I should be ashamed of myself, complaining about how cold it is in Tucson, 55℉ day and 32℉ night. In the Midwest, the polar vortex is wrecking havoc. Chicago was at -25; -77 at Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Still, context is important. In Tucson, I am use to bubbling along at 105 in the summer months. Cook an egg on the sidewalk. For me this is the norm, and I like it! Thus, when there is a "real" desert cold spell, I am quickly swaddled in a down jacket, wearing lined gloves and a sock cap over the ears.
In life's journey, I inherently knew that I wanted to keep my keester in the warmth of the Sun. Three winters in Kansas during my middle school years was enough cold weather to forever fill out my ice skating dance card. Snow up to my waist: wet shoes, soaked pants, knowing what a popsicle must feel like. Frozen gloves that could stand on their own. I was happy to head for Oz if it meant getting out of Kansas.
After three damp rainy years in England (story for another time), I finally ended up in Florida, land of sunshine and oranges. At the University of Florida, I didn't need a parka, but with the humidity, I soaked through a couple of shirts a day while watching alligators frolic in a nearby swamp. Still, in a heartbeat, I'd take that humidity and an occasional sunburn over turning blue and watching my breath freeze. When it came time to leave the womb of academia, I knew that I must follow the sun.
Arizona appealed to me because of cowboys and the dry heat. Kind of like the back blast of a nuclear explosion. So I lived in Phoenix, and during July I accepted the fact that I would feel like a bird rising from its own ashes. However, during most of the year, the weather was so copacetic. Mr. Sun warming everything to just the right temperature. I still kept the parka for those few days in January where Kansas shipped some excess prairie frigidity our way. On those anomalous cold days, I would still turn my face toward the sun and let the faint hint of warmth wash over me.
Mountains and cactus were followed by 21/2 years in the San Francisco Bay area where I became intimately acquainted with fog and earthquakes. Swallowed up by the primordial mist. I finally fled back to the desert and Tucson where I traded in my navy pea jacket and fisherman's cap for buckskin and a Stetson. Hello Sun!
The Beach Boys have a song called, "The Warmth of the Sun." The guy in the song is bummed because his girl has dumped him: The love of my life/ She left me one day/ I cried when she said/ "I don't feel the same way." After he gets past the boohoo aspect, he realizes that love is a renewable resource which he can use again in the future. In fact, love and Mr. Sun have a lot in common: My love's like the warmth of the sun/ (Warmth of the sun)/ It won't ever die/ (It won't ever die). Well, the sun may flame out in a few billion years, but for now, I'm really digging its rays - keeping me happy and filling my vitamin D quotient. Hot! Hot! Hot!