This being my 60th summer, you'd think I'd know what to expect. And yet this year the heat has hit me so hard. Whenever I have to be out in it I am in utter misery. I feel like my vital essence is being siphoned off - and this from someone who grew up without air conditioning in the DC suburbs! I went to college in southern Maryland without air conditioning. All we had were fans. It boggles the mind.
Summer hasn't changed. I have. Hormonal disasters within my body have caused me to be utterly intolerant of heat. I noticed this past winter that I was fine with the cold. Not turn-off-the-furnace fine, but I never really got cold, even when I was out in it. ("Out in it" for me means when I walked between my heated car and a heated building.) I used to be freezing all winter, with the same exposure.
Winter hasn't changed. I have. Maybe, if I could summon up the energy to move to another area, I could go to Maine, or Vermont, or Quebec - assuming the Canadians would let me in, which is doubtful. What do people do in Canada, anyway?
Thank goodness no one has to move north these days to escape the heat. The most marvelous invention of all time, second only to the television and the internet, is air conditioning. When I come in to our air conditioned house from the boiling swamp outside I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from me. I can breathe. I am happy. All is as it should be.
I know there are some purists out there who eschew air conditioning. They talk about "getting used to the heat." I happen to know that can be done, since I did it in my childhood. After having air conditioning, it takes about two solid weeks of utter, intense misery to "get used to" the heat, and even then no one is comfortable in it. Also, environmentalist though I am, I could care less what toxic chemicals are required to run the AC unit. If it ran on the blood of virgins, I'd manage to look the other way. I'd even try to find virgins, assuming they are available online, because I'm not going out in that weather. I also do not care what it costs to keep the house cooled. Whatever the price, it's a fair deal. I can do without just about anything else, except internet.
These days, we venture out in the early morning and late evening, to water the garden and get the mail. We did a lot of work in the garden when the weather was cooler, and now it's on its own, suitable for viewing from inside the house. The flowers, stupid, floppy showoffs that they are, seem to thrive on the heat. So does all the lovely wildlife, and they are welcome to it.
Summer. It truly is for the birds.