Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Advent of Summer

There are certain things that bring to mind certain times of year. Bearing in mind that I've lived in warm climates (Arizona, Southern California, Florida) since I was 8 here are some of the seasonal landmarks that I've lived my life by.

Fall: Leaves falling to the ground; getting back into a routine after the break of summer; carving a pumpkin and roasting seeds.

Winter: Cool temperatures; doors and windows flung wide open; sweaters, maybe even coats; Christmas decor in the stores (though this seems to have suspiciously moved into fall); baking; darkness setting in early.

Spring: Slowly warming temperatures; brilliant blue skies; flowers; birds singing.

Summer: Heat; a slower pace with regular events off taking a break for the summer; barbeques; fireworks, mosquitos.

Here in Qatar, there are a few other signs that mark the beginning of summer.

The main topic of conversation is where you are going for the summer. Very few people stay here for the whole summer due to the oppressive heat and humidity. Most of the wives and children pack up the day or so after school is out and return just before it resumes.

I've begun consistenly using the remote start feature in my car. When it's been sitting in the hot desert sun and temps have been about 110 degrees all day, having the air running full-blast when I get in makes a huge difference.

And finally, in what I see as the biggest sign it's summer, I turned off our water heaters today. The sun is doing a dandy job of pre-heating all our water for us and no longer needs any help. This means we will be switching over to using the hot water tap (those tanks are in the house and therefore they will be kept cooler with the heater turned off) for cold water and the cold water tap for hot water. Even so, we will still need to wait several minutes for the water flowing through the pipes to be tolerable.

It may not rival fireworks and barbeques, but it's a sure sign it's summer!

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