Come For a Visit, Karl

I’m really wistful for San Francisco the past few days, as I figured I would be eventually. Our first few weeks in Tucson, I thought I was going to be fine. I love our house, our neighborhood is great, we’re getting new furniture which is always way more exciting than it should be. We found a local ice cream spot and a sushi place, and I found a great girl to cut my hair, and I liked it here. I really did. I mean, I still do. It’s a beautiful place filled with lots of exciting new things. But now I’ve got pangs for San Francisco that I can’t brush off. And I think it all comes down to…the weather?

Hear me out here. This time of year, San Francisco is chilly and covered in a comforting blanket of fog. It’s cold enough to bundle up on the couch with your favorite sweater and a fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of Earl Grey. My favorite way of existing. But, it’s not so chilly that it’s snowing or that you’re housebound or anything. You can have a fire in the fireplace if you want to, just for the coziness factor, but you don’t really need it for heat. It’s perfect. San Franciscans love their fog. They call him Karl. He’s got a twitter account. I’m dead serious. I miss Karl.

My first weekend in Tucson, it got to 110 degrees. It went on like this for about 4 days, and I thought, this is it, this is how I die. And now, the forecast says it will be 117 on Sunday. 117 degrees! I didn’t even know that was a thing. So now, I’m out doing fog dances in the backyard, hoping something will come down our way from the city by the bay. (I’m not really doing fog dances. I would though, if I knew what they consisted of.)

And what’s more, I’m very dedicated and serious about my half-assed backyard garden, and I just got my new fledgling garden going in the backyard here. All the books told me I could plant beans, so I planted a shit ton of beans, and since beans sprout so quickly, there’s already a bunch of beautiful little seedlings there. And how do you protect bean seedlings from 117 degrees? I want to go back to San Francisco where all I could grow was fava beans, kale and carrots, but I didn’t care because I knew how to grow them every year, without fail. I have all these options now, but I have to be so careful about these heat spells.

All the locals tell me if I can survive June, I’ll be ok. The monsoons come and cool things off, and then the fall and winter and spring are perfect and warm and wonderful. So, I bought myself my first pair of shorts in over 20 years (no joke, the Mean Girls in middle school gave me a complex about my legs of all things) and I’m sucking it up. I get out and garden and do other strenuous things in the early morning and late evening, and the middle of the day is reserved for jaunts to places with air-conditioning and things for the kids to do. The best of which I have found to shamefully be a McDonald’s Playplace. But really, it’s amazing. There’s cushy leather chairs and wi-fi. I can sit on my computer or in front of a book, drink a bottomless cup of Diet Coke and the boys can play on a playground that won’t leave burns on their tender haunches. I’m sure there’s a better option out there, but for this total Tucson newbie mom, it’ll do for the time being.

Where are you Karl? I’ll pay your airfare! It’ll probably be the first time some of these people have ever seen fog in their lives and you’ll get to be a spectacle. Please come!


3 comments on “Come For a Visit, Karl

  1. Enjoyed reading this. We moved to Tucson in 2004 after raising our family in southeast Michigan, so I understand your shock at the 110 and 117 degree temps you recently experienced. But, it is also really beautiful and it’s great to be able to go outside without having to take a half hour getting bundled up to get out to the mailbox!

    Sounds like you’re in a nice neighborhood (i.e. having a homeowners association), perhaps up in the foothills? We lived smack dab in the middle between Speedway/Broadway and Harrison/Houghton on what Tucsonans call “The East Side”. I still miss our beautiful location with the spectacular Catalina and Rincon mountains surrounding us. (Sold our home in 2014 to a nice couple who used to live not far from San Francisco also, as I recall. Small world!) I hope you like hiking because the hikes up into Saguaro Park and Sabino and Madera, et al, canyons are fabulous and you’ll have breathtaking views as your reward for your hikes or bike rides if you like biking.

    When we lived there, we RV’d for the summers, coming back to Michigan and going to the Northwest, Northeast, and elsewhere, but we did enjoy the monsoons the few times we were there for them. When it was very hot while we were not traveling, I just spent my days in my swim suit and took regular dips in the pool and read or worked at my computer on the patio. When we had no more family there, and most of the grandchildren and family over this way (plus some in Houston) we’ve moved back to Michigan which we also still love very much. Now we just travel south for the winters.

    Wishing you all the best in your new home!

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