Now living happily in sunny Las Vegas, I left the frigid Chicago winters far, far behind.
There’s heat; then there’s summer heat.
Even if you get what you wish for in life, it doesn’t always live up the hype.
As a kid growing up near Chicago, in my teenage years I was responsible for shoveling snow off the driveway and sidewalk—and if we had a foot of snow on the ground, I even made a walkway in the grass to help the mailman get through on his route.
Playing in the snow, especially football as a kid, sounds like fun and is. Shoveling snow isn’t, even if you’re young and healthy. After a few minutes you’re out of a breath and profusely sweating. It was easy to understand why so many people have heart attacks when they shovel snow.
Going through one too many blizzards had me dreaming of warm weather and sunshine.
One reason I decided to go to school in the American Southwest was to escape cold winters and all that snow shoveling. My first year of college I spend at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the following year I transferred to the University of Texas in Austin since my family decided to move to nearby Dallas.
I don’t regret it, and it’s easy to understand the migration from the Midwest and Northeast to the South and Southwest. It’s the job opportunities and also the weather. The fact that so many people started migrating in the 1980s created jobs and a boom that continues to this day.
For all the joy of living in Tucson and Austin during rough winters like this past year, you soon learn that summers are in many ways not unlike winters without the snow. You can’t spend any real time outside in the summer in Las Vegas where I currently live or in Texas where I lived until 1990. The 110-plus degree days in the desert are brutal and don’t let anyone tell you it’s “dry” heat. It’s not as hot in Texas, but the humidity is soul-crushing brutal in the summertime as well.
Don’t feel sorry for us who live in the warm climates of the Southwest, though. At least we have air conditioning and it’s only an hour flight or four-hour drive to the West Coast.
That’s why a lot of Las Vegas residents, including myself, spend a lot of time in Southern California along the Pacific Ocean during the summertime whenever we can. The resorts along the coast are full of Nevada residents, and may have summer homes on Coronado Island (San Diego) and other locales to escape the heat.
When summer ends and winter arrives and it’s in the 60s during the day, some of us wish we were back up north when we see the snow falling majestically on television. But that feeling only lasts a few moments until the Chicago teenager that lives within me remembers shoveling all that snow. Las Vegas wins, again.