Rhonda Cagle

Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Have Yourself A Merry Little Heat Wave

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2012 at 8:34 am

It happens this time every year. I develop a terminal case of crankiness from being too hot for too many months. Even simple acts of running from my air-conditioned car into the air-conditioned grocery store are enough to make me noticeably crabby.

While doing my best to ignore this perpetual state of annoyance, I found myself walking through the parking lot toward my local craft store on a sweltering August afternoon. With the asphalt radiating heat through my sandals, my steps quickened and I squinted to see the door against the blinding sun.

Surely the sun and heat explained the mirage appearing before my eyes. I walked toward a vision of a winter wonderland, complete with a twinkling tree adorned with Bedazzler-gone-wild ornaments shimmering in the blistering sun. As I walked through the door, greeted by an arctic blast from a perpetually-blowing air-conditioning system, what to my wondering eye should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

Despite record-breaking heat and a calendar that shows three more months until December, Christmas has arrived in the Sonoran Desert.

I stood, incredulous, looking at this 14-foot tree, dripping with lights and festooned with ribbons and ornaments. Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as a lighted Santa and his reindeer lit up a corner of the entryway.

Now I realize I’m hot and crabby; but can someone please tell me when we began decorating for Christmas when it’s still 100 degrees outside? Since when does back-to-school signal the need to deck the halls with boughs of holly? According to my thermometer and calendar, it’s too hot and too early to fa-la-la in any fashion in Phoenix.

Craft stores in full holiday mode in August. Photo: WBTV

For my crafting friends, I understand the need to begin working on Christmas crafts in August. By all means, the craft stores should provide all the fabric, bows, buttons, and crafting materials needed to prepare handmade gifts and decorations in plenty of time for the holiday season.

My gripe isn’t with the crafters. My beef is with the craft stores and the mistaken need to decorate every square inch of the building as if Christmas is next week.

As I walked through my craft store listening to Bing Crosby crooning about a White Christmas, I wandered through row upon row of all things holiday – trees, lights, wreaths, ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, and yard art. A wooden snowman glued to a yard stake greeted me with a sign that read “Happy Holly Days!” while holding sprigs of plastic holly in his twig-like hands. Wiping sweat from my temples, I glared at Frosty and walked on.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays as much as the next person. Come Thanksgiving weekend, I will be hauling out my 20-plus boxes of Christmas decorations and setting up five different trees in my home. I’ll recite from memory all the dialogue while watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and cry during “It’s A Wonderful Life.” And I’ll make my family insane by insisting on nothing but Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas night.

But it’s August, it’s hot, and we haven’t even had a chance to haul out the faux foliage and plastic pumpkins. (Unless I missed that back around the Fourth of July.) Is it too much to ask that we get through Halloween before breaking out the holly and the ivy?

Group That Helps Now Needs Helping Hand

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Sewing for Babies is a volunteer-based, interfaith community group that helps those who can’t help themselves. Each year, these volunteers sew more than 12,000 items for premature babies, supplying neonatal units at 5 Valley hospitals.

They suddenly find themselves in need of some help after their meeting space and all their materials burned in a fire. You can read more about their work and how to help in my latest column for The Arizona RepublicCagle: Tolleson group that helps preemies, Sewing for Babies, now needs help itself

Turning Hunger Into Hope

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

What happens at a kitchen table is so much more than a meal. While people are breaking bread, they’re breaking down defenses and learning to share honestly — openly — about what is important to them. That’s when both the soul and the body find nourishment.

My latest column describes such a meal and details all of the other meals that came after. Read about it in my latest column for The Arizona Republic.http://www.azcentral.com/community/swvalley/articles/2012/07/30/20120730cagle-kitchen-street-turns-kids-hunger-into-hope.html

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