As a kid, I used to love summers. All that freedom, all that wandering in the woods, all that time (when I became a teenager) with my horse, all that reading… Where I grew up in central PA, very few people had air conditioning, and we really didn’t need it. We slept with all the windows open, hearing the crickets and birdies sing, the owls hoot, and the chickens crow…
That was fifty years and two climate zones ago. The freedom from structure that gave summer its sparkly halo is now mine fairly consistently (sweet!). But friends and neighbors, I have had it to the gills with 95F days and high humidity. I do use a window unit air conditioner in my bedroom at night, but other than that, I deal with the weather “organically.” Outdoor activities mostly in the early morning or after dinner. Light clothes and few of them, frequent showers, buckets of cold de-caf iced tea, fans, lights off, and a firm faith that fall will come again.
Riding the noble steed in the heat is hellish, and cooling him out takes a lot longer than the ride itself. Don’t get me started on the flies, skeetos, wasps, ticks, and all my other little buzzing, crawling, flying neighbors and house guests.
My house runs on renewable energy, but I make myself deal with the summer weather by day because I want to be a good global citizen, and other people have much worse climate-related burdens than I do. (Though when you learn that the top earning 5% pf us are creating more than a third of our carbon footprint… kinda frustrating.)
When I woke up yesterday, the thermometer read 55F and I about started doing nip-ups. I’d slept better because it was cool enough to leave the roaring AC unit off. Instead, I could open the windows and hear the cows across the lane munching the tall grass and making happy bovine noises. I’d kept the whole house open to the merry breezes, so when I went downstairs to start morning chores, the air was wonderful.
My daily cup of jasmine green tea was extra delightful because of the cooler air. I could cover up more of me with comfy clothes and for whatever reason, I’m happier that way. The shower is not a mental health coping mechanism saved for right before bed. I can once again contemplate yard work without dread, and–be still my thumpin’ heart–the thirty-day forecast suggests the worst is behind us for the year.
I hadn’t realized how much the crummy weather was stealing my joy and energy. Since the heat broke, I’ve had back to back good writing days, I’m getting Ideas about scrubbing out the fridge, and I want to hire a landscape crew to get after some projects around the property.
It’s like I’m no longer stuck battery-saver mode, just because the temperate dropped out of the 90s. I thought I was doing pretty well dealing with the heat this summer, but now that more reasonable weather is here, I can see the I was losing altitude despite best intentions.
When did you last find yourself in battery-saver mode? What bumps you out of it? I will put two commenters on the ARC list for Yuletide Gems.
PS New cover and lower e-book price for Tremaine’s True Love!