In 2002, Malcolm and I threw the dart.
The finely chiseled point hit Santa Fe, New Mexico on our relocation map and a few months later we packed up and moved to the Land of Enchantment. As we were narrowing down the destination to call our new home, I informed Malc I would moved anywhere west of the Mississippi. Malcolm calmly informed me, the zip code we called “ours” must have the New York Times delivered.
Well, I can safely say, Santa Fe is west of the mighty river but the Times delivery was a bit spotty the first few years of residence. Yes, it was delivered, sometimes only 3 days after print. Other times we would collect a weeks worth of daily papers crammed in our mail box.
We contracted with a REALTOR® and started the process of buying our dream home. It was September and the weather was gorgeous. As we walked through houses that fit our criteria, attended open houses on the weekends, and looked through the Internet for FSBOs, we found one consistent fact. Very few homes in Santa Fe have air conditioning. For that matter, very few even have swamp coolers.
“Oh, you don’t really need them,” our REALTOR® stated. “It’s only warm a few weeks in June.”
“What do you mean no central air?” Malcolm questioned. Malcolm hails from Hotlanta, Georgia. My roots are from Central California. Hot, hot, hot summers were a staple for both of us.
“Seriously, the temperature here only gets to about 85 – 90 degrees for a couple of weeks in June.” SOLD! We signed the mortgage sans air conditioning and ceiling fans.
Our beautiful fall turned into a cold winter. We have radiant heat and my toes have never been so warm. We loved the snow and the cold. We were loving our new digs. Then the snow melted into a windy spring.
“When does the wind stop?” I asked our now REALTOR® friend.
“Dont’t worry, this is just our March winds.” She replied.
It was May.
“Don’t plant anything until after May 15,” she added. “We could easy have another freeze or some spring snow.” And we did have another freeze and more snow. With snow in May, there was no way our summers would be reminiscent of our past ones. We smiled to ourselves, glad to be away from the humidity of Georgia and the high temperatures of California.
We blew into June, by now well versed in New Mexico’s erratic weather. From past experiences, we both knew 85 degrees of hot days was nothing. Anything under 95 degrees was cool compared to where we came from. We convinced ourselves we didn’t need manufactured cold air. We opened our doors and windows and captured the cross winds. For the most part, it worked.
Through out the years, June in Santa Fe has varied from cold to cool to warmish to hot. We have installed ceiling fans where needed. Five of them. We have purchased oscillating fans for air movement. Six of them. Our REALTOR® was correct – the hot temperatures last only a few weeks. Usually from mid-June to Labor day, with July cooling down some from the monsoons.
Until this year.
This year, it has been 100 and hell degrees since Memorial weekend. It is time to flip the calendar to August.
Dolce and Amore have suffered right along with us. It’s too hot to walk them, too hot to leave them in the car as we run errands in town. Too hot period. The temperatures this summer have been almost unbearable for the girls.
Even with the fans spinning on high, the hot summer air has been stifling. On occasion I’ve resorted to using their bushy wagging tails as a fan, convincing Malcolm to rub their ears as I positioned myself behind one of the girls to catch some tail wind.
We watch the girls panting on the cool brick floor in misery.
We watch them move from room to room searching out the coolest areas of the house.
We take them on car drives with the air conditioning blasting. Not going anywhere in particular – just driving in a cold car to cool down.
We have even taken them down to the local pool to give them some relief.
We have clipped their fur as short was possible, trimming their feathers, their bellies, their sides and chests. We fill their water bowl with ice cubes for chomping. We keep water spritzers close by to spray some coolness on Dolce or Amore. It’s still too hot.
And it’s still 100 and hell degrees.