Moving from the Midwest to Chandler Arizona ~ The things I've learned.

sunEveryone has an opinion and not everyone will agree with mine, but here are a few things I’ve learned after moving to Chandler from Wisconsin 8 years ago.

1.  It’s not as hot in the desert in the summer as it is cold in the Midwest in the winter.  Of course, I happen to detest being cold and I happen to have extremities that can feel like ice cubes on the most  moderate of cold days.  HOWEVER….I have found I can cool off a lot faster than I can warm up and for that I’ll pick the heat of the desert every time.  Except for the times I have to drive my car using oven mitts after parking it in the sun for a couple 100+ degree hours…it’s all good.

2.  The number of car accidents in the valley surprises me.  What is wrong with valley dwellers that causes them to roll their vehicles on completely dry roads?  Why does it seem like there are so many more accidents here in the valley than I ever saw back home in the Chicago/Milwaukee area?  Desert drivers would never survive if they had to drive in real weather.  Weather like ice, snow, sleet and how bout that black ice…it would be chaos. 

3.  Weather reporters in the Valley are bored and I’m wondering if they graduated at the bottom of their weather reporting class to get placed in such a non-weather place.  The least little bit of rain and we see the stock images of puddles with a little rain dripping into them or the ever present street lamp reflecting those precious raindrops.  There are interviews with average Joe plumber on the street asking him what he thinks about the rain.  I have to laugh every time I see these weather reports after living in a place where it can rain for a month at a time and you have to take your rowboat to work.  I can only imagine what folks in Portland, OR would think of us crybabies.

4.  Our swimming season is really not that long if your pool isn’t heated.   When I moved to the Valley I had to have a swimming pool in my backyard.  After all…nothing says resort living like a beautiful blue pool.  Here’s the BUT…once the temps drop below 70 degrees at night, you are not going to be swimming in that unheated pool.  In the summer that little pool soon heats up and feels about as refreshing as jumping into a bowl of warm soup. The heat really makes it uncomfortable to sit beside the pool and the water is too warm …so you go to the mall instead.  And now for the other BUT…you still have to maintain that pool even when you’re not using it.  That means it has to run for awhile every day using your electricity and it’s dry in the desert (except when we have those wild weather centimeters of rainfall), so that means the water in your pool evaporates so it raises your water bill as well.  Then there are the cleaning and chemical requirements.  I soon tired of it all.  Now I enjoy my community pool (and I don’t mean the city pool, but the one in my subdivision), which is heated for winter use and is large enough to be moderately cool in the heat of the summer.swimming-in-arizona

5.  Most people living in the Valley are from some place else originally but I can usually pick out the visitors.  They’re the people sitting by that unheated pool in their bathing suits when it’s 50.  The people who live here have coats on.  You can also see visitors (or Snowbirds as they are affectionately called) easily through their untinted car windows.  Permanent residents have windows tinted so dark you can barely make out that a human is behind the wheel.

This is fun…Stay tuned for part 2!