I have wondered every summer when the temps hover at 110" or hotter, why in the hell I ever moved to Phoenix. It's complicated. Where does one go when one knows they can no longer live in India...? Why to a place that is hotter of course.
That is not how it really happened but it sounded good for the moment. When my husband and I realized we could no longer take the discomforts of living our dreams we had to find a place to move to. There were some discomforts of Bangalore living we were just not willing to face, until they improved. Like no power for four hours either AM or PM. The AM/PM alternated each month. Random problems with our bore well which supplied our house hold water. Huge traffic congestion and few traffic lights. Four way stops where everyone kept going in their own direction and no stopping. Pollution everywhere in what used to be known as the garden city. Industries galore and unimpeded growth,. Good for the country but bad for gracious living. In short, everything had changed since we had decided back in 1969 to move to Bangalore when we retired. We absolutely still loved the country, the people, the food, our family, my husband's students, etc. We simply could not face the discomforts for the rest of our lives. Had we been either richer or poorer we might have stayed and dealt with the situation and been happy. Being who we were, however, we decided to return to the States and seek a final home.
I came to Phoenix because like the bird I felt we could rise from the ashes and recreate ourselves. Instead we live every summer with the ashes floating over the valley from our magnificent forests burning,relentlessly with wildfires caused mostly by humans.
The pollution from the cars, industry, blowing dust, burning ash, combined with heat above 110" make leaving our homes in the four bad months of summer a terrible challenge. For someone like me, with COPD, it becomes almost impossible. Half of May, June, July, August, and half of September, make for four home-bound months for me. God forbid if the air conditioning goes out in either our house or our car. This, thus far has not happened because we keep the conditioner and cars very well maintained. We are on our third home air-conditioner since moving to this house. We replace it at the first sign of trouble.
My husband and I have made a life of cocooning during the summer months. It is a time for indoor exercise, guitar playing, reading, cleaning house and a myriad of other activities which can be done after 10:30 AM until the next morning at 5:30.
We have adjusted to this Hell on earth during the summer months and stunning loveliness the remainder of the year. Housing is affordable, taxes are low, the streets are wide and many are lined with graceful palm trees. In any direction we drive we can see mountains in the distance. There are horse farms a few blocks away from where we live. The vegetation is wild and colorful and who can resist the "Sentinels of the Dessert", the Saguaro Cactus. Almost any flower or vegetable can be grown during the winter months and the landscapes are filled with living color due to wildflowers in the spring. People used to move to Arizona when they had asthma or allergies, but no longer. There are many days with unacceptable air quality and the vegetation such as olive trees and others, are murder for allergies.
I am still not quite sure why we came here. It is indeed a dry heat. It will dry out your very blood if you let it. The buzzards are always circling over the dessert but here in the Valley of the Sun, life can be livable if you are willing to adapt and embrace the life one has finally chosen. For better or worse, until death do us part.