Saturday, June 20, 2009

Baby, it's HOT Outside!

I live in Florida, pretty much always have and probably always will, so I get it - it gets hot here.

The last few days have been scorching, though, and unbearable I would think to people not genetically prepared to survive it. The lighted time and temp sign on the credit union read "+100" today when I drove past it. Panicky warnings are being issued by the TV news people to drink lots of water, stay in the shade, along with the tutorial on recognizing signs of heat stroke and what to do should it happen to you.

I hope you were paying attention to the phrase "genetically prepared."
As I stated in my introduction, my family has been here pretty much since dirt. In spite of my fair skin, light hair and eyes, the Florida heat is my friend. The air is rich with water, a humidity that my thirsty skin and lungs embrace, and sometimes I feel like I am walking through an invisible pool of warm Gulf water. Especially here, where I live close enough to the Gulf to smell the beloved scent of salt, sun, and sealife. Inland the thick air is a blanket that smells of grass, farm animals and growing crops.

Today, as the sun was cooking tourists on the beach, I was making my way across asphalt parking lots to secure items needed and wanted in the household. As others walked past me in the parking lots I noticed labored breathing, sweat-soaked faces and general discomfort.
Secure in my native superiority, I sailed across the black top into the air-conditioned comfort of the stores and accomplished my tasks with no more than a bit of a healthy pink glow added to my skin. It was a nice reminder of how lucky I am to have been raised in this atmosphere of wet heat, regular sun-showers and the breeze that cools the sweat on your brow just before you get grumpy.

Have you ever opened a 450 degree oven, got a little too close to the door and breathed in that air? That hot, hot, dry, arid air? That's the way the air feels in places without humidity. Santa Fe and Albuquerque, lovely places to visit as long as you can stay inside. A walk-about for me lasted ten minutes before I sought out the nearest watering hole.

So, tomorrow when you look out at your beautiful day, love it for what it is - and just deal with whatever kind of heat you have and be glad it isn't cold.

I'm going to go outside now and gulp a drink of air-water.

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