Posted tagged ‘84˚’

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

July 3, 2017

Today is beautiful, sunny and clear, but it’s hot, already 84˚. Tonight the low will be 65˚,  far more to my liking. I was surprised when I brought Gracie out around 8 at how hot it already was. My AC has been on since yesterday. Last night I woke up and grabbed the afghan as I was a bit chilly. I snuggled, got warm and easily fell back to sleep for another hour or so.

Gracie slept with me on the couch for the first time in a while. I heard her panting around 3 and knew she needed to go out. We walked across the lawn to the driveway. It was just so dark the houses were mere shadows. In the backyard, I could hear Gracie walking on the bed of leaves so I knew where she was. While I sat on the steps waiting and enjoying the coolness of the night, she roamed the yard. After she joined me, we went back inside to the couch and both of us fell asleep quickly.

I have outside stuff to do. The lights the spawns chewed need to be replaced as does the string of lights from the huge star on the fence. Half of it went dead which drives me crazy. Three plants died in pots, all the same plant, but I have replacements ready. I need to water the deck plants and clean my outside shower. My fountain can be connected as I found its adaptor. Gracie will like that as she drinks from the fountain; however, that presents a problem as I love the sound of the water as it moves through the fountain, but Gracie often drinks it so dry that I can only hear a gurgling sound.

Often I’ve been traveling on the 4th. I remember Ghana where it’s just another day. I was in Venezuela for the bicentennial 4th of July. It went by me without my even noticing. It is easy to lose track of the date when there is no set itinerary, no expected times of departure or arrival, and that’s my favorite way to travel. I’m not big on escorted tours. Often the best trips are serendipitous.

I saw a chickadee, a nuthatch and a titmouse taking seeds from my feeder, but my favorite was watching a goldfinch remove lint from the container of nesting materials hanging from a branch over the deck. I wish I knew where she was building. I’d love to see the nest and meet her babies.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

July 6, 2015

I’m melting. I’m melting. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. From wearing hoodies on July 4th to 84˚ this morning is a giant leap. The sun is brutal already. It is pretty to look at but that’s where the good part ends. It is just plain hot. Luckily this room is still cool as it doesn’t get sun until afternoon. It is a full 10 degrees cooler than outside. I will migrate to the deck when I finish here. If there is a breeze, it will find my deck.

At the park where I used to spend my summer days, the picnic table was in the shade under trees.The horseshoe pit was also in the shade just below where the table sat. The softball field was in total sun. Practice meant sweating all over including drips in my eyes and on my cheeks. I used the sleeves of my blouse to wipe my face. The sleeves got grimy, but I didn’t care. The slide got so hot in the mid-afternoons you chanced burns using it. The only water was a bubbler close by to the park. We taught Butch, the neighbor’s dog who followed us everywhere, to drink from it. We also taught Butch how to climb the ladder then slide to the ground. I spend most of my pre-teen summer days at that park. We always had plenty to do. I remembering painting flowers on a wooden tray for my mother. It was the best painting job I ever did. I bought gimp and made my father a key chain which he gushed over but never really used. It was well made but a bit gaudy and what adult male uses a gimp key chain? A couple of afternoons a week we competed against other town parks in baseball and softball. There was even a park column in the town’s weekly paper, The Independence. I love seeing my name in print and saved all of the columns which mentioned me. The park closed from 12 to 1 for lunch, and I’d go home, about 5 or 6 minutes away, eat lunch and sometimes even change my grimy blouse then it was back to the park until it closed at 4.

At the end of the summer we had contests then awards. I was the horseshoe champ a couple of years running. I also got awards for softball as our team was always first or second in the park league. I won the checker board award one year but only one year. I really loved going to that park. It was such a fun way to spend every summer day and having my name in the paper was my favorite perk.

“God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.”

May 31, 2013

I never did get to the garden center yesterday because Gracie and I went to the dump. She saw me bringing trash to the car despite my stealthiness and got quite excited at the prospect of going to one of her favorite places. I couldn’t disappoint her so off we went. When I got home, I sat for a bit and that small break drained me of any ambition. It was around two, and I was sitting on the couch reading and sweating because yesterday afternoon was about 84˚. Why in the heck am I sweating thought I so up I got to turn on the air-conditioner. The house was so hot it took until early evening before it was comfortably cool. This morning I went outside to see if I could turn off the air. Nope!

I had no milk or cream so Gracie and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts. She enjoyed her morning ride and I got my coffee. We are both happy with the start of our day.

I don’t remember being hot when I was young. I remember cold, but the memory of heat escapes me. We walked from one end of town to the other to go to the pool, and I remember carrying my towel and bathing suit in both directions. On the way home the wet bathing suit was wrapped in the towel. I remember walking up the huge hill on the way to the square, but I don’t remember the rest of the walk. I remember tired but not hot. At night, the air was sometimes stifling in my bedroom, but I always fell asleep anyway. It was the exhaustion of a kid in summer.

We didn’t have air-conditioning. Nobody did. We didn’t even have a fan that I remember. My mother pulled down all the shades in the house to keep it cooler. We were moles every summer.

When I lived in Ghana, some days I minded the extreme heat. I’d sit in my chair, and when I got up, the imprint of my body was in an outline of sweat on the cushions. Candles melted sideways without being lit. That’s how hot it got in the Upper Region. I didn’t have a fan then either, never even thought of buying one. I just got used to the heat as best I could. In my mind it was just part of the experience of being a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.

Every night I’d take my cold shower, no hot water, but the first water from the pipes was always hot, warmed by the sun, and I’d wash my hair quickly. The rest of me endured the cold water. I always took my shower just before I went to bed. I had learned not to dry myself off so I could air dry once I got into bed. It was like I was my own air-conditioner. I think the Peace Corps calls that adapting.