When my husband, our son and I arrived here via car from Virginia in July, 1987, we had NO IDEA what the heat & the southwest summers would be like. He grew up in Germany, I grew up in Hawaii, and our son had been born in Virginia, so who knew? We didn’t even own a Toyota with air conditioning. But we learned quickly on how to adapt.
We have now lived here over 25 years. So here’s my tips on surviving temperatures of over 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for almost 5 months of the year:
1) avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. People seem to “hibernate” here in the summer.
2) seek shade when walking or exercise only in the early morning or at dusk; park your car in any shade or under trees (unless it’s too far to walk)
3) wear a minimum of clothing (preferably cotton)
4) invest in fans — electric or even hand held. We had a ceiling fan installed in our master bedroom and it’s helped a lot.
5) enjoy dusk to sunrise when it’s cooler
6) go to the indoor air-conditioned malls (Foothills, Tucson Mall, Park Place) to shop & exercise to escape the heat
7) keep the direct sunshine out of your home by leaving the shades/blinds drawn most of the time
8) take showers or baths to cool off
9) use City/County or community pools for a quick, refreshing swim
10) drink lots of liquids all day (preferably water), and enjoy ice cream/snow cones/shaved ice as often as possible
…and most of all, have a good attitude of acceptance and challenge during these hot summer months.
I confess that my attitude was poor in the beginning of living here, but it has improved and now I rarely complain about the heat. I just try to embrace it, as it embraces me from May through September.
And I also confess that usually I try to leave town for a while for cooler climates. Now I understand why folks own vacation cabins up on Mt. Lemmon (at least 30 to 40 degrees cooler).
If you have any more suggestions, please note them in the comment section below. Temperature today: 103 degrees F.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. And keep cool.