My Family (a long time ago)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Feeling the Heat

We’ve had some really hot weather here in the Northeast lately and I have to say I just can’t take the heat like I used to. I feel like I’m always hot when it’s not even that hot outside, so lately I feel like I’ve been melting. I’m hot at work, I’m hot at home and I’m hot outside. Constant sweating makes me a dull boy. I get grumpy, I get edgy, I need to change my clothes twice a day. Well, not really, I just feel like I should change them a couple times a day. The deodorant just isn’t doing its job these days.

I thought as you get older, you’re supposed to get colder. I see plenty of elderly people walking around in 90 degree heat wearing flannel shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts, and wearing pants. The amazing part is they don’t even look warm, forget about hot. I’m in shorts and a tee shirt and I’m sweating. Not that I want to get older too fast, but I actually kind of look forward to the day I need a second layer in the summer. Heck, it would be nice to just not sweat for a few days. You’re probably thinking, well what about the winter when it’s 20 degrees and the wind is howling? If I’m outside, sure, it IS cold. But if I’m inside, I’m probably hot. This is how it works: if most people are feeling comfortable, I’m hot; if most people are cold, I’m feeling comfortable.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have any air conditioners. We had a couple of fans, but that was it. I remember we had a big blue fan that we put near the front door to create a breeze. When it was on high, it put out a lot of wind and it did actually cool down the living room. It was fun to stand in front of it and talk into it, because it made your voice choppy and sounded cool. Of course, after about 30 seconds of that we were told to get out from in front of it because we were blocking all the cool air. It was also pretty annoying to everyone in the room who wasn’t talking into it, but that was part of the fun. Singing into it was double the fun.

I think we tried putting the fan in the hallway where all the bedrooms were in the hope that it would work as well as in the living room, but it didn’t. Unless we could have made the air bend, there was no way to get the breeze into three different rooms. Even being at the end of the bed closest to the hallway didn’t work. Kids being kids, we still somehow managed to get a good night’s sleep despite the heat. It was so awesome to be lying in bed, windows wide open, listening to the crickets, and feel a breeze, however small or brief it was.

To help alleviate the heat, sometimes we’d go for “cool off rides”. We didn’t have air conditioners in the cars either, but when you drove with all the windows all the way down, it was a nice breeze. Sometimes we just drove around for a while, maybe even on the highway for a short time. Going 60 miles per hour with our heads hanging out the windows was not a pretty sight, but it sure did cool us down. Sometimes we went to the beach and sat on the sea wall or on a bench and enjoyed the breeze off the water. If we were really lucky, the ride included a stop for an ice cream cone. There was nothing like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone, the ice cream dipped into the chocolate that hardened up on the outside. There was always the delicate balance of taking your time to savor the cold treat without taking too long and having a melting mess running down your hand and onto your arm all the way up to your elbow. Hot and sticky – not a good combination.      

That’s about how I’ve felt lately; like a hot, sticky, melting mess. Maybe I should go for a “cool off ride” and go to the beach or get an ice cream. That is, after I change out of my sweaty, smelly clothes.

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