Friday, August 31, 2012

Arizona Picnic in July

I wrote this last month and I'm just now getting around to posting it.

Being house bound with a 2 year old for ten hours can seem a bit daunting; for you and the child. Summers here in the AZ deserts are to be endured for the most part. Yesterday, at my sons home and with only the one child to care for I decided to go on an adventure and have a picnic at the nearby park for lunch. It was forecasted to only be in the low 100's so I felt that was as much as anyone could hope for until fall. We packed a bag and quilt, strapped and buckled into the car for a ride to the drive through of the neighborhood golden arches. I was too lazy to pack a lunch and there would be a surprise in the little box that also contained a somewhat nourishing meal.

At the park I made a couple of drive bys looking for a tree with some shade to park under. I'll do anything for that shady parking spot even if it means walking a lot farther. Parked and unloaded I realized we would need to walk a long ways in the opposite direction of the play area to get to the gate opening and then walk back in the sun. I chose to set our bags over the fence, lift the two year old over it and then do my best to squeeze climb through the low two rail fence. After I dislodged myself we soon realized the park was rather soggy from the recent rains but we found a spot thick with grass to spread out our quilt. Just as I had our lunch unpacked I noticed a large work truck had unloaded lawn care equipment and the crew began firing up the various mowers, blowers and other obnoxious noisy fume emitting things. We needed to move as we would be in their path sooner rather than later.

At our new spot, a better one after all I decided as it was on the tiniest high spot and mostly dry, we began to eat our prepared meal. Once finished and the surprise toy had been thoroughly played with we walked over to the play area leaving our blanket and belongings behind. There was no one around to bother anything; we seemed to be the only ones at the park this day.

We found the play area to be ankle deep in mud in places and some inconsiderate kids had smeared mud by the handfuls all over the slides and other playground equipment making them impossible to use. We made our way to the swings carefully squishing through the mud on the driest spots we could find. There would be no swinging either; the swings, made of black materials were too hot to touch. My grandchild began to look as if she could cry. Now I knew why we were the only people at the park. I made light of it all as much as I could and said we could read our books back on the quilt.

Back at the quilt we found that our lunch crumbs had been found by ants! Oh my, I considered leaving the whole mess and just going home. But I shook each item as best I could and packed up again we head for the car, squeezing back through the fence.

Back at my sons house, I left everything in the car except what was necessary. I figured any live ants still in our things would die in the heat of a locked up car. The family dog we had left in the yard had decided to dig a hole in the rain softened mud and would need cleaned up before she could come back in. I brushed and scrubbed and finally brought us all into the cool sanctuary of the house. I made cold iced water for all and we began to cool off and our sweat soaked clothing began to dry. I was enjoying the air conditioning and the ceiling fan. My little one settled into playing with her toys and I wondered why I ever thought leaving the house would be a good idea. This nice cool spot with a large glass of ice water was about as good as it could get about then. So much for picnics in July in the Arizona desert! Next time we'll picnic on the kitchen floor :)

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  1. UGH!! ( Though sorry, I am laughing too :)

  2. Loved your adventure story! When my family was moving from Iowa to Texas, my Mom reported back that there are no children outside in the hot Texas sun during the day. We did eventually get so used to it that I played tennis with a girlfriend in the afternoons and spent long, lazy hours exploring the creek behind our house, looking out for scorpions and rattlesnakes!

  3. Sheesh! If it's not the heat, it's the squishiness of the park. :D I don't know how folks survive the heat of AZ. Each time I visit, I'm just amazed at everyone still doing the regular things folks and families do, despite the triple-digit temps. I applaud you for giving a picnic in July a shot!

  4. Glad you got around to posting this. It is hard for me to imagine it being in triple digits and the ground still being wet and muddy? Ew! But you did have a wonderful adventure together and I bet that AC felt even better because of it! Hopefully it is starting to cool off?

  5. Every summer I wonder why everything doesn't just melt but every summer it doesn't! Most go on as if it's not all that hot. I remember not minding it too, when I was younger of course :)Now I have a hard time with the heat. No, sadly it's not really cooling off, we have another month of it at least.


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