So, that was summer, then…
This is what summer looks like from where I sit. Autumn looks a bit like that, too. In late Autumn and Spring there are also incredible wildflowers—then the desert looks a bit like the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz.
The official “summer over” signal for me is the start of the autumn semester at the University of Arizona. The students are back. The staff is back. Everything kicks into high gear. July, being “the most popular month to leave Tucson” is very slow and sleepy and hot. It’s probably a bit like living in a summer resort town in the winter (except for the temperature!) Although the Tucson area is not a resort, per se, it has many of them, and is known as a winter destination because of the mild temperatures then.
The problem with autumn being NOW (almost a full month before the season starts officially) is that it is still amazingly warm, and predicted to be so for at lest a couple more weeks. New students at the U are quite shocked by this. They may have made their campus visits in April, and now wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. We can only tell them it DOES, eventually, cool off; you WILL need to wear sweaters and jackets. It gets COLD here, even snows a bit! Hard to believe at the moment.
The other thing about this summer for me is that I DIDN’T GO ANYWHERE! I usually do in late July or early August. I will sometimes visit my family in California, but, these days I’m kind of snarky about that. I will not go unless I have other reasons to be there, like a conference or seminar, or a family event like a wedding, or something. I rarely travel just to travel. I have friends who used to invite me to their summer place in the mountains, and have had some wonderful adventures there, like this one. It is beautiful there in the summer. Warm days; cool nights; hiking and dining and western history. But…they sold their cabin! Without asking me! Can you imagine? 😉 They said they weren’t using it as much, and they had a good buyer, and in this economy they thought they ought to take advantage of that.
So, it’s been an odd summer. I’ve barely left my area, other than for a couple of jaunts; one up to Phoenix (even hotter) and one down to Tubac (not much cooler, but fun to explore.) As some fall musical activities have started, I found myself greeting people I haven’t seen since last spring. There is a combination of “back-to-school” and “settling-in” energy going on with a lot of these folks, and they inevitably ask me where I went this summer. When I say I was here the whole time, I get the look: “Only a complete moron would stay in the Sonoran Desert all summer without relief!” 😮 I am familiar with that look, and have steeled myself to be on the receiving end of if for another month or so. 😀
I will say that summer is a great time to hit the shopping centers and malls, if you like that sort of thing. In July, you can just about roller skate through Tucson Mall, for instance…try that in late November when the winter visitors and holiday shoppers are there! One can barely get a place to park, then. The other fun things are the restaurants. I haven’t taken much advantage, but they offer all kinds of specials and perks to get business in the summer. A couple of years ago a friend and I wandered into one of our favorites, and they were testing out their new menu. They served us two signature dishes for free! We only paid for our drinks. Good business practice, too, as this restaurant remains a favorite, and I often recommend it.
How has your summer been?