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By Linda Plante
People ask me if I miss the four seasons. I’m sure they are talking about the leaves changing colors in the fall and the shoveling of snow in the winter. It’s true, we don’t have those dramatic changes, but without a doubt we have our own four seasons in Rocky Point.
Autumn has always been my favorite here. One morning around the end of October you wake up and there is a crispness in the air instead of the heaviness of humidity. It’s time to look around for that one sweatshirt you own to wear on your morning walk. By noon, it will be warm enough to get in the ocean and enjoy the last few days of an ocean swim before the water turns chilly. Fall is also the time of year we begin asking friends to start collecting school supplies for the local “Adopt a Classroom” project. Our wonderful amigos help by bringing down boxes of notebooks, pens, glue sticks and more. We fill garages and our work is rewarded when we deliver supplies that will help the local students and teachers throughout the year. The most visible sign of Autumn is the arrival of the shrimp boats, and with it the beginning of shrimp season . Activity in the marina increases and shrimp boats can be seen heading out in the mornings, and every evening we count their lights on the horizon. There are also dozens of festivals and costume parties in the fall, from Mexican Independence Day on September 16th, Día de los Muertos and Halloween in October, and the biggest party of them all Bike Week in November.
December Winter sneaks in, and with it the remainder of the “snowbirds” return. Caravans of RVs begin to arrive and RV parks fill up with Canadians and large groups from the States. Overall, Winter is a quiet time here which I find refreshing. No stress due to increased holiday traffic, no crowded malls, and above all no shoveling of snow! A quick trip to Rodeo Drive or to see Cindy in the gift shop at Latitude 51 and Christmas shopping is done!
We give back to the Community by taking clothes, blankets, and coats out to those in need. The Santa Claus Club and other organizations arrange parties for the children and less fortunate so there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
We have Christmas parties with tamales, posole, and rompope, and too many New Year’s Eve Parties to count. Football season is also big in the winter with everyone having their favorite place to hang out and watch the games. There’s the Chili cook offs in Cholla Bay and Playa del Oro, January Jam music events, corn hole tournaments, Mermaid Market, and the Annual Boobar Poker run the Monday following the Superbowl to keep us from getting the “winter blues”.
Winter tends to blend right into Spring. Pictures on the television of folks shoveling show seem strange as we take our beach chairs down to the sand and enjoy a day of sunshine. It’s ” breezy” some days, but there is nowhere we’d rather be. Our days of the quiet beach and slow pace are ending, so we enjoy lunches with friends, and happy hours on the beach, small side-by-side rides to Comp Hill or the Oyster farms.
Wait times at the border start get longer as Snowbirds begin to leave and Spring-Breakers head south. The Malecon becomes an all-day all-night party as places like Boobar and Tekila Bar hire plenty of our favorite bands to entertain the crowds. Jet skis and banana boats return as does the bustle of the vendors along the beach. Just as the last of the college kids return to school, we prepare for the utter chaos of Santa Semana. Banda music can be heard all night as families with multiple generations enjoy the beaches while thousands of local nationals enjoy Holy Week together.
Around Memorial Day you begin to hear words like “mucho calor,” “humadad,” and “caliente.” Condos and parking lots empty out and goodbyes are said as some friends head to Pinetop or Flagstaff for cooler temperatures.
Summer is now here, and we prepare for the heat. The first few weeks are easy…after all, at least you aren’t in Phoenix. A hot day here is nothing compared to the scorching heat of July and August in Phoenix. You get up and enjoy the quiet of the mornings, walk the empty beach, and take care of chores early. If you’re lucky enough, you can sit outside in the mornings and enjoy the gentle breeze that you hope lasts all day.
A common misconception about summer is that the town ” shuts down”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, those of us in condos may stay closer to the pool during the day, but we also love getting together in the evenings for poker games, happy hours, and some of the most beautiful sunsets of the year. The Tiburones’ baseball season is in full swing, which makes for a great evening of fun and friends. If you haven’t been to the newly renovated stadium you should treat yourself to an evening of baseball in 2018!
Take time to drive past the shipyard behind Calle 13 and you will see what had been an empty dirt lot is now filled with sailboats. Shrimp boats waiting to be repaired and painted. Activity around the clock, as welders, builders, and other workers sweat in the heat. It’s what happens here in the summer months.
Eating habits change in summer time as well. Lines at Thrifty ice cream shops are out the door! Refreshing fruit bowls, slushes, or “nieve de garrafa” (shaved ice) make great meals. Neighborhood taco stands are packed at midnight when it finally cools down enough to eat dinner. Of course summertime is hot…but it’s temporary. As in everything in life, it is what you make of it.
So no, we don’t have snow for the Winter holidays, and we miss the bright yellows and oranges of the leaves changing in the Fall. But we do have our own seasons…and the best part is we get to wear flip flops and show tan lines during all of them.