Two things are important in the desert: shade and large volumes of cold liquid.
In late May, when daily temperatures were already in the triple digits, Keith and I put in our supplies. We built a six-foot high wooden fence around our yard, put a roof our our porch, and made a hippie-style hot tub from a steel stock tank. In the process, we learned not only a lot about construction, but also about how to live in Tucson in the summer.
Lesson 1: If you want to do anything outside, you better be up by dawn. You have about five hours before tools fry your hands.
Afternoons are great for running errands in air-conditioned stores and cars, drinking iced coffee and hanging out in cool, dark bookstores and cafes.
Lesson 3: Siestas are not a luxury at all, but almost a necessity in this climate. Shelve your guilt and indulge!
Lesson 4: At dusk, it's safe to go outside again. Fourth Ave. fills with Punk Rockers, Rastafarians and Hari Krishnas. Tucson's large homeless population emerges from the washes. The police helicopters buzz our neighborhood and arrest the usual suspects. The guard dogs and coyotes join the chorus of sirens, and life in Tucson returns to "normal".
Builder, videographer and Bronx Bad Boy Erl Kimmich taught us everything we know about construction.