Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hot Crossed Buns...Don't Get Burned!

If you live in a desert area, you can probably relate to this.....

You're on your way out to run an errand in the middle of a hot summer day. The air is hot and and actually burns your skin as the 117 degree blast hits you in the face as you step outside. You get in your car, knowing that you can make it to where ever it is you need to go because your car that you've had parked in the garage will keep you nice and cool till you arrive at your destination.

As you drive down the road, you can actually see the heat rising from the road. It is an ominous reminder of just how hot the desert summers can be. But still, you don't lament that moment... because you are still in your nice cool car and are headed into a nice office building, grocery store or mall. You know that despite the heat, you can bypass the pain of the blazing temperatures.

You pull into the parking lot of your destination. Then realization hits. The car you've been in will soon be sitting in the hot summer sun, transforming from a vessel of comfort to a blazing hot oven! When you get back into the car to leave, your hot car seat will give new meaning to hot crossed buns. And, unless you want to be branded with the metal of the seat belt buckle, you'd better find a way to keep the car cool.

So, you search and search for a shady parking spot to keep your motorized domain cool. Your eyes scan the parking lot. You see a few spaces shaded by small desert trees, but those that were there before you reaped the benefit of the shade. Just when all hope for finding shade is gone, you see a shopper leaving the building and heading towards a shady spot. You think your parking dilemma is over. Quickly you navigate the lot until you are right behind them. Slowly and stealthily you lurk behind ever so slowly inching your car forward as they approach their vehicle. You take the assertive posture, moving you car to the center of the isle as to not let someone from behind gain the upper hand. You put your blinker on and make definite "don't even think about it" eye contact with every other driver you encounter while on your hunt for some respite from the summer sun. The patron slowly backs out of the space. Without hesitation, your accelerate your car forward and into the newly available spot.

Feeling proud and accomplished at reaching your goal, you look up to admire the canopy of shade that protects you and your backside from the heat. You expect to see a lush, shady, green covering above. What you see is the twiggy, small leafed, sparsely covered branches of a Mesquite tree that are about as effective at shading your car as an umbrella made out of fishnet is at keep you dry in a rain storm.

There is nothing left to do but crack the windows, find the few stray napkins from your last drive through stop to use to cover the steering wheel, and pray that a rogue monsoon will miraculously roll in and minimize the heat.

So...what's the purpose of this summertime parking dramatization?

Sometimes we put ourselves into situations that we know we will get burned in, often times repeatedly. We are willing to take the same risks and apply the same behaviors but expect different results. To avoid getting burned, we often need to re-adjust and take a different approach to life, an approach that keeps us out of the heat.

As a side note.....Ive learned to do most of my summertime errands after the sun has gone down.....


  1. We're a bunch of early risers in my family ... so we try to get our errands done pre-7am. I know it sounds EARLY and it is - but, all in all, it's a great way to start our day!

    Great post, as always ;)

  2. This is one of those basic learning curves that so many of us haven't mastered. I teach my Kinder kids about cause and effect, but so many of them really struggle to comprehend that acting a certain way or doing a certain thing leads to certain consequences. It's something we work on all of our lives!

  3. great article! and i love the moral of the story :) getting ready for my first AZ summer, scared... worried... as prepared as i'm gonna be :)

  4. And I've learned to keep a towel in the car, to sit on. Living in the tropics, there's no way to prevent hot cross buns other than to cover the seat, the steering wheel and the gear stick. Or to shop early in the day.


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