Posted tagged ‘humidity’

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.”

September 1, 2018

Today is again glorious, cool and dry. The sun is strong. The sky is blue and unmarred by clouds. I’m going to sit on the deck and take it all in because by Sunday the ugly humidity will be back.

Today is the meteorological end of summer, and Labor Day is the unofficial end but none of that matters to Mother Nature. She will continue to blast us with heat and humidity until fall can finally work its way past her. I’m hoping it will be soon. Fall is my favorite season.

In Ghana we had the dry season and the rainy season. I lived where the dry season was hotter than any other place in Ghana, but now it is the rainy season there so the temperature in Bolga, my other home town, is the lowest it will be all year. It has been in the high 70’s and the mid 80’s there, and rain has fallen just about every day. It is odd to see it cooler in West Africa than it is here.

During my early Peace Corps days, I missed fall, the snow at Christmas and the freshness of spring. I missed flowers. But the longer I lived there, the more I came to love the changes in Ghana’s weather. The rains came intermittently in September. The fields and grasses began to turn brown. Every day seemed hotter than the previous one. By the end of September, it was the high 80’s. In October it was the high 90’s. The worst months, February through April, usually reached 100˚ or more. My favorite month was December. The days were hot, but the nights were cold in comparison. I needed a blanket. It was Bolga’s snow at Christmas. In May the rains started. The grasses turned green. The fields were filled with the young shoots of millet, maize and sorghum. The trees were green with leaves. It was spring, Ghanaian style. The market was overloaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. The tomatoes were luscious.

It has been a long, long while since I lived in Ghana so I have forgotten the horrific heat, those days over 100˚.  Back then I seldom complained. I took my cold shower late, jumped into bed and fell asleep. Now I complain and moan and turn on the air conditioner.

That’s the way it was there, and now that’s the way it is here.

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”

August 6, 2018

Help!! I am a prisoner in my house. Going outside could mean certain death. Okay, I admit to an exaggeration here but not by much. It is so hot and humid it took my breath away when I went to get the papers. I didn’t even stop to admire the garden. I am now safe and comfortable in my cool house. I will admire the sun from the inside out.

When I was a kid, I don’t think we even had fans in the house. My mother kept the shades down. The living room did feel a touch cooler but not by much. Sometimes we’d go through the sprinkler, get cool and wet then go to bed. I used the same trick in Ghana. I’d take my shower, a cold shower as I had no hot water, just before bed then go to bed still wet. I was air cooled and could fall asleep.

Heat never really bothered me that much when I was a kid. I was out every day all summer, even when it rained. In Ghana, in Bolga, it was always hot, even in the rainy season, but that’s just the way it was and life went on.

I have a great memory of Ghana. One of my friends was terminating (Peace Corps argot for finishing service) earlier than the rest of us were. His school was on strike so there was nothing for him to do. During Easter holiday a few of us met up in Accra by happenstance as we always stayed at the Peace Corps hostel. We decided to go out for drinks and toast our departing friend. We went to a hotel, one of the grand old hotels. We sat in the bar. There were chairs and couches with flowered cushions, not uncommon furniture in Ghana. Fans were on the ceiling and were stirring the air a bit. There was a bank of open windows behind us and outside those windows was a garden of ferns, eucalyptus and frangipani. I had been whisked back in time to a colonial hotel, like in some old movie of long ago times and places. I was living in old Accra for just a little while. Even now I can close my eyes and see the fan, the windows and me sitting on the couch, drink in hand. It is an amazing memory.

“Ever director has at least 10 bad films in them.”

September 21, 2017

Jose has found a home. It is sitting right over Cape Cod and bringing rain and intermittent winds. This is day three of the rain. It is also day three of gusts up to 65 MPH. Out my window, I can see my backyard trees bending and swaying and the top branches of the oak trees are whipping back and forth. Jose, now a tropical storm, will hang around for a few days more.

The winds don’t bother the birds. Five gold finches were sharing a thistle feeder and a chickadee was waiting in the wings. I had filled all the feeders a couple of days ago so I’m hoping they’ll last just a bit longer, until the rain stops.

Yesterday was thick with humidity. I turned on the AC for a while just to clear the house. This morning, even with the windows and doors closed, the house is a bit chilly. It is 64˚ out but with the rain and the dampness, it feels colder.

I have to go out later to pick up two refills of Gracie’s medications, and I’m going to get my flu shot. These are the least thrilling errands ever.

The only problem with subtitled movies is I have to pay attention. When I watch TV, I like to be doing something else as well. Right now The Brainiac is on, a 1962 old B&W movie about Baron Vitelius. The movie is from Mexico and is in Spanish with subtitles so I can’t write Coffee and watch at the same time. Vitelius is burned at the stake by the Mexican Inquisition. Before he dies, he vows to return with the next passage of the comet seen as he is burning and slay the descendants of his accusers. Vitelius returns and takes advantage of his abilities as a sorcerer to carry out his threat: he is able to change at will into the hairy monster of the title in order to suck out the brains of his victims with a long forked tongue. He is also able to render his enemies motionless or force them to act against their wills. The special effects are awful at best. The comet is a blurry picture as are the rest of the backgrounds. The telescope looks like a skinny old muffler. The comet lands with a thud and then turns into the creature, Brainiac. The monster’s clothes have burn marks. It did after all arrive in a meteor. I keep getting drawn to this awful movie.

When Gracie was young, she was a runner. She’d take every opportunity to get loose, and when she did, I could never catch her. She played keep away. She’d stop and wait, and when I got close, she’d run. My neighbors, friends and even complete strangers easily caught her. She went right to them, even to climbing into my friend’s car. Now that Gracie is so much older and has unsteady back legs, she doesn’t even need a leash. She walks ahead of me into the backyard and right to the stairs when she’s done. This morning I took Gracie in and out by the driveway as I was afraid the back steps would be slippery. She walked ahead of me and waited by the door for me to catch up. She and I are both too old to run.

“Politics is like football; if you see daylight, go through the hole.”

September 7, 2017

Yesterday we were deluged with rain. The storm started with thunder; a couple of claps were right over my house. Luckily neither Maddie nor Gracie noticed. They were concentrating on the treats I was giving the two of them. The lightning was next, small bolts which quickly came and went. I had to go to Hyannis for a doctor’s appointment. As I entered the highway, the skies opened and the rain was so heavy I could barely see out the windshield. Every car slowed to around 20, and a few put on hazard lights so they’d be more easily seen through the sheets of rain. It was like that all the way. When I arrived at the office, the rain suddenly stopped. After I finished my appointment and got to my car, the rain started again as heavily as before. I slowly drove home. The sides of the road were filled with water, and cars sent the water cascading to the left or to the right. The low spots on the side roads were filled with water. One was so deep it slowed my car. I was relieved when I got home even though it was still pouring. I got soaked in the short run from my car to the house, but being home was worth it..

It got so dark yesterday in the early afternoon my outside lights were triggered. The rain pounded my doors and windows. Gracie backed away from the door. She didn’t go out until there was a brief respite from the storm, in the early evening. Not long after, the rain started again. We got over 2 inches of rain.

Today is damp and overcast. The air is cool. I have the doors and windows opened. I like feeling the chill instead of the humidity of the last two days.

The eye wall of Irma is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. It is a monster destroying everything in its wake. I’d be on the road in a heartbeat with Gracie and Maddie, but the cape, like the Keys, has only one road to get us out of the way of danger, one road to the bridge. On Sundays, the traffic back-up leaving the cape after a summer weekend goes for miles and it takes hours to get to the Sagamore Bridge. Just imagine all of us who live here trying to leave at the same time.

Football starts tonight. The Patriots open at home where they’ll raise the new banner to  celebrate last season’s Super Bowl win. Luckily the Sox aren’t playing tonight so my allegiances won’t be torn. Go Pats!

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.”

August 21, 2017

The house is still chilly from the air conditioning being on all last night even though some windows and the two doors are now opened; however, it will be a hot day so I expect to be behind closed doors and shut windows for most of the afternoon. The sun was around earlier but has since disappeared behind grey clouds. We are going to have a partial eclipse, but it seems unless things change, we won’t even see that.

Last night the temperature was in the high 60’s so movie night was pleasant, even a bit chilly because of the high humidity. We watched Monster on the Campus. Oops, I’m really sorry. I should have warned you that was a spoiler. I just gave the whole plot away. The movie was released in 1958 so we did chuckle quite a few times at the special effects and the plot twists. The cars were as big as boats. The women all wore dresses, kind of ugly dresses, and accessorized with white gloves. The men, of course, wore their suits and fedoras. Troy Donahue had a small role. We applauded at the end not because it was over but because the monster had engineered its own demise. Such is the lot of monster in 50’s science fiction movies.

Gracie had a really bad night. She was sleeping in her crate. I was on the couch. It was around 4:00 when I was awakened by the sound of her paws frantically scraping over and over against the mat in her crate. I guessed she was trying to stand up but couldn’t. I raced to the kitchen. Gracie was lying on her side, her eyes huge, and she was scared. She tried again to get up but couldn’t. I grabbed her halter and lifted and pulled her out of the crate. I was scared that her back legs had given out, but when I pulled her upright, she stood. She was also wet. I figured that had been triggered by her fear. I dried her and we went to the couch. She jumped on it but sat upright for a while before she finally fell asleep. This morning everything is fine with her, but not with me. When I walk, I resemble a question mark because of the pain in my back. Poor Gracie and me!

“No rain but thunder, and the sound of giants.”

August 19, 2017

Last night we had the best rainstorm complete with thunder right over my house and lightning bolts striking in the sky above my backyard. One clap of thunder made Gracie and me jump as it was both unexpected and close. The rain pelted the roof and windows. It was so loud I had to turn up the sound on the TV. At one point, around 10:30, the rain stopped so I raced to take Gracie outside. The rain started again only minutes after we had gotten back inside. The drops were so heavy and loud they were the only sounds I could hear. I figured it was serendipity the rain stopped for just that small while. Gracie lasted the rest of the night and into the morning.

I’ve nothing on my to-do list for today. The roads will be filled as Saturday is turn-over day at cottages, and tourists will be looking for something to keep kids busy on a dark day, on a no beach day. Board games can only work for so long.

The remnants of the storm are a gray sky and high humidity, the sort of humidity my father used to say you can cut with a knife. The small breeze does nothing to change the close, damp air. We won’t see the sun until tomorrow.

I remember when I was a kid and the thunder and lightning kept me inside. I’d take a book and find a quiet place to read. Sometimes it was in my room because everyone else was downstairs watching TV. It was dark enough I needed a light to read by, the light on the headboard behind me. It seemed to shine only on me and the pages of my book. I felt safe and cozy.

Thunder never scared me even when I was a kid. I remember being told thunder was angels bowling in heaven. I also remember reading Rip Van Winkle’s thunder was the men in the mountains, Henry Hudson’s crew, playing nine-pins. Either way, it was just bowling.

I love lightning, jagged and bright in the sky. One lightning bolt hit the ground right in front of my house in Ghana. It was magnificent. I’ve never seen the like.

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

September 9, 2016

When I got the papers, I noticed the road still wet from my lawn being watered. That screamed humidity to me so I turned on the air conditioning. The weatherman last night did say summer was returning today.

Periodically the AC turns on to break the silence. Gracie isn’t even snoring. Both cats are awake, unusual for the morning. One is cleaning her ears and the other is just looking out the window from her perch, the back couch cushion. I have no idea what holds her attention.

Today I have nothing to do, not a single list. I’m thinking about lolling and reading. Before that, though, I might hit the chocolate shop for bon bons.

Yesterday my list was completed. I even brought my laundry upstairs, a rarity. Usually it sits in the dryer for sometimes as long as a week. I don’t mind doing laundry. It is the up and down the stairs, the folding and the carrying up two flights of stairs which I don’t like. The house we lived in when we first moved to the cape had the washer and dryer in the kitchen because there wasn’t a cellar, just a small dug out area. That made doing laundry easy.  When I worked, I managed to get everything done including planning lessons and correcting.

When I worked, I managed to get everything done, mostly on the weekends when I shopped, mowed the lawn, did laundry and cleaned the house. Now, despite having all the time in the world, I hire people. The house gets cleaned every other Thursday. On the off weeks, I do a bit of dusting, a small bit of dusting, and some vacuuming. My lawn gets mowed every Friday. Peapod delivers groceries right to my kitchen. I order when the larder is empty. Skip, my factotum, does whatever I need, things like opening and closing the deck, painting and general repairs. I know I shouldn’t complain given what little I do, but I want staff, particularly a laundress or a launderer. I did find a drop off Launderette, but I just can’t see myself driving my laundry bag to Hyannis. I guess I’m stuck.