October 28, 2011

And just like that, we’ve gone from fall (this year you can see it lasted a total of three weeks, from the 4th through the 25th, when we dropped from consistent 100+ temps to the ’90s) into that delight known as “Arizona winter” here in the Valley of the Sun. Folks ’round here know Arizona winter as that period of time where the temps stay well below 90, by and large, between now and the middle of April.

Arizona winter is the reverse of New England winter – just when people are buttoning up and preparing for spending the next several months primarily indoors, here in the Valley of the Sun, people are now getting of their cocoons after staying inside for the better part of five months to recreate. Windows and doors can finally be left open at night, the golf courses will be filled on weekends (and priced for it!), restaurants everywhere have their patio seating open and drag the portable heaters out whenever it gets chilly. For the next seven months, people know once again why they came to live here in the first place.

This is what all the snowbirds west of the Mississippi have been waiting for. Out here, there are three kinds of snowbirds, two of which are welcome, one not so much. You have the folks from the Great Plains, the Dakotas, the Great Basin, and the upper Midwest who show up by plane, car, and RV, to un-shutter houses and fill up the RV parks from Tucson to Yuma to join all the other regulars. In this economy, you can bet the stores, churches, and restaurants are all glad to have them back.

You have birds from all kinds of places north of here stopping by on their migrations to Mexico, and Central and South America to catch their collective breaths and say hi. Last Sunday, I saw a gray cardinal-like bird I’ve never seen before; I’m guessing he was just passing through.

Finally, and not so welcome, are the homeless who share the snowbirds’ desire to escape the long hard winters in exchange for the warmer climes. They drive, hitch-hike, and hop trains (yes, just like in the old days) to exchange one set of shelters and freeway under-passes for another. Driving around, you can really tell the increase in the number of pan-handlers you see at then end of off-ramps begging for money come this time of year. There are even fights between the full-time resident homeless and the winterized versions as the open spaces become more crowded. Sad to say, but true. I’m not complaining or being heartless, I’m just pointing it out.

Not much will change here for us though – we use our back patio all year round. It’s just nice to have a bit of a chill in the air while your sipping a cocktail or listening to music. Welcome back, Arizona winter – it was a long, hot, dusty summer, and we’re all glad to have you around.

Say, that was some kind of a Game 6 at the World Series, wasn’t it? The drama was just as good, if not better, than other great Game 6s in World Series lore, like 1975 and 1986. No matter which way Game 7 ends, this series is likely to go down as one of the greats in baseball post-season history.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:18 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. This has turned into a great World Series, quite possibly because neither team is all that great.

    GEAUX Cards.

    Comment by Rob — October 28, 2011 @ 6:48 am


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