Face it, Mona, I can't use the 'nice' words for it. "Perspire." "Glow." *snort*
I'm from the Deep South, darlin'; we don't perspire down here, we sweat bullets. We sweat like pigs. We sweat like a five dollar port whore during Navy shore leave. Those lovely old images of pomaded plantation overseers in white linen suits and elegant moustaches? All smoke and mirrors designed by the tourism bureau to keep you from realising that heat prostration is the number two killer down here, second only to the "Hold my beer a second, I want to try something" death.
I don't know at what point in my life I went from the kid who could stay outside all day and never notice the heat to the adult who realises that if he hoes one more weed he's going to wake up in a nice cool hospital ward with a heat stroke, but I wish I'd noticed it. At least I could have mourned it a little bit, waved goodbye with a damp hankie or something. But no, it passed me so fast I was left standing there in the yard suddenly aware that my shirt was soaked and I really ought to be wearing a hat.
My weekends have always been laundry time, but summer makes those laundry days about one more load long. I'm an outside guy, even in the heat (well, okay, even in the early morning and late evening if I really gotta) and that means the certainty of sweating. I get up Saturday morning, put on a liberal dose of SPF 60, a white tee shirt and long shorts, plunk my straw hat (SPF 30) on my head and start up the lawn tractor. Four hours and one freshly-mown lawn later I'm inside and in the shower, and one pair of sopping wet clothes are in the hamper for later.
After lunch there's inevitably something that has to be done outside: sweeping the driveway, washing vehicles, mucking out the chickens, something. Max exposure is usually no greater than an hour, but at it's end I'm back in the shower and a second set of white tee/long shorts is in the hamper, dripping and probably smelling like chicken manure or McGuire's Miracle Wax.
If I'm being particularly smart I'll stay inside during the worst of early afternoon heat and only venture back out to do things like gardening or bush-hogging the field. Several hours later it's lather-rinse-repeat time. Back in the shower and one more set of sweaty clothes that have to be wrung out in the tub before being tossed in the hamper.
Sunday morning? If I'm lucky that means a balloon crewing opportunity, and a change of clothes when I get home around 10am. Last time out I had an afternoon flight in addition to the morning flight and did something I'd never done before--sweated a pair of jeans to the point that they looked like they'd been pulled from the dryer about half an hour too early. Was I upset? No.
There's something intrinsically rewarding about sweating. If I'm sweating, chances are good I'm working at something physical, something that requires very little brainpower but a lot of muscle, and when it's all done it's Something I've Accomplished. I may be red as a hooker's fingernails and hot as a two dollar pistol but by gum I've accomplished something, and the sweat soaking my hatband and making me look like a truly ugly entrant in a wet T-shirt contest is just fine by me.
Right now, though, I'm ready for a little Fall. I miss my leather jacket.