It’s a Dry Heat: August 2022
Summer is my favorite season in Palm Springs. The tourists have flocked back home, lengthy lines have subsided at local eateries (some of which close for a siesta), and a general sense of calmness settles upon the city.
Alas, this world of well-being does come with a bit of heat, but at least it’s a dry heat as we like to say.
This time of year, my spouse likes to call our little hamlet “an inferno.”
Yes, we are smack dab in the season where daily temps surpass 100. As I unfurl my Coolaroo window shade, I am reminded of the lifestyle accommodations that need be made, making us all feel a little like lizards under rocks.
The weather newscasters regularly remind us of the importance of hydration. My first full year out here, I developed an irregular heartbeat, was constantly thirsty and my eyes hurt. A quick trip to the cardiologist taught me the importance of Gatorade and electrolytes. Once I developed an affinity for these necessities, poof, no more abnormal heartbeat.
My optometrist cautioned, “Your eyes are very dry. Use drops daily.” Voila, no more gritty eyeballs.
It is also important to know when and when not to do certain things. Walking the dog? Better get up before 7 or poochey’s tongue may be dragging behind him/her on the warm pavement. Like to garden? Don’t forget that plant netting lest your precious greenery turn a brittle brown. Wash the car? Do it when it’s cool or your windshield will crack (or is that just an urban legend?).
Even though certain day-time provisions need be made, the summer evenings are not to be believed.
I like to go out to my pool near day’s end. I lay on a raft and marvel at the blueness of the sky and the languidness of desert life.
The sunsets of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa ranges are like watching a nightly fireworks show, each setting sun a burst of beauty. Fast forward to 9 p.m., you are often greeted by a subtle breeze which bathes you in a blanket of warmth.
And, when the cicadas begin their evening symphony, it is like a you are marveling at a maestro at work.
When I first moved here, my friends asked, “How do you live in 100 degree heat?” My response is always the same. “Do you sit outside all the time at your home? It’s no different here. We just use air conditioning more often – way more often.”
Speaking of which, if you’re ever at a loss for words at a pool party, simply ask, “What do you set your thermostat to?” That is sure to get a rally of a conversation started (I always say “That’s a personal choice which every individual must make”).
That said, I’m generally a 78 degrees during the day, 75 in the evenings and 74 at bed time kinda guy. I know, TMI.
If July is famous for its balmy, sultry nights, August is known for its often soupy, uber-moist, monsoonal flow. Yes, a little moisture is good for the complexion, but come those days when the Salton Sea is smelling like a burning match and the monsoons are dripping their way over from Arizona, you’re apt to want to take a little vacay from your permanent vacay.
It’s kind of like living in Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.”
Yes, humidity can suck the life out of you, and if there’s ever a month where I check the calendar days off as they pass, it’s August.
That said, locals know with the passing of August, we begin transitioning back to the cool, fun-loving destination we are.
By September, the restaurants have re-opened from their summer hiatuses, the snow birds flock back into town and locals find their utility bills slowly start to creep down.
Until then, I will content myself with being able to ride my bike down Palm Canyon Drive with nary a car in sight, while enjoying the warmth on my face and the summer air brushing across my cheeks.
After all, it’s a dry heat.