Arizona Summer

So far this year I’ve made two trips to Arizona – one for work, and one for Rebecca’s graduation.

Being in that heat again, I was reminded of the month I spent in Phoenix the summer before my freshman year of high school.

I had a friend in elementary school who moved away with her family when we were in the second grade. I don’t remember how we got back in touch, but I was so glad! She came to stay with us for two weeks one summer, and the next year I was with her family for a month.

It was hot – obviously – but I had a great time. We walked everywhere despite the heat – it was either that or stay at home.

That was the year that Back to the Future came out.

Back to the Future

I saw it four times that month! I was already taller than Michael J. Fox at that point, so I figured it wouldn’t ultimately work out between us, but boy did I daydream about that possibility as I sat in the darkened theater.

Even more than those 13-year-old fantasies, what I remember most from my stay were the mornings. I was training to run cross country in high school, so every day I went out for a run. The early morning hours were cool and made the run pleasant. I’d follow along the canals, making up new routes periodically as I became bored.

It was monsoon season, and many days I got rained on. Those were my best runs, and I was inspired to go farther.

Every day my routine was exactly the same when I got back. I did some very basic stretches, and then I jumped into their pool, fully dressed except my shoes. I swam across, got out, toweled off, and then I went back to bed for a nap before everyone else woke up. How my hair did not fry from leaving the chlorine in so long, I’ll never know.

I lost contact with that friend in high school. I’ve tried looking her up a few times, but I’ve yet to find her.  Our lives were already on different paths that summer. I even knew it at the time. I hope she is doing well.

Did you ever spend a summer away from home when you were young? or What is your record for seeing a movie in a theater?

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