I'm beginning to understand the rush to leave the desert during the summer. I've been pretty good with it all, getting up at 5:30 to walk the dogs, coming back and doing my chores outside--filling feeders, throwing scratch on the ground for the quail and doves, a little bit of gardening in the front yard where we have shade until 11:00 or so. But the last three days have threatened rain--clouds building over the Catalina mountains, thunder rumbling enticingly in the distance, a tantalizing flash of lightning here and there...and then...nothing. The temps don't drop, we have no rain and soon the clouds have moved off to the west without a by-your-leave.
For some reason this teasing weather pattern has me cursing, a fist held up toward the over-bright orb shining down from the very blue sky. I hear distant laughter, as though the sun mocks me. I hole up in the house, unable to plant my vegetable garden or walk the property. Even hanging out clothes on the line has me covered in sweat. 'We need an umbrella!' I shout to my husband. My Fresno born mate is nonplussed.
And so I work on my writing, trying not to think about the tire that has appeared around my waist. The heat keeps me hard at work, I rationalize. I have a book to edit, I tell myself, what better time to do it?
And the front garden now contains several kinds of agave, a large one as a centerpiece. A three foot tall, deep green Mexican Fencepost has been planted against the pale wall of the house. Our next project will be the enclosed backyard that I'm afraid will have to wait until we have the money to hire a crew of professionals.
My disdain of the snow-birds has been replaced with plans to go to Portland next year for at least a month, if not more. I hate to miss the monsoons, however. They have been spectacular, dropping the temps and whipping through with the vengeance of an angry goddess. From what I've heard, this year has been a good one for rainfall. The grass and flowers flourish on the hill behind the house.
It is now the beginning of September and the average temps will be dropping. By early October it will be cool enough to hike during the day. I look forward to the coming months when the snakes hibernate and I can let the dogs run free again. I'm glad of our decision to remain through the summer, but I've experienced it now. Next summer will find us in cooler climes, at least for a portion of it!