I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Long hot summer

Looks like a heat wave to me
One of things I dislike the most about summertime is the relentless heat, with little relief overnight, when it gets this hot. This temperature forecast extends well into the coming week and beyond. There is only one small segment of the states that has a below-normal forecast: the Pacific Northwest. Right where I live!

As you might imagine, I am not at all unhappy with the fact that our summer has not really begun yet, and it looks like we might make it all the way through the month of July without getting really warm temperatures, as opposed to the rest of the country. Before we moved here, we lived in Colorado, which is right in the middle of all that heat. A massive heat dome looks like it will stick around for awhile. How do you cope, or do you like all that heat?
The National Weather Service is forecasting 75 or more record-high temperatures to be approached or broken from Friday to Tuesday alone, and that number is likely to grow significantly into next week. Early next week a few cities in the Plains states may even flirt with their all-time record highs. However, when all is said and done, the bigger story will likely be how long this heat wave lasts.
 And this is all occurring right in the middle of the surging pandemic of Covid-19, which is continuing to spread unchecked throughout the country. It makes for a really scary scenario, and it's not easy for me to imagine what it would be like to be unable to safely leave my home, if I didn't have air conditioning. I remember once in Texas when my parents' air conditioner broke in the middle of a heat wave, and the only respite was to wrap up in wet bed sheets, using the evaporative cooling as a way to cool down. As if I needed any reminder that excessive heat is harder to cope with than cold.

Today we will have a high temperature of 68°F (20°C), with lots of sunshine mixed with clouds, and no rain for a change. I find that to be almost a perfect environment. You might not agree with me, as there are plenty of people who love the heat and would really hate our cool weather. I'm not one of them. You have my sympathy if you are like me and must find a way to stay comfortable.

As I age, I realize that my ability to cope with extremes of any kind become harder to deal with. I wonder if that is because the body's ability to adapt wears out, or if I am simply more aware of the changes. In any event, I try to maintain my equilibrium during these times, whatever it takes. This is a difficult time in the history of the world, not just here but everywhere. I envy those who have a strong faith, giving them a way to make sense of our current situation. I myself turn to prayer only when I cannot find any other respite from my fear and anxiety.

At this point in my life, I realize that what I have left to look forward to has diminished to only a few little pleasures. I love to read, and I am happy that my eyesight and continuing macular degeneration is not impeding that pleasure. And I also love to walk and hike, and so far all my body parts are hanging in there, giving me the ability to continue to enjoy the outdoors. My dear partner shares my days and nights, and he makes everything better, just by being there. I have a rich social life, even during lockdown, although much of it is virtual these days. Technology allows me to attend virtual classes, and I follow many blogs that show me how others are getting through their days. I learn from them and share my own ways to cope, and we offer hope to one another.

One of the benefits of these Sunday morning posts is that they give me a chance to stop whatever I'm doing and examine my life. The processing of writing gives me a chance to know what I'm actually thinking, gives me a chance to take stock of my life, of my blessings, and inevitably I find that life is not so bad.
You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. —Michelle Obama
In fact, right at this moment, I am feeling quite a bit of hope and happiness, for many reasons. One is that this post, my self-imposed task of every Sunday morning, is almost finished.  Not knowing what might emerge is always a little disconcerting. Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't. But I always try and find a way to communicate with my invisible audience, try to find out how I'm really doing today, and I always try to give all of us hope for better times ahead. We will not always be in this situation; everything changes and morphs into something different.

And with that, I will wind up this post, bid you farewell for another week, and hope that you will be safe, and will stay well, until we meet again next week. My dear partner has managed to sleep through it all, and my tea is gone. It's time to think of what awaits me in the day ahead. I wish you all good things, dear friends.


Linda Reeder said...

I don't like heat either. A high of 75 is about perfect for me, or 80 when I can just sit on the patio in the shade of the umbrella and be lazy. I'll be doing a lot of that in the next few months.
By this time next week I will hopefully be beginning my mending process, my digestive system settled down after general anesthesia, pain managed, and another year older.
Take care.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Right now we are in the 70's which I like just fine! It will be mid 80's by the end of the week here. As long as it's not horrid humidity we do fine. We usually turn the AC on in the afternoon and then off at night because we usually cool way down at night. I recall when I was little that we would run around in the sprinkler or play in the stock tank and then wear our clothes until they dried...early AC.
I hope you have a marvelous week! Nothing exciting happening here...same old same old...stay safe! I suspect we are in for lots of new Covid Cases this week...the numbers seem to be rising daily...I blame no masks, poor social distancing and tourists that won't stay home:(

ApacheDug said...

I always have a feeling of calm that washes over me when I read your thoughtful Sunday posts, for some reason (I guess knowing your general location) they put me in mind of cooler temps & cloudy skies, with hints of sunshine following a shower. Here in Pittsburgh, we've had a couple weeks straight of unrelenting temps in the 90s, it’s been tough. I can't imagine living without AC, yet growing up we never had such a luxury.

(I can remember going to visit my snooty great aunt who DID have AC, feeling the sudden rush of cool. dry air on my face and wondering if she was wealthy!)

Anyway, I envy your weather patterns DJan, and hope you have a very nice week ahead.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am like you and since I have gotten older, heat is my enemy. I left Florida for what I thought was cooler temps. Found out the Chamber of Commerce here lied. My first summer I saw way too many triple digits. Yikes.
I cleave to the mornings and evenings and live in A/C during the heat of the day.
We have been wet for a long time, now the heat is here. Sigh.

gigi-hawaii said...

I don't like extreme temperatures, either. Cold is hard for me to deal with because I hate to shiver.

Elephant's Child said...

I struggle in the heat. Really struggle. My version of MS thrives in it so I do not. Essentially in summer I do my best to turn into a troll and only come out in the very early hours or at night.
Thank you for yet another post which has me counting my blessings and starting the day thinking - which is always a win.
I hope that you and SmartGuy have a wonderful week.

Marie Smith said...

The 20 C sounds perfect to me. We have had a cold wind of late but the last few days have had a humidex of 35+. It is too hot! I like 20 please! Wish we could order up our favourite temperature.

We had no Covid cases for over two months and then six in the last week. This virus is wearing us out I fear!

Gigi said...

It's been flirting with the lower 90's here - but luckily the humidity has remained at bay...for now. To be honest, I'm surprised it hasn't been warmer or humid at this point. But I'm sure it will come, so I won't complain now. I'll wait until it's really miserable. ;-)

Have a wonderful week, my dear friend.

The Furry Gnome said...

I took one look at that map and thought 'You're lucky you're in Bellingham! I can't stand the heat!

Red said...

I'm with you. I don't like the heat. When I worked on the farm we had to work through heat waves. It helped if there was a breeze which was often. We also looked for shade to give respite. Indoors there wasn't much we could do. I think when we get older our bodies are not as tolerant of extremes.

Anvilcloud said...

While it will remain hot enough here, at least the real torrid weather has broken. I would probably be very happy living in your climate.

Rian said...

It is HOT here in Texas. We don't go out except to run to the car to pick up groceries... and then back. In the general scheme of things, I used to do better with heat than cold. Cold makes me hibernate - curl up in a ball and do nothing. Heat - even high humidity used to make me feel calm and relaxed growing up. We didn't have AC in N.O. where the humidity is extremely high when I was growing up, and I didn't mind at all. It was comforting. That was then. Now (at 75) heat is the enemy. With cold, I can bundle up pretty well, but when the temps go over 100, there is nothing you can do (unless you have AC). My fear is the AC going out (or the electricity during a storm). Before Covid, you could always run to a family member (or friends' house). Now you can't even do that. And we still have to get through August...

Rita said...

I do not do well with the heat, either, and we've broken records for a hot spring already. I remember the days before AC and how horrible it was to try to sleep those hot sticky nights. I remember sleeping on the hard cement floor in the basement because it was the coolest place in the house...but cement is awful to sleep on. I am very grateful for AC. :)

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, "You have my sympathy if you are like me." That puts a smile on my face. I'm very much like you especially when it comes to life in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog, it is sure good to hear from you. I did leave a reply for you on my blog and hope you will click by and take a look. Your Sunday morning post here includes another thing that strikes me as pure truth. "One of the benefits of these Sunday morning posts is that they give me a chance to stop whatever I'm doing and examine my life. The processing of writing gives me a chance to know what I'm actually thinking, gives me a chance to take stock of my life, of my blessings, and inevitably I find that life is not so bad." As you will know, I've slowed down on my blogging lately. However, it is hard to quit a blog after doing it for so many years. Your words about how preparing your blog helps are right on for me too. Thank you for your blog and for visiting mine. Do take good care, stay safe and be well.

William Kendall said...

Heat and humidity... it messes with my sinuses. We had a bad spell of it last week, until the remnants of a tropical storm blew through and dropped the temperatures and humidity.

Margaret said...

Wonderful post. I too love the PacNW. Unfortunately, I'm in the heat and humidity of NY visiting one daughter.(actually in the middle of my 14 quarantine) My younger one lives in Ohio, so also in an uncomfortable climate for me. I also value my reading, and my walking, which I can mostly always do in Washington, even if that means carrying an umbrella.

Glenda Beall said...

It is far too hot here for me to get out much. I have my deck garden and that is as far as I go most of the time. I don't do well with heat and would love to see 68 degrees, but that won't happen in the south until winter, I imagine.
Love your post and I relate to what you are saying. Tough time but we do have much to be grateful for.