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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you stay out of hot water today!
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.