Friday, July 31, 2015

Life at 90

Here in Washington state we know rain. We have accepted that the majority of our lawn is actually moss; that gray, cold, and damp are a lifestyle, not a choice; we own plenty of Gor-tex.

Weather forecast: HOT
What we don't understand is this thing people in other parts of the country call "dry heat."  Dry and heat don't even become part of our vocabulary until the first time we vacation outside of the state. Which is why this summer has come as such a surprise for many of us.  We've had a record number of sunny days reaching 90°+ with little or no rain. Our lawns are dead (even the moss), wild fires spring up in suburbs, and we are feeling a little loopy from all the heat. Okay, maybe that's just me.

Summer, as most of the country knows summer, has changed me.

I have developed a love/hate relationship with air conditioning.  When it's been over 90 degrees for the last several days you kind of need it, but something about the recycled, dehumidified, Arctic blasts our window unit puts out causes my sinuses to freeze up.  I need air, not processed air-like emissions.  Give me some old-fashioned marine influence over a freon-induced gas any day.  And while many people like the white noise effect of the air conditioner, having that hum going all night gives me weird dreams. Jets landing on my house, robots taking over the world, and polar bears playing shuffleboard do not make for peaceful dreams.  Of course, neither does roasting like a pig in a blanket.

At the local water slide park--argh!
At the beginning of the summer I went out in the sunshine every chance I got.  I developed what one might call a golden tan (keep in mind my natural color is white--not flesh, or ecru, or peach, but pasty-are-you-sure-you're-not-sick-white).  I would put off household chores because "you never know when we'll get a day like this again!"  Yeah, I am so over it.  Now we hide inside, out of the harmful UV rays, breathing our fake air and becoming increasingly pale.  It might as well be winter.

We used to joke that the stores put their summer clothes on sale right around the time we in the Pacific Northwest could finally start wearing them.  We don't usually get consistent sunshine until after the Fourth of July, but this year it started before the kids even got out of school.  I have already run through my entire summer wardrobe, which consists of the three pairs of shorts I'm willing to be seen in public in, as well as last year's swim suit (which may or may not fit).  I have begun to stare longingly at the fall boots and cute cardigans in the back-to-school ads. Things that, at this rate, we may not get to wear until December. My body is not built for hot weather fashions (except for mumus--I could totally rock a mumu.)  I am not now, nor will I be anytime in the next month, "bikini ready".  If I'd known we were actually going to have swim suit weather for more than two days, maybe I'd done a few more of those Biggest Loser workouts.  Okay, I probably wouldn't have, but at least I'd be mentally prepared to bare my sturdy thighs for three months in a row.

I am physically and emotionally done with summer and heat and all that it entails.  If next year is anything like this year, I'm moving to Iceland.  Do you know how warm it is in Iceland right now? Forty-six degrees. I bet they had to put on a sweater when they went outside. And it's supposed to rain there tomorrow.


It's important to keep a sense of humor