On a hot day in central Texas

I need to whine a little bit about the heat because, surprise, it was another hot day in central Texas today. To say simply that it was hot is to underestimate completely the phenomenon that is hot weather in Texas. By 9 a.m. one could already feel a very hot sun beating on one’s shoulders, and that blinding white light of endless sunshine was quickly invading the long shadows of the morning. One doesn’t know whether to put on more clothes to protect from the heat or wear less clothing in a futile attempt to stay cool. The point is that no matter what you do to try and stay cool, you will get hot if you must flee the cool comfort of your air-conditioning. Trying to stay cool in the heat is pointless, futile, torture. Just walking ten minutes to another building is a challenge because there is never enough shade. The heat is a lot like wearing an extra coat and you can’t take it off. No matter where you go, it follows you around, turning the inside of your car into an oven, burning the lawn to a crisp, reddening your skin, and making you feel tired and spiritless. If I wanted to live in a perpetual sauna, I would have one installed in my backyard. Instead, Mother Nature has installed a persistent high pressure dome over central Texas, driving the daily temperatures up to 100F almost every day. Now, there are people who like the heat and moved to central Texas to take advantage of this suburb of the sun, but I don’t get it. I know that some people have swallowed their fair share of winters, snow, cold, and ice, and don’t ever want to see another snow bank again and have taken refuge in central Texas, one of the hottest places in the United States outside of Florida and California. I think they are over-reacting, but then again, I find nothing attractive in this non-stop heat, sweat, and steam. Growing up in the cold, cool spaces of Minnesota, I put in my time with dead cold temperatures, icy roads and sidewalks, blinding snows, and endless gray days, but I think, and I know this is totally subjective, that the cold was a little less oppressive than the endless heat of August and September in central Texas. The heat makes even the simplest chores a lot of work. Even going for a walk, getting a little well-needed exercise, is almost impossible. Doing any kind of yardwork is almost impossible. Being outside for any length of time borders on dangerous. Perhaps it would be less oppressive if there was a break in the daily routine, but this time of year the weather is the same every day for about two months. It doesn’t rain, and it cools off very little at night and lows in the eighties are not uncommon, especially in August. The monotony of the daily heat is depressing, continuous, unending. I know I have a bad attitude about this, that dealing with the heat is just a state of mind, that a bit of heat is really not the end of the world, that sometime in October, the temperatures will go down and relief will come. In the meantime, this hot weather makes me feel out of sorts, grumpy, even. In the meantime, I can only dream about cool air, frosty mornings, errant snow showers, and cold rain.