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The Newcomer

Is it hot yet?

Although I had not lived in Sunnyside before relocating here in October, I had resided in the Yakima Valley years ago. So I knew what I was getting into when I moved from fresh ocean breezes to desert heat.

Still, it was a minor shock to find a spring day here 10 degrees warmer than an average summer day at the beach.

Now, when the temperature hits 90 and I avoid outdoor exposure to take shelter in my air cooled home my family tells me, "Mom, it isn't even hot yet!" Yeah, right.

But, recalling the 100-plus summer days in Toppenish where I raised my family, I do believe they have a point. Since I, to whom 72 degrees is the perfect temperature, am having difficulty with even the 80s, 100 degrees would be a serious blow. I think, since we've been spared the 100s so far, I may have been gifted with a transitional summer, one to gently ease me to the next level of acclimatization.

So, while I am grateful for what you Sunnyside natives consider temperate weather, I still feel like a drop of water hissing and popping in a sizzling frying pan.

Of course, if that red line on the thermometer continues to inch upwards, the expression 'out of the frying pan into the fire' will take on a whole new meaning for me.

I have already made two excursions to the beach this year to cool off. I may have to make another because somehow the perspiration that gathers on my upper lip here is just not the same as being kissed by the salty tang of sea air.

. Frances Potts is a retired journalist who spent her career working at several newspapers in Washington state.

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