It is too hot to think today. It’s too hot to do anything but sweat. I’m taking a break between writing an article for our local paper and submitting job applications, racking my brain for something interesting to blog about. Problem is, my brain activity has slowed down just like the rest of me. Now, in my second summer living in the South, I finally get it. I understand the attraction to rocking in a chair on the front porch, no movement except for the occasional swat of pesky flies or sip of cold, sweet tea. It is impossible to do anything more in the summer.
Here in the Carolinas, it’s like living in a perpetual steam room, complete with mosquitoes which cover my body in red, itchy welts. I’m not sure which is worse: being trapped inside a wet sauna like Florida or a dry sauna like Arizona, in which I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m being ironed.
Some genius came up with something called the Official Heat Index about thirty years ago, analyzing air temperature and relative humidity to show a perceived ambient temperature. Our local meteorologist on TV gave a Weather Alert to warn us last week that, although it was actually 98 degrees here, the official heat index meant it felt like 110 degrees. I didn’t need to know that. Of course, it could have been worse. I could have been in Newark, New Jersey, where the real temperature blasted all kinds of records at 108 degrees, and, besides that, I’d be in Newark, New Jersey. Or I could have been a roofer working in Newark, New Jersey.
All of this reminds me not to complain. Several years back, when I moved to Florida, a wise friend told me that every place has a season that you just have to endure. Usually, it’s the winter. But for me, at the age of hot flashes and living in the South, there’s no contest. It’s the summer. Of course, we had no seasons in California, so that doesn’t count. I have to keep chanting to myself as I click my ruby slippers, "I wanted seasons. I wanted seasons."
One final reminder before I take a nap. Spray for ants around your air conditioner. Some of the darling critters got into our unit and it stopped working. That happened last week when the heat index was 110 degrees. Don’t let it happen to you.