Over three months in Palm Desert. We knew what we were getting into, or at least we thought we did. Every time we talked to someone about moving here, it was always “do you know about the summers?”
It goes pretty much like they all said:
“You stay in your air-conditioned house, until you need to go out. Then you get into your air-conditioned car and drive to an air-conditioned store.”
Every conversation starts with “Are you visiting?” and us saying “No we’re living here.” Then the conversation turns to the heat. Always the heat.
A Dry Heat
People always like to say that desert heat is not like East Coast heat or Florida heat. “It’s a dry heat.” What they don’t tell you is, for half of the summer, that is a lie. Monsoon season is what they call it, and certainly nobody told us!
On a non-monsoon summer day, it can run up to 117°, but the humidity stays at 10% and you have the famous dry heat.
On a monsoon day, the temperatures stay around 100° and the humidity rises to 40 or even 50%. Sometimes you get thunderstorms, sometimes a touch of rain (usually evaporates before reaching the ground). Swamp coolers don’t work and your air-conditioning struggles.
But mainly, you go outside and sweat…and the sweating does not cool you, it simply hangs on you. These are the days when you do not want to “get in your air-conditioned car.” You do not want to do anything!
Finally Some Relief
Well, all of that seems to be behind us now. We have survived the worst, and today it is 97° with 10% humidity. This looks to hold for the rest of the month. Heaven. I’m sitting outside in the shade, drinking Italian wine and considering my backyard. I think everything’s going to be alright. Oleander, lantana, bougainvillea; all blooming as they have all summer. Grapefruit starting to show a bit of color.
But mostly, just sitting outside is a joy. Fresh air and a breeze are magical. It’s been a long summer in Palm Desert, but the worst is over now.