Posted tagged ‘Zarex’

“If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?”

August 30, 2018

The heat is still horrific. This is the worst it’s been in my memory. My friend Bill wondered if it is hotter here than in Bolgatanga, Ghana where we both lived. Some days I believe it is.

This is the rainy season in Ghana, but it isn’t the rainy season here. We haven’t seen rain in a while, especially that drenching rain I remember in Ghana. Luckily my irrigation system has kept the lawn and garden green. The plants in the deck pots have to be watered almost every day or they wilt. I understand wilting. I wilt every time I go outside. It is not a pretty sight.

When I was younger, I could tolerate the heat here in the house far better. I didn’t even have a fan. I used to sleep downstairs on the couch, and I kept the back door open all night. That was enough. Now, it would never be enough.

When I was a kid, I slept through the hottest nights because I was exhausted, because the swelter of every summer day didn’t matter, didn’t slow me down, didn’t stop me from having fun. I rode my bike, played softball, walked to the pool and hung around outside with friends. I was a kid so being sweaty and dirty was no never mind. The sprinkler was my summer shower. That it was cold water was the best part.

My mother always had a pitcher of ZaRex in the fridge. It was cheaper than making lemonade and tasted better than Kool-Aid. The pitcher she used the most was blue aluminum. The glasses were also aluminum but were a variety of colors. She had a couple of glass pitchers, one smaller than the other. I found their duplicates in an antique store and bought them both. I’m heavy into nostalgia.

My mother didn’t use her stove or oven a whole lot in the summer because the small kitchen held the heat. Sandwiches were acceptable supper food. My dad barbecued on weekends but my mother never did during the week. Everyone knew barbecuing was a man’s job. That my father sometimes set himself on fire was just an acceptable risk.

I have a doctor’s appointment in Hyannis today. I’m not happy with going outside. That my car has AC doesn’t matter. It’s just the idea of it.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

July 24, 2015

I hear insects buzzing, the sound of a summer day for me ever since I was little.

When I was a kid, I walked everywhere. In the summer the roads shimmered when I walked on a really hot day. I knew it was a mirage caused by the heat, but I still found it a bit mystifying. The shimmer always stayed the same distance away from me in front of where I was walking. It made me think of the desert and of water which wasn’t there.

Sidewalks were so hot they’d burn my bare feet. I’d do that silly dance every one does of quickly raising one foot then the other ahing out loud in pain the whole time. The grass was immediate relief, cool and lush.

Drinking water from the gushing hose was an easy way to feel a bit cooler. The water ran fast and hard. The front of my blouse always got wet. It didn’t matter because the sun dried it quickly.

My mother always yelled when we looked into the fridge for what she thought was too long a time. “Close the door. Do you want everything to melt?” She never understood that looking was the best way to find what you didn’t know you craved on a hot day until you saw it. Always in the fridge was the aluminum pitcher filled with Zarex, usually orange. Everyone liked orange. My favorite was cherry, but I bowed to the orange contingent.

My mother had aluminum glasses to match the blue aluminum pitcher. They were the best for cold drinks because you could feel the coolness through the aluminum to your hand. Ice cubes were too difficult to get from the trays. You had to pull a lever to release the cubes and most times the lever had also frozen. Waiting for the water to get hot then putting the tray under the faucet was the only way to loosen the lever. All of it was far too much work for a few ice cubes.

Today is a wonderful summer day with a breeze and a sunny blue sky.