I get out of bed at 4:45 a.m. Get dressed, brush my teeth, slip Chloe’s harness over her head, slip on my shoes, and don my cap. Chloe, a brown cocker spaniel is taking her time. She does not want to go outside. We must complete our mission in less than two hours. It is now 72 F. The sun will rise and so will the temperature. 20 degrees higher.
Phoenix and its surrounding areas are long sought after places to be in the winter months. People from all over the US come to live in their “winter homes”. As soon as the weather gets warmer, they return to their “native states”. Just like the birds. Snowbirds. The rest of us stay with no other options.
The park is deserted. Mallards who forgot how to fly home are socializing next to the lake. The lake water looks cool. Warning: Do not swim in this water, It is reclaimed water and dangerous to your health. The signs around the park say. The ducks don’t read. They get in and swim around. There aren’t any babies yet. It’s too hot!
Children play in the water park while their parents seek shade. No late afternoon picnics. Evening walks begin when the sun sets. People wake up from their afternoon naps, come out of their cool habitats, and congregate on the benches.
Phoenix residents go up to cooler areas for the weekends to go camping. No open fires are allowed. Phoenix hasn’t had rain for almost 80 days. There is no rain in the near forecast. The sidewalks are hot, yes you can fry an egg on the sidewalk and you can bake cookies in your car. It is only the beginning of June and it feels like the middle of July.
Chloe likes to roll around in the grass. The grass is dry and crunchy. She comes home with burs in her hair. She is sometimes rewarded with vanilla yogurt ice cream.
The temperatures will only continue to climb past 101F. They have inched up to 110 in the last two days.
More ice tea, cold soups (Japanese somen), and water, please.