By: William G. Muir
Before the byline I would have posted a quote. That is usually how I do these Wednesday/Thursday post. But today I just couldn’t find a quote by anyone famous to illustrate the point I want to make. It is nearly the middle of June and the summer weather has arrived. And even though the official first day of summer is more than a week away, I want to take this opportunity to rant on the summer heat.
I hate the summer. Let me clarify that, I hate the summer heat. There are many things that I do like about summer. The days are longer. Everything is so colorful, what with all of nature in full bloom. The trees are once again full of life with the return of their green leaves. Flowers have comeback to life showing their array of color. The sky no longer is longer a dull blueish gray, but a vibrant blue with white puffy clouds. And nothing feels better on a summer day that a dip in the cool waters of the lake or a swimming pool.
But all that fun comes at a price, the oppressive summer heat. I just can’t take it. Today the high temperature was 93 degrees. And summer hasn’t even begun. I don’t know how I am going to take this. To be honest I don’t know how I am going to take any of this.
Some people would say this kind of heat is the result of global warming. And while I am not a global warming skeptic (denier), I don’t think the summer temperatures in this part are a result of global warming. I have lived here in Southern Indiana since 1986 and I seem to recall the summer temperature have been constant all that time. I even think some of the summers in that time have been hotter than recent ones.
Sure we had a week last July were the daily temperature was above 100 degrees everyday. The first time in this area that such a thing has ever occurred. But that was followed up by a dip in the temperature and the rest of the month of July was rather pleasant.
I wonder if there is a point in ones life time when the summer heat becomes unbearable. As a kid the heat never seemed to be that big a deal. Even on the hottest days of the year you could find me playing basketball on a blacktop court. Never once would I even think about how hot it was. Me and my friend would exert energy by riding our bikes all over town. We would break a sweat, but we would never feel as if were about to collapse.
In high school I was on the football team. During the months of June and July we would do summer conditioning. Half of our time was spent in weight room that had no windows, no doors that lead to the outside, no air conditioning and temps in the room that rivaled those in a sweat lodge. We would spend an hour in there lifting weights and doing plyometrics. (Plyometrics is Russian for torture.) After we were finished lifting weights we would head on out to the track and run several miles worth of sprints at top speed.
When August rolled around it was finally time to start practicing. And if any of you have seen a football game, you will know that football players wear protective padding. A lot of protective padding. I have to say it was those days out on the practice field, going thru two a days, in full gear, during the dog days of summer that I got my first hints at what suffering through summer heat would be like as an adult. But back then all I had to do to fell relief was to get out of all that gear.
Not so today. Sometime in my adult life the summer heat just became to much. I now know why my parents and grandparents would sit in the shade enjoying a glass of ice tea. It was just too darn hot to do anything else. It was why the task of cutting grass became mine. It was why grown ups tell kids things like stop hanging all over me. The heat just zaps any energy you just might have.
As I am sitting here writing this post with a fan blowing air in my face. In the hopes that it will cool me off. I leave you with these words I have heard my grandmother say on several different occasions. Sitting in a pair of shorts, I now what she meant. “I prefer winter to summer any day. At least in the winter you can always put more clothes on to feel warmer. In the summer time there is not enough clothes to take off to feel cooler.”