A life without Seasons after moving to Arizona from the Midwest

Moving to Arizona from the Midwest (Wisconsin to be exact), I realize there are many things I miss about “home”.  Desert-dwellers probably find that hard to believe.  Don’t get me wrong, living in Chandler, Arizona is pretty close to perfect (if you don’t count July, August and September).  But, honestly, Arizonans don’t know what they’re missing.

Amy & Santa circa 1963Take seasons for instance.  I’m not talking about a range of cool to heat that will melt iron.  I’m talking about coming out of a hard Winter where you’ve had at least 5 months of sub-zero temps, not counting wind chill.  (Yes…wind chill.  Another term Arizonans have never heard of. ) 5 months of looking like the Michelin man in your winter coat, snow pants and clip-on mittens (yes, that’s me with Santa).  5 months of letting your car warm up for 7  minutes before you actually get in to drive it.  5 months of  risking your life on icy roads, risking frostbite while shovelling snow and praying the sun will come out at least once in the next 4 weeks. 

But then the sun does come out.  The snow melts and the breezes gently blow and everything begins to turn green.  (Green…it’s the color of grass and leaves, my fellow Arizonans.)  The air smells sweet like lilacs and the angels sing.  At least it feels like there should be singing.  You’ve survived another Midwest Winter and the next Winter is 3 seasons away.  That’s spring. God’s gift to us for surviving Winter.

Next is summer.  A season that is embraced, not feared.  It’s a time when you move your life outdoors and not risk 3rd degree burns to your feet going barefoot on the sidewalk.  It’s a time of freedom.  Except for the humidity and the mosquitoes, it’s almost perfect.  Summer evenings are spent chasing lightning bugs (why don’t they have those fun little bugs in Arizona?) while slathered with insect repellent.  Good times.

The evening chirping of the crickets signals the approaching Fall season.  Ah yes, Fall.  My favorite time of the year.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s the smell of burning leaves (do they still let you do that in the Midwest?) I love that smell.  Someone could make a million dollars if they sold a candle that smelled like burning leaves.  I remember jumping in piles of leaves (before they were set on fire).  It’s so much fun being a kid in the Midwest.  I miss Fall most of all.

Winter has a start date, but in the Midwest it seemed to start with the first snowfall, which was usually some time in November.  Winter always started out great.  The first snowfall, the first snowball, the first snowman.  Snow…snow…snow..it was all about the snow.  A white Christmas was a bonus.  But when Christmas was over?  I was tired of the snow and unfortunately, that was just about the time it’s getting good and started. And there was always a false start of Spring sometime in late March when the last dirty snow mound melted and the temps hit 50..then WHAM…3 more feet of snow.  Okay, that I don’t miss.

So, as we’re coming out of  summer in the desert, where I feel like anything over 110 is hot so- why bother keeping track, I look forward to Fall….which is signified by temperatures below 100; followed by Winter which is signified by temperatures below 70; and then to Spring which is signified by temperatures below 80. 

Yea, I really miss seasons.

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    You’re “spot-on” again Amy! My two adult children, who were raised in the Midwest, moved to Phoenix years ago, echo your same sentiments. Yes, we are approaching my favorite time of year too here in the Midwest. I just came back from my vacation home and Mother Nature has begun to paint on her canvas….the changing of the colors have begun. The night skies are so clear and stars so bright. It’s truly an awesome spectacle. Besides for changing of the seasons in the Midwest, there are regional customs and traditions that come with them! I mean, where else do they close schools for 10 days for deer hunting season! How about Oktoberfest, Apple Festivals, hay rides, bonfires, picking your own fresh strawberries, trick-or-treat with real carved pumpkins, sled rides. Oh….I also forgot about the Northern Lights! Incredible!
    I hope you can make it back to your home town about this time of year and enjoy the best of the Midwest!

  2. Hi Steve~
    Yep, all things I miss. Luckily my husband & I can get away to our cabin in the mountains. All 4 seasons and only a (beautiful) 3 hour drive. Now…if I can just stop working long enough to get up there!