July 29, 2009

"How are you dealing with the heat?"

This is the number one question folks back in the Midwest ask me when I call them. Before we left, my dad, who lived in Scottsdale tried to tell me about how miserably hot it gets in the summer. And he is right. Those folks who say, "But its a dry heat" fail to mention that it is an incredibly intense heat that feels like it is instantaneously burning through ten layers of skin. In fact, I would say the phrase, "It's a dry heat" applies up to ninety-five degrees. It is not overly hot and because of the low humidity, sweat evaporates instantaneously. Above that temperature, it really isn't comfortable to be outside when the sun is up. Given that, I would still take Arizona heat over high humidity heat of the south (or near south). I still call Missouri the "State of Misery" because the summer temperatures are in the 90's with 70 to 90 percent humidity. Everyone walks around constantly wet, unless you have air conditioning. By the way, one of the heat index calculators on the web said that 95 degrees with a 75% relative humidity feels like 128 degrees F!

One way we "deal" with the heat is to go in our pool. However, even that is not as refreshing as it once was because the water gets pretty hot and the parts of you that are above water are still having to cope with 100+ temperatures. It is hard to play in the pool.

Another way to "deal" with the heat is to go out as early as you can. We just go out in our backyard and play a few games, taking frequent water and air-conditioning breaks before heading out. By 9:30 a.m., however, it is too late. One day, I tried going on a hike with the kids at 9 a.m. at the Usery Mountains. We were out 30 minutes climing up a trial and heading right back down. The kids were flushed and I think I got hit with a bad case of heat exhaustion. I slept most of the afternoon, letting them play and watch TV.

The last way we are "dealing" with the heat is by keeping our living room free of furniture so that we can run around and use the gymnastics mat. We have been playing a lot of tag in the house. Actually, a final way to deal with the heat is to say, "We will be able to play outdoors from September through May because it will still be warm" Most people around here deal with the heat by leaving and going to higher elevations. We are talking about a trip to the Payson area to enjoy a river, hiking and maybe fishing.

In other news....
Things are getting better, slowly on the home front. The homeschooling convention connected me to three women that were really friendly to me. I literally walked up to the one woman I who was in the last seminar with me and asked her if I could have lunch with her and her friends. We all had a great conversation together! She has four kids about my age, most of them boys (Thank you God!). Another woman in the group and I have already gotten together to talk. Her kids are much older than mine, but like good homeschooling kids, played well with mine :-). They moved to the area three weeks after we did from Massachusettes. We have settled on a church to focus our efforts of "assimilating". Our final decision will be made in the fall and will be based on whether we can find a small group with whom to fellowship. The girls have become good friends with a neighbor who has twin daughters that are Jessi's age. I have been freed from the tyranny of Bejewelled by finally getting a score above 100,000. It has freed up my time to write a little bit more. My kids are stomping at the bit to start school at this point and I am working to figure out a schedule, with God's help. It is trickier with three kids, even though I am having them do a lot of subjects together. There are a lot of subjects, based on age, that we can't all do together. In general, God is good, and He is living up to His promise in Joshua 1:9--"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be timid. Do not be afraid. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

The next topic will continue my tribute series.