"Visiting the Wild West"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017

The differences in weather throughout the country are something we view most days on our media source.

When we actually experience them, they can be quite dramatic.

On a trip from Miami to Phoenix, the change in weather was crazy. The night before we departed, temperatures had dropped into the 60s and rain was teaming down. The rain let up a bit once we loaded our bags in the shuttle, but as we got on the road, it rained so hard the driver could hardly see the road. As we got processed at curbside at the airport, there was a cool breeze. Temperatures were still in the 60s, but the rain had created a humidity level of about 85 degrees.

We checked some of the monitors in the airport on the way to our gate and saw expected temperatures for Phoenix would be triple digits. Sitting in Miami at 60 degrees and thinking about heading for 100 degrees in a short five-hour span of time sure did seem crazy.

The threats of 100 did not materialize. When we emerged from Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, it was a mere 97 degrees.

We have been traveling out to Phoenix for about 25 years, and almost every time we step outside, after a flight, it feels like someone threw a wool blanket over us.

The very next day, we were treated to bright sunshine, a humidity of only about 25 and a balmy 88 degrees. Just about perfect. And that’s what we thought of our great-grandson, Rayland, whom we had traveled to meet. We soon discovered how a young man, just approaching his fifth month of administration, had developed control of an entire family — including two dogs.

I tried to offer him a few tips but he had his whole program solidly under control. Like most bosses, he had firmly introduced his ways to mandate control. Within the week, my wife, Pat, and I learned when to jump — and when to be very quiet. Grandmas and grandpas, as well as great-gram (GG) and great-grandpa, quickly recognized the various demands the new boss of the family had developed. It took no time at all for the entire group to understand — especially if something hit the floor. Quick get the burp towel and a new bib. Kind of funny, but Rayland’s dog Diesel usually cleaned up the floor for him. Like I said before, he had the whole family under control.

Rayland had a day off from teaching the grandparents how high to jump so we all took a ride out in the desert. Doesn’t resemble the desert much anymore — it’s covered with homes and condos and strip malls that come with them. There were lots of cactus in bloom and many other wild flowers to enjoy viewing plus a couple rattlesnakes crossing the road. We stopped to have lunch at one of our favorite tourist stops at Cave Creek called Harold’s, which is named after a famous Pittsburgh Steelers football player.

Too soon it was time to pack up and head back to Miami and that flip in weather — back up to the 80-degree humidity.

When we arrive, it will be time to pack again to travel to Michigan where we will encounter yet another weather situation. Of course, in Michigan we all know if you don’t like the weather, wait just a bit and it will change. I have been reading the Tribune online and one day it’s 75 in Bad Axe and the next down to 40 degrees. As I see it, that’s about right for this time of year. You can’t really plan anything that depends on warm weather because it only sticks around for a day and then it’s gone.

I have to get my office set up when I arrive and check in with my bosses there. I’m hoping they will take it easy on me like the boss here in Phoenix did.

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