Dog Days Doldrums

Every September, I wonder how to get my daughters excited about fall in the desert. In Michigan, where I grew up, it's practically sweatshirt weather in September. There’s cider and the smell of burning leaves to greet our noses and alert them to the change in the air. Here in Arizona we have pumpkin spice lattes. Meh.

Earlier this week a pal gleefully informed me the weather would dip down to 79 degrees overnight. I guess we can enjoy that—in our sleep! Our play pool is now a swampy mosquito resort; the cars are sprinkled with monsoon spit and haboob dust; our once hospitable patio is a crispy landscape of last spring's herbs and geraniums. Is this what my kids can look forward to for fall?!

At this point of the summer I am sick of summer clothes and at the very least I am trading in white-T's for black. My nail varnish has gone from Cheery June Pink to Essie's new Maki Me Happy. I am weary of keeping up my pedicure and I'd rather just wear closed-toe Vans. By the end of August, I'm regretting those items I passed up during Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale: the forty percent off booties I shouldn't buy in July have become the unavailable booties I cannot buy in September.

Every. Year.

I think my kids will remember their Phoenix fall as a time when moms clean out the drawers and closets. The time of year we make a semi-annual trip to Ikea and eat mediocre food at the cafe because it's almost free. At our house, we are still drinking our summertime Arnold Palmers, but now we partner them with Halloween candy. Yes, my seven-year-old was "outraged" that the Halloween stuff was out, but not too proud to turn it down. That's my girl!

So for now, we wait out the heat of Arizona autumn in air conditioned comfort, burning the cinnamon-spiced-apple-pumpkin-nutmeg candles from Target. Meanwhile, I'll be eating Kraft caramels, over-thinking this year’s Christmas card and waiting for seventy to be the high.

Ally Giles