Ok; It Is Freakin’ Hot

Maybe I am finally becoming a Floridian.  This is the sixth summer I have spent in Florida and I have managed to squelch my annual whine about the weather until the beginning of September.  I am sure the new air conditioner I installed a couple of years ago has not hurt my climate adaptability, either.

Whether my increased tolerance of Florida’s summer weather stems from my disposition slowly morphing into “Floridian” or from a better air conditioning system, I am proud that I have held out until now.  June, July, August… you have not heard me bitching about the heat, humidity, thunderstorms, or general sogginess of the climate.  Still, I now have to say I have reached the end of my tolerance.  

It’s freakin’ hot. 

The news says the temperatures this summer have been well above normal.  In fact, for most of the summer, the mercury has been breaking records.  Because of the COVID-19 restrictions and closures, it did not make much difference since I was mostly inside, enjoying the air conditioning and the highest electric bill I have ever received.  I always said that I figured the COVID-19 quarantines would lift just about the same time as our summer weather comfort quarantine would hit.  I was right.  In the summer, the weather is often too hot, too rainy, too humid, and too unstable to make plans.  It is not that the weather ALWAYS keeps people from doing things, but it COULD keep people from doing things at any time.  You can sometimes get lucky and spontaneously enjoy some outdoor activity, but you can never rely on a plan to do something because the weather will likely make other plans.  For someone like myself, who is not that spontaneous, it is frustrating.  This year, the whole outside world is frustrating and unstable, so maybe the weather is not infuriating me as much. 

Recently, though, I have started to wilt noticeably.  Part of my challenge is that I have started going out to do things that I have missed since COVID-19 shut down the world.  To add to the weather challenges, these activities require me to wear face coverings.  Central Florida in the summer always makes me feel like I am breathing water.  With a mask covering my breathing apparatus while wandering around a Disney park on a “feels like” 106-degree day, it is like I am breathing an old, wet, soggy, wash rag.  Funny, my lungs seem to prefer air.  At least, as I recall.  It has been awhile since my lungs sucked down some unhumidified air. 

I am sure many of you are yelling at your computer screen and calling me all sorts of names because, really, what do I expect, wandering around a theme park in the middle of the summer?  I would normally never go to Disney in the heat of the summer.  There is no way I would pay regular admission to get the truncated Disney experience right now.  With the annual pass, though, it does not cost me anything, and I really, really wanted to experience what “Disney without crowds” feels like.  I have been able to get on all the rides that were unavailable prior to COVID-19 due to massive attendance.  I also find it fascinating to examine the creative strategies Disney employees to manage social distancing and other safety protocols. 

But I digress.  This blog is not about Disney World.  It is about my ability, or lack thereof, to weather the weather. 

As I said, I’ve been a pretty good sport about the weather this year. I have maintained a sunny disposition and avoided weather-induced crankiness, for the most part. The last week or two have been my Waterloo, however.  It was like, suddenly, the immensity and oppression of the “heamidity” whacked the constitution clear out of me.  I have valiantly wrestled with the weather for the past three months and now, the weather has me pinned.  Somebody slap the mat, please!  Put me out of my misery. 

We are slowly slugging our way through the humidity to autumn, at least by the calendar’s reckoning.  I have been in Florida long enough to know that the climate usually does a pretty sucky job reading the calendar, but a girl can hope.  I am three weeks away from a sudden trip and Fall.  At least, I hope I am.

In reality, September is often the worst month because there is little if any relief from the heat and humidity.  Every hurricane that has been a realistic threat for our part of the state since we have lived here has occurred in September, which makes me a little hesitant to proclaim September 21 the end of the Florida summer boil. 

At some point, I look forward to not sweating while actually in the shower.  I look forward to days when my air conditioner will run a sprint, rather than a marathon. I look forward to being able to walk out my front door without my glasses fogging up. I look forward to not feeling sticky icky every hour of the day. 

Right now, all these goals seem like impossible dreams.  There is some hope that autumn will come, and the weather will eventually change.  Starbuck’s has started selling pumpkin scones. 

It is too hot and I am too lethargic to think of a question this week, but feel free to use the comments as a space to vent your own personal weather whine!

Have an air-conditioned day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

It’s Not The Heat; It’s The Humidity

Summer has different associations for everyone. Some people think of beaches, vacations, school being out, longer days, picnics, or the smell of fresh peaches.  I sometimes think it is my goal in life to change your core association with summer.  When you think “summer,” do you think “time for Terri’s annual whine about the Florida weather?” Yes? Then I’ve succeeded.

The other day, I saw a post on Facebook that said, “Lord, whatever you are baking out there- it’s done.”  It seemed highly appropriate.  The temperature zipped up to the mid-nineties this past week, with little fanfare or buildup. The term “baked” was spot on.  It was more of a California kind of a mid-nineties heat than a Florida heat.  The sun glared. It took little or no time to start to feel hot as Max and I tramped around an outdoor shopping mall.  Strangely, the weather seemed really bearable to me, though.  It was dry and quiet.  The sky was clear and clean.  It was easy enough to feel immediate relief from the heat. All we had to do was simply step out of the sun into the shade. 

The day is coming, any time now, when this will all change.  The sky will darken, the air will sog, and the moisture in the atmosphere will be impossible to escape.  At any given moment, the angry, painful-looking clouds that are obscuring the sky will crack open and furious rain will accompany the heat.  There will be thunder so loud you have to shout to be heard over it.  Chain lightning will be a daily occurrence.  People who try to make the best of things will tell you that the rain is really good because it brings the temperature down.  That may be accurate, but I’m not sure.  The temperature may go down, but the humidity is so heavy you can’t really tell.  In fact, it is sometimes difficult to know when a storm has passed because the rain is followed by steam.  The only clue that the storm may be over is that you no longer have to yell over the sound 0f rain brutally assaulting the roof.  

This past week’s heat has been dry and clean, like a towel fresh out of the dryer.  No one likes a towel fresh out of the dryer being stuffed over her nose and mouth, impeding the ability to breathe.  If the weather gets so hot that you can’t draw air without scorching your lungs, then that isn’t a good thing.  However, I think there is a pleasantness to having that warm towel close to my face.  It harkens back to childhood and safety and helps when I have a sinus headache.  On the other hand, a towel dipped in super-heated water stuffed, sopping wet, into my personal space, is not my idea of a good time. I think we are getting ready to take the towels out of the washer very soon now.  Breathing in dense, wet, terry cloth has absolutely nothing to recommend it.  Breathing the hot, humid summer air in Florida is pretty much like that. 

You see, its not the baking; it’s the boiling that is the problem with Florida summers!

Update:  I wrote this a couple of weeks ago.  Rest assured that, since then, we are out of the frying pan and into the crock pot.  God is making a big tasty batch of Florida soup and I fear it is going to be simmering nonstop until November.  Any suggestions on how to stay comfortable while slow-cooking in a pot of soggy atmosphere?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alterative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com

Hope you stay out of hot water today!

Terri/Dorry 😊

P.S. I seem to be a week ahead of myself.   When I posted last week’s piece, I was convinced that Fathers’ Day was on June 9th.  I learned I was wrong last Friday.  Therefore, I’d like to wish all you dads a happy Fathers’ Day NOW that the correct day is this coming Sunday.