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Here is the Moment I’ve Been Avoiding

2:00 pm 81 degrees in the shade.

Oh my God. I’m homeless.

Oh my God! I have no house to go to to cool down right now. I’m hot despite cowering in slivers of shade, I feel crappy, and I want to sleep. But it is TOO hot to sleep!

Reviewing trees near the site, I put on gloves and pull off dead branches from a tree that has shade but also has low branches that must be removed for the car to fit. I back in. But I can’t get out of the door without pushing aside branches and stepping over old cow pies.

I break off branches on a second tree and drive in to the shade. Better. Squeaking noises on the roof turn out to be coming from the smallest dead branches. I break them off.

shade in arizona, car living

figcaption=”Mid-day shade in May in southern Arizona: This is as good as shelter from the sun gets. Not enough to fit a whole car under.”

I get a call and do a reading. The dogs are lounging in a dog-sized spot of shade. After the call I once again realize I am hungry and eat one of the eggs I hard-boiled last night and stored in the cool water left over from Sunday’s ice bag.

I still feel crappy. Irritable, tired. I put the front seat back and nod off. I awake with a start, feeling worse.

Eventually I get some good sleep under yet another tree that I first trim. I put the back seats down into nighttime configuration. The breeze enters the hatch and cools me off. I sleep.

When I awake the heat has broken. I start tidying up and preparing to cook. Finally, the evening brings cool air and lots of shade. I don’t want to watch the sunset — no more sun! With my chair’s back to the sun, I puzzle over which handheld propane tanks fit which cooking apparatus that Shari and Paul gave me. A long time later, I get a flame started. (The first mini tank I used had already run out.)

5 p.m. 81 degrees in the sun.

Oh my God. I’m homeless.

Postscript: Re-reading this in mid-August, it’s hard to believe that 81 degrees felt hot. Temperatures in the 90s eventually became the norm.


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