May 22, 2005

The time has come/the Walrus said

to move to deeper waters.

Yes indeedy kith and kin, Summer has arrived with a vengeance. Spring has been callously shoved aside after a record-breaking three week appearance, and Summer is ready to bake the life out of Louisiana. Todays manufacturer's suggested high temperature is 95, that's right, count 'em, ninety-five burning degrees hot! Humidity guaranteed to be up in the 85 percent bracket or higher, and sweet heavens forbid we get a small rainshower or a beefy fog, because it'll crest 98 in no time and turn my front yard into a sauna.

One of the joys of living in a swamp, I guess.

I always laughed at people who (still) picture folks from the South as being genteel plantation owners who wear lots of white suits and sit on the front porch drinking mint juleps and talking like a Kentucky Colonel while the cotton is picked by hand. The real Southerner knows that if you're going to do any work at all you had damned well better do it during the wee hours wearing as little clothing as you can get away with, because the rest of the day, if you're a survivor, you'll be locked in your house under an A/C vent with a glass of iced tea and all the shades drawn. I spent most of yesterday doing just that--every curtain pulled, lights off, walking around in here like a blind cave frog. But it was coooooool, and I only had to take two showers.

That's another part of it--water consumption triples around this time. On weekends when I have no choice but to work in the yard I end up taking a shower in the morning when I first get up, then a shower after whatever yard work I've accomplished, such as cutting the field or the yards, or digging in flower beds, then after spending the hottest part of the day inside I usually foolishly end up going BACK outside to take care of something I've forgotten or some task or other that needed doing, and I have to take another shower before bedtime. It's that hot, people.

I still recall my first father-in-law, who, being a native Washingtonian (the state, not the capital) came down all unknowingly for a visit in the middle of the summer. He literally NEVER stopped sweating, even inside the house. Craziest thing I ever saw. And frankly, it gave me a bit of a superiority complex, because at least I could walk around inside, even stand by a window or a door without exploding into sweat. Granted all it takes is a step or two outside to make even the bravest and tightest-pored of us burst into dampness, but hey, this IS LA, isn't it.

Me, I can't see how in the hell people work out in it. I know that Vulgar Wizard's fiancee is a lineman for RSI, and he spends all his time outside trying to get himself acclimatised to the heat because he HAS to, but then he also drinks about three gallons of water in any 8 hour period and gets paid about a zillion bucks an hour. I'll tell you this, though--if I had to stand in a fiberglass bucket wearing blue jeans, steel-toed work boots, a fiberglass hardhat and a long-sleeved shirt with leather gloves AND a safety vest you could just put a bullet in my head, because I'd die the moment after I stepped foot out of the truck.

There's a field across the road in front of my house that goes on quite forever, and I took a brief stroll out across the rows last week, wanting to get a good full-frame picture of the house with it's new roof, and every step I took in the gulley of those rows was like walking in talcum powder it was so dry. Friday morning waiting for the bus the farmers that own that land were out doing something with cultivators and sprays, and even as slowly as they were going and with no wind the dust was thick in the air, like a tan pall hanging over everything.

I am so not looking forward to Summer.

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