Monday, August 01, 2005

Hot, hot, hot.

How in the world do folks in the South DO this hot weather thing on a permanent basis? Is it something that you're just genetically more able to deal with cause you're born there or what?? And I know...I know...what we call HOT to you guys is more like..."Oh, better get your jacket cause it's going to be a chilly 86 degrees today", but there's nothing as relative as the kind of heat you're used to.

I'm not a Washington native. I was born and raised in England - specifically Nottingham, which is in the Midlands, and where 75 degrees is considered a heatwave. I still remember the day I arrived in Seattle-Tacoma airport on a sunny day in August of 1988. I was dressed for English weather, meaning a long sleeved shirt and jeans, as it was a warm summer day around 70 degrees. I stepped out of the airport terminal in Washington and it felt like I was walking into a blast furnace, as the temps here were closer to 85 degrees. I immediately melted into a large, sticky puddle on the sidewalk and was never heard of again.

Actually that part was just something I added for emphasis.

I've now lived here for almost 17 years, and I STILL can't take this summer heat. It turns me into this languid slob creature who lies around panting like a dog when I'm not flinging myself into The Pool Of Death with wild abandon, knowing that the creepy redneck guy next door is leching over the fence but being completely BEYOND CARING.

Our nice, proper English weather behaves in a very nice, neat and orderly fashion. Our weatherman once said that English summers tend to follow a specific pattern of having three hot days followed by a thunderstorm, with attendant cooling rain, before going back to the heat again.

Now that's a pattern I can work with.

Washington is somewhat different. Here we have rain which begins at the end of October and doesn't let up until April, followed by a couple of months of indecision - umbrella or t-shirt - umbrella or t-shirt - screw it...take both. And then we have summer.

Summer is a time when we see NO rain. And the grass shrivels up and dies, and we can't water it because the local governments have no short term memory and are incapable of coming up with a method of retaining all the zillion gallons of rainwater and snowmelt from the mountains and giving it back to us during the summer. Instead, on the second day of summer there's always a dire prediction of drought, and threats of cutting off the water if we keep using it for rash things like bathing and drinking. Of course, that 'drought' never comes to pass. I think there's just a drought department in Olympia which has to justify its existence on a yearly basis.

Summer is when things just DON'T GET DONE in our house. It's also the time when I have fond thoughts of moving to the north of Alaska and getting up close and personal with some polar bears.

This heat is too much with me.


Blogger 'Lema said...

I like the 'umbrella or t-shirt' analogy. It's brilliant... and truthful ;)


12:14 PM  

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