Ah, Summertime! When it mostly looks like heaven, outside, but feels like hell the minute you leave the house.
I can’t tell you how often, on my job, people come in from the outside and have to mention how “damned hot” it is outdoors. It’s like getting the same re-tweet from 50 of your most popular Twitter friends. I get it, it’s fracking hot outside. Memo received.
Being a work to homebody, I do experience the heat, but in a different way than others do. I take public transportation, usually, and walk a brief distance from work to the bus stop and then again from the bus stop to my home, so I do experience some of the heat, but due to my weird work hours, I experience the weather after its peak, when it’s starting to cool off. It’s been years since our air conditioner has worked and I have given up my requests for a replacement after three years. Luckily, where our home is located is shaded on either the west or the east side throughout the day and we usually get a good air flow in the mornings and afternoons to help keep cool with a few strategically placed fans. I live in a mountainous area, so it gets hot, but not as hot as it gets in the plains or in desert areas. I mention all of this to say that I do not experience how “damned hot” it is in the same way that so many of the people that I interact with, apparently, do.
I guess I can stand it because I lived in Nebraska for a long time before moving here and summers without an air-conditioner were extremely unbearable. Add to that fact the regular, daily, tornado warnings and that means for part of every extremely hot and humid day, I would be bogged down in a cauldron for hours while waiting-out every nasty little storm, tornado or no. I am lucky that we rarely, if ever hear of tornado warnings in my current neck of the woods, so the windows stay open during thunderstorms unless the winds get too violent and trinkets start getting blown off of shelves. Even nasty thunderstorms like that are few and far between, although pop-up thunderstorms (storms just passing through the mountain range) do seem to happen almost daily. I hardly notice them unless they are extremely loud (then, I’ll close the windows because the exploding thunderbolts scare the crap out of me).
I can certainly stand this time of year a lot better than I can autumn and spring. Autumn is extremely windy, wet, and cold, as a precursor to winter. Spring is extremely windy and wet, as well. The barometer can’t tell me whether or not it’s going to be a short or a long-sleeve kind of day, so I usually have to wear layers, just to hedge my bets. I’m like Mr. Rogers. I keep a cardigan at work, just in case I don’t have enough layers when I get there.
Truthfully, though, I am so anal-retentive, I carry with me, to work, at all times, a rain-jacket, an umbrella, gloves, a head-band, gloves, and sunglasses. That way, pretty much, no matter what the weather does, I’m ready for just about everything except a blizzard. There have been plenty of times, over the past twenty-plus years of living here, that I have been grateful for my preparedness, even as others have teased and mocked me for it. It’s nice getting the last laugh…unless I’ve forgotten something (which, thankfully, rarely happens, due to the fact that it only takes one time for me to forget for me to remember in the future…fool me once and all that).
What’s funny is that the exact same people who complain to me about the summer weather, every time that I see them, will be the exact same people with the opposite complaint about the winter weather, when I get dozens of people every day reminding me how “damned cold” it is outside. Now, that kind of weather I do get to experience in all its miserable splendor when I have to take public transportation. There is no getting around 20-degree wind-chills, even when I am bundled up like a newborn Eskimo babe.
For now, I guess I’ll try to embrace and appreciate the summer weather that I have waited for through such a miserable winter. Winter is coming sooner than expected, as usual, and I don’t want to waste a minute of warm weather fretting about how “damned hot” it is, today or how “damned cold” it will be in two to three months.