Geez, already the triple digits have arrived. Saturday is supposed to be the first. According to the news, it might be the first of many. This summer could be hotter than 1998, when we had over forty hundred-degree days. Ugh.
I, however, have a plan.
First, I will do no outside work after 10:30 in the morning. Primarily, that means parking my bike by that time. I’ve ridden on many extremely hot afternoons. I don’t handle it well. I think because I’m the kind of guy who could bathe in a garden hose, and thus have no reserves, once the temps hit the mid nineties I wilt like a flower. Two weekends ago, four of us did a hundred over to East Texas and back. The last thirty were miserable. By that point, it was mid-day, and we had not only the sun baking us from above, but the heat radiating up from the road. Imagine riding in an oven on a pizza stone. I tried to drink plenty fluids, but both legs still locked up with cramps with about twenty miles to go. By the time I rolled into the driveway, I hated my bike (because it was the bike’s fault I stayed out too late and failed to properly hydrate) and never wanted to ride again. Naturally, I did forty more miles the next day. However, I finished at 9:30 and vowed to finish at a similar time for all remaining summer rides, even if it means starting at 5:30 AM.
Second, I’ve made sure we have summer activities to replace our usual rotation of daily walks to parks. We joined Sciport, the local hands-on science museum. The kids like to play with all the exhibits, and it also has an indoor play area. I’m hoping I can convince them to try the planetarium before summer ends. In any event, the A/C is always cold. In addition to Sciport, last week I joined the Elk’s Club. Yes, I felt as if I suddenly became a sixty five year old man with a crew cut, but they have an olympic sized pool and a kiddie pool. Not only that, but there’s a SHADED picnic area next to the pool, so you don’t have to bake in the sun while watching the kids play. (Once they’re a bit older, there’s also a bar inside with a decent view of the pool). In short, in this paragraph, you’ve discovered what we’ll be doing just about every afternoon this summer.
Third, to make the house more comfy when we are here, I’m putting a ceiling fan in the living room. That’s the only room without one. It’s also the room in which I like to nap in the afternoons. The fan would make the naps oh-so-much-more sweet. Hanging it won’t be sweet, of course. Not because there’s anything challenging about it, but because I’ll have to crawl around in a steaming hot attic. Shoulda done this one over the winter. The other house cooling project is installing a small air conditioner in our bedroom. We have central, but: 1) Our room is farthest from the unit, and 2) Our room has a flat roof that bakes in the sun all day. The result is our room being five degrees or so hotter than the rest of the house. At night, for our room to be comfy, we have to freeze the rest of the house. I figure a small window unit will help balance things.
Fourth, I’m going commando all summer. I know “TMI! TMI!” Seriously, though, is there anything more ridiculous than the way we dress in Louisiana? I mean, our ancestors came from Northern Europe. So we dress like them. But we live in a subtropical climate. We ought to dress like it. If I was a woman, Memorial day would be the last day for a bra until October. But I’m a man. Thankfully, being a teacher, I don’t have a dress code to follow in the summer. No ties or jackets for me. Yet, even with my already laid back attire, I’m still going to try to be cooler. That is, no cotton when linen is available, and no linen when I can just wear lined synthetic athletic shorts. Ditto shirts. And of course, nothing but the flippy flops for the feet.
Will any of this make the miserable heat enjoyable? Hell no. It will, though, make the summer very nice.