Ahhh, Phoenix

poolside morningAt 7:15AM it’s already climbing past 80 degrees. This one-hour daily window in Summer is the nicest time of day.

When you are over 60, there are always the pills and eyedrops and little ablutions that make getting up not quite so simple as pulling on a pair of cargo shorts and running out to the poolside. When I am anxious to get going, as I am today, it seems like these little routines own me, and I will consume the whole morning simply doing the things I know I need to do before the day even starts.

But the likeliest way to ensure these little routines actually will consume your whole morning is to ignore them, until your doctor’s preventative or precautionary strategy has to be changed to a full-blown treatment. I have gotten pretty good at taking my meds on the fly, without missing a beat. Pills taken while coffee brews, I decide I would rather sit outside and do my eyedrops. No need to miss out on this best part of the morning.

On this, the first day of vacation, I make the coffee and bring a cup out into the shade of the back deck. The eyedrop thing means closing your eyes for a few minutes, not your ears. A pair of Doves call to each other from opposite sides of the yard. A Flicker alights on a fan palm and calls out with his rasping screech. An air conditioner kicks on with a loud thrum atop one of the roofs across the way, and then settles into a barely audible hum as the 220 volt motor comes up to speed. You get used to the click and surging hum as these units fire up. You can hear faint traffic sounds from Southern Ave, a hundred yards away, but it is soft and unobtrusive, and a gentle breeze slides past under the porch roof. The eyedrops are done.

The pool is blue and crystal clear. The water is so warm by July there’s no longer a hint of chill, but a dip in the pool is still refreshing. When you climb out, the breeze gives a little chill, and that is good, and towelling off feels great. I sit here in the shade savoring vacation. This is the life.

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