As I write this it’s blustery and overcast outside. This morning I baked banana bread and last night I made Giada’s butternut squash risotto with a squash from the farmer’s market. Our fall and Halloween decorations have been excavated from the garage, thoroughly inspected for scorpions and placed about the house.
And right now the temperature outside is ninety-one degrees.
The worst part about an Arizona summer is not July or August. It’s not spending Labor Day and Memorial Day and the 4th of July cooped up indoors while the rest of the country flaunts its all-American berry-picking, frisbee-tossing outdoor jubilation. It’s not the start of school with temperatures so hot that kids can’t play outside on the playground.
For me the hardest part of an Arizona summer is fall. Starbucks starts marketing the pumpkin spice latte the day after Labor Day, which this year was a lovely 114 degrees. September drags on with just a tease of a letup in the heat of the evenings and mornings, luring us outside for just a few minutes, pretending we’re comfortable. And by October Facebook friends in the Midwest and Northeast are posting pictures of pumpkin patch visits and waxing poetic about apple cider and scarves and fires in the fireplace and … we Arizonans just start to lose our patience.
So we start playing make-believe fall. We ditch the flip-flops and wear boots. We order the pumpkin spice latte. We get out the crock pot. We find all manner of things to make and do with gourds. But you’d better believe we still have the A/C set at 76 degrees (a temp we haven’t felt outside – day or night – in many months).
Because it’s hot out there.