How HOT Is It?

This week I received numerous condolences from my friends and family across the country about the scorching Phoenix heat wave. Temperatures of 117+ with night lows in the 90’s. The breeze, if one can call it that, is like opening a 500-degree oven. It’s neither welcomed, nor refreshing. It serves solely to benefit the raging wildfires around the state.

Tuesday night we were playing trivia at the local ‘hood bar and grill, when someone announced: “Everyone outside! It’s raining!” The entire clientele rushed outside only to be bowled over by searing, gusty-dusty wind, and 3 or 4 raindrops. A promise of rain that ended in dirty cars and continued drought.

I’ve lived in Phoenix for 38 years; I know about its summers. I know even the Devil goes to San Diego this time of year. And I know my air-conditioning bill will surpass my Amazon one. However, I lived for 13 years in the Lake Erie Snow Belt. I endured week-long lock downs in my apartment, where the only way to the grocery store was by foot or snow mobile. Snow drifts, high winds packed with swirling snow made roads impassable. And God forbid, it the electricity went out, and I had no heat. I spent many a night on the floor in front of a Vermont Castings wood stove, which not only warmed the living room, but served as a cooktop to boil soup. I’d sweep the snow off the out-door gas grill to cook a hamburger, and while my burg cooked, I plodded through the snow and forged a bathroom path for my puppy.

A favorite Ohio joke: What do you call the day after two, straight days of rain? Monday. No one was brave enough to plan an outdoor picnic, without a backup-rain plan. On one 4th of July, my grandmother invited everyone to her farm for a picnic. We spent the entire day huddled inside, as the rain and wind rattled the farmhouse windows. Then my boyfriend and I drove to Geneva-on-the-Lake to watch the fireworks. I wore my fur-lined boots and wool coat.

I just checked the current water temperature of Lake Erie: 68 degrees, deemed suitable for swimming. Hmm. I think not; I prefer my 90-degree pool water. It’s much more therapeutic for my aching body. And so, my friends, please don’t worry about me. I still have a fairly good memory and can vividly recall Ohio seasons, which frankly, I don’t miss one bit!

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