Saturday, January 12, 2013

Freezing in Arizona

Now I know I will not get any sympathy from my fellow Minnesotans; that is, unless you planned a winter get-away week in sunny Phoenix, paying a premium for your airline tickets.

But here I go anyway: It is freezing in Arizona.

No amount of whining can get an ounce of sympathy from my brother-in-law. But we are setting records here in Arizona, a state totally unprepared for freezing water pipes and outdoor pools, and homes lacking cold-weather insulation. People just don't have down jackets and ear muffs at the ready in their closets.

This is an area where over 2,000 jailed inmates are housed in a tent sans heat and air conditioning. It is literally, a tent. It's called Tent City, set up back in 1993 after Maricopa County's infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio refused to release any incarcerated inmates due to jail overcrowding. Tent City has stun fences around the perimeter, facial recognition computer software for inmate identification. K-9 units and patrol deputies.

Tent City

Sheriff Arpaio thinks if our troops in Afghanistan have rough and meager accommodations, well, then so should our law-breakers, by gosh. It was reported on last night's news broadcast that Sheriff Arpaio, a seemingly heartless guy, softened and ordered hot chicken soup for the fellows for dinner. He tried to arrange for hot cocoa as well but wasn't able to. Not sure I get that, but there you are.

So here on our block, plants and varieties of cacti are covered in blankets and sheets.

Our neighbor's cactus plants covered for protection.

On a morning drive, my husband and I saw huge bougainvillea trees covered as well. Their beautiful red blooms grace even our freeway landscape. The covered ones were, of course, at a private home, not the freeway.

This freeze has great cause for concern for local citrus groves and peach growers who are in danger of losing their entire harvest. They are busy around the clock trying to save the fruits (pun intended) of their labor by watering the ground around the trees first, some even resorting to spraying from a helicopter.
Well, the good news is, as my friend Evie in Minnesota pointed out, this abrupt climate change will last only several more days - not months, as Minnesota is accustomed to enduring.
But that is the whole point: Arizona is definitely NOT accustomed!