how much environmental destruction was being done by the Atomic Testing. Or what had happened to the environment because of the War. Over population problems were also really beginning to show. But we just lived our lives the best we could. This planet is said to be able to support 3 billion people maximum. That is what the population was in 1950. Today there are 7 ½ billion people on this planet and the population is growing at a rate where there will be 10 billion in 2050. What does this mean for the future of this planet. Whatever it is, it can’t be good. I know nobody likes to talk about reality. But with the rate of environmental destruction going on today because of the population factor, what can be left by 2050. If you don’t want to face the environmental problems and ust say everything will take care of itself, ok. Let’s see it’s in the 100’s this year where it doesn’t normally reach these temperatures; the severe draughts going on with no relief in slight; forest fires; floods; Artic that; Environment; and Ecological disasters throughout the world. Because of over population many areas outside the U.S.A. have serverely damaged environments and are really not inhabitable with any quality of life. And yes the populations are still increasing at unbelievable rates. The idea of the U.S.A. being able to feed and/or bring all these people to the U.S.A. isn’t a very good option to me.

Oh yes, the 50’were hot. But if people continue the way they are, what does the future have in store. Maybe it wasn’t so hot “UPSTAIRS.”

How Not To Impress Someone

Margaret Daniels

The desire to find love becomes stronger as a young lady reaches the teen years. Nothing is off the table to try to get the attention of the desired one at that moment in time. Common sense goes out the window when hormones think that you are in “love.” Hence, years of mistakes occur along this journey. Sometimes this can be a bumpy journey and embarrassing.

Lilly was a junior girl in high school who was attracted to a boy named Ed. He was in the same grade that she was. In Lilly’s eyes he was attractive with dark blonde hair shaped into a crew cut, a popular style that year. He played quarterback on the high school football team and was good enough to participate in every game that season. Coupled with all of the above attributes, he was a star, at least in her eyes. She thought Ed had a good sense of humor, dressed nicely and always smelled good with a manly scent. Lots of other girls seemed to like him as well. Secretly she hoped that he was a little interested in her also.

Even though Lilly was shy, she desired to impress him. An opportunity arose one day when she went into the library. As she approached the bookshelves she looked out across the room. There was Ed heading her way. She placed her books on a nearby table.

When their eyes met her heart started to beat wildly while the gum she was chewing became like a big ball of cotton in her mouth. She pressed the gum to one side of her mouth knowing that it would stay secure there. Lilly smiled at Ed as he got closer and she could feel her cheeks get warm with excitement while trying to stay calm. Ed put his books on the table she was standing by and they began to talk. She really wanted to make a good impression so that he would like her. The longer they talked, Lilly’s voice became more animated and she forgot about the gum in her mouth, which was a mistake.

As Ed got Lilly to laughing hard, the next thing she knew the gum went propelling out of her mouth slightly arching in the air and landed on the back of Ed’s hand that he had rested on the table. He looked down at his hand, looked up at her and back to his hand. Lifting his arm to Lilly he said, “Did you lose something?” Red-faced and very embarrassed, she reached over quickly to remove the gum that was resting predominately on the back of his hand. At that moment they both gave a quick goodbye.

To her horror, Lilly realized her mistake by not getting rid of the gum before she began speaking. It also occurred to her that because of this blunder they would not be the couple going to the prom together that year. From then on she vowed that if you want to impress someone, don’t chew gum. You never know where it is going to land.