We Have a Heat Wave and I Leave Town

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Phoenix DesertIt was sheer coincidence that we happened to leave town just as a heat wave hit Arizona and other states in the southwest. Every now and then I get awfully lucky.

My parents and siblings live in Pennsylvania and we like to drive to visit them during the summer. Our schedule is more flexible, we can stop and see the sites across the country with the kids, and then we have our own transportation when we show up.

You know those people who always seem to have something happen to them on the way between here and there? That’s me. No trip can happen uneventfully. I’ve been stranded in the wrong city by a number of airlines, driven out of hurricanes at the last minutes, had airports close due to severe weather right before I was scheduled to leave, lost my luggage – you name it. In fact, the diamond from my first wedding ring is somewhere in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.

See the pattern? These are not happy things that happen when I travel – they’re just annoyances. This time, though, I was very happy to see our trip out of town happened to coincide with one of the worst heat waves to hit our city in ages.

My parents think every day during the summer is a heat wave in Phoenix but if you live there, you can tell the difference. Each degree higher on the thermometer is a whole new level of hot. I’ve been there when it’s been 119 degrees before but it’s not something I wanted to brag about again. Once is enough, thanks.

That didn’t mean our trip was uneventful, though. Not 20 miles outside of town a truck and trailer had a rollover accident blocking the way north. For an hour and a half we sat in the 114 degree heat crawling along the freeway as we watched one car after another pull off to deal with overheating.

Our car’s AC system struggled to keep up, too, as my husband eyeballed the temperature gauge on our car tottering towards the danger zone.

Eventually, when everything was cleared out of the way, we were able to cruise along and the AC returned to normal operating capacity.

We even hit rain a state or two later. Rain, glorious rain. I never said that when I lived in Portland, Oregon, but after living in the desert for 16 years I do miss a nice, gentle rain. Here’s hoping all our friends back home were able to stay cool.