I knew that it was too hot when I saw a fuzzy white cottonwood seed float by then wither and drop at my feet. I had inhaled one of the little devils earlier in the week and it sent me in a mad, hacking dash to the nearest water fountain—but not this past weekend. Even the cotton candy of airborne allergens was rendered to ash in the broiling record temps of late May.
You know…May! That sweet month of baby birds singing in the nest, showers popping the blossoms and folks seemingly running in slow motion through field and dell? Not this time.
From the brutally frigid winter of 2010 to the relentless storms of the past month, Louisville is in the middle of a long season of extremes. While some refer to the odd weather patterns as the End Times, I say no. That would be too easy. This crap looks like it might go on forever.
I realize that we are a generation are air conditioned. Traditionally, the front porches are empty until there is a power outage. In the meantime, there are Adirondack chairs and hanging Geraniums to admire while everyone else is indoors sweating out the LG&E rate hike–despite their central air or window units.
My lazy rotating ceiling fan doesn’t help much. Soon, I start to whine when I feel like my enire apartment is as stagnant as the courtroom scene in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
I haven’t baked a meal in the oven for a week. If I were to grill out in the yard, I may as well join a Bikram Yoga class–with meat. So, it’s sandwiches, salads, anything in a crock pot for a while. They’re great! Efficent and electric. You could stuff a whole dinosaur into of one of those jumbo models and by supper time you and your company are dining on flawlessly cooked T-Rex in cool kitchen comfort.
The humidity that is a hallmark of the southeast is almost out of the picture for now. And no, women do not glow. Never bought into that. We all plunder, right? The old ladies used to describe the stuffy heat as “close.” I have often found my bra able to support aquatic life in those wet Louisville summers but for now, the heat is high and dry. I imagine the dewpoints are holding out for their dog days of July and August. We can only hope.
What are my personal signs that the humidity is simply too much? When the only music that sounds right is Lucinda Williams or Ry Cooder. When the only drink I crave after 5:00 is a Vodka Gimlet. When I confuse a bead of sweat drizzling down my back for a bug and swat at it. When I refuse to leave my table when Greater’s tries to close. When Iam willing to be witnessed in public wearing a tank top. When it’s soggy enough to straighten Mayor Fischer’s hair.
I finally retrieved a couple of my vintage church fans from the display shelf on Saturday. Fanning myself with the paper image of the Last Supper, I felt unusually gentile. Watching Jesus and his diners pass back and forth across my view of the tall trees and Victorian houses on the north side of Edgeland Drive, I enjoyed a well-earned and no-charge breeze. Whipping the air around me into a near 70 degree frenzy was refreshing.
The ad on the back was for Norris Funeral Home in Burkesville, Kentucky several decades ago. “24 Hour Ambulance Service–Oxygen Equipped – Air Conditioned. Services for All–WItin the Means of All.” I guess if one was fanning away and you got a case of the vapors, you could call the phone number. Nothing like a little product placement on my page, right?
So, take care of yourself in this early season heat. Check in on your elderly friends and family, keep an eye on your animals. I have my trusty Louisville Water Company bottle from Waterfront Wednesday. In efforts to get a little greener, the good folks at LWC now provide durable, re-useable containers for our H2O flow. Do not forget to hydrate!
Get out on the porch if you can. Give that glider a run for its money! Break out the sweet iced tea, lemonade and stories and wait patiently for the next rain.