Mike and Tricia Morning Show listeners came through big time during our Stuff the Bus school supply drive.  From the change in people's ashtrays we collected at the various drop-off sites last week, to the hundred dollar bills that were dropped in the donation jar at L&J during our live broadcast on Friday morning, we couldn't have collected over 6 thousand dollars in cash and school supplies without you!  I think that is my number 1 thing at the top of this list - but what are the rest?


The thing about back-to-school time in the EP, like everything about our city, is the unique flavor of this time of year.  I've lived in San Diego and Austin, but El Paso is home, and that's why I love to share my fave things about the Sun City.  Since I started with number 1, let's keep going down the list:

2.  Chiles, chiles, everywhere, roasting chiles - Walk up to any grocery store, big or small, chain or local, and you'll be hit with the sweet, smoky, so-spicy-it-burns-your-throat aroma of chiles being roasted.  Every store has their own roaster made out of what looks like a metal drum that has been perforated with a million holes, being turned slowly over flames from what sounds like a jet engine!  Which leads me to the next item on the list....

3.  The changing sunlight - We're still over 2 months away from Daylight Saving Time, but this time of year, there is the slightest change in the way the afternoon sun looks.  It isn't the white-hot, bleached out look of early summer, but the just barely perceptible, ever-so-slightly golden tinge of late summer.  Roasting chiles + changing sunlight + Saturday afternoon trip to the store = Kodachrome childhood memories in my mind!

4.  The Cool Down - Ok, it's still in the upper 90's temperature wise, but there is nothing more summer defining than the stretches of blast furnace 100+ degree days that cook everything when the sun is out, and then keeps the nights sweaty as all the heat that has penetrated the sidewalks and streets begins to dissipate once the sun has gone down.  This time of year is still hot, to be sure, but late August is the downhill slide toward cooler weather.

5.  Travel plans - No, I'm not talking about where to head out in these last few days before the chilluns head back to school, I'm talking about holiday travel plans!  Around this time of year, when everyone is getting ready to get back into the groove of school time, you start hearing from cousins and tias, your best friend who went off to college and never moved back, and the talk turns to "are you coming home for Thanksgiving or Christmas?"  My little sister was in town this past week, and Darren and I made plans to spend some time with her family in San Antonio over Thanksgiving.  We even made up a list of what kind of coffee and teas we want to buy while we are there so we can take full advantage of her Keurig!

Back-to-school time in El Paso - enjoy it, because before you know it, we'll be wondering where another school year went, and talking about the Top 5 Things About Summer in El Paso!