Our local forecast today could read like this. "Weather is hanging in there today at a sunny 100 degrees. Warming up over the weekend and will reach 104 by Sunday." Ahem. It's mid-May. But this causes me to remember a story...
It was August of 1969. My dad and I were up and saying goodbye to my mom at 4:00 a.m. He got into his 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 -- our first family car with air conditioning -- and I started up my 1955 Ford sedan.
We headed west on highway 60 and arrived at my Grandma's house in the mountains about 5:30. Grandma had breakfast ready and we ate a quick bite before Grandma joined dad in his car and I followed them back out onto the highway.
We crossed into Arizona a little over an hour later and very soon traveled further into the state than I had ever been. By noon, we were driving through Apache Junction and making our final descent into the Valley of the Sun.
I remember it distinctly...because the heat was like a blast furnace. I grew up in the U.S. Southwest, but my hometown was approximately 4600 feet in elevation. The rare days over 100 degrees were scorchers. It was well beyond that on this August day in Phoenix. AND it was normal!
We spent that night with some relatives who didn't have air conditioning. They used a "swamp cooler" and a few fans to cool their old house. Even in the middle of the night, I couldn't believe the heat. The next morning it was close to 90 degrees in the coolest part of the day.
I guess I got acclimated (sort of). By the end of this summer, I will have spent 36 of the past 40 years in this desert. It's still horribly hot, but I don't pay that much attention to it anymore...
...until a newbie describes that "blast furnace" feeling.