Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Starting with a Heat Wave

The heat is bad, but the mugginess is worse. On Facebook, young friends write about canning green beans, helping with baby calves, and working in hay fields, and I am glad I am retired. Gerald is quoting Geri Ann who emphasizes she does not mind playing in the heat because she does not want to get soft. As much as I admire this hard-working younger generation, I get re-tired just thinking about these young women with these activities—many of which, such as playing softball in this heat, I never had to endure.

What is especially bad is that there is still so much hard work facing people cleaning up after the derecho--seven weeks now after it hit. (Of course, uprooted trees in the woods and even on people’s lawns may still be there ten years from now.) I hear people quoting estimates of $3000 and more to remove a single big tree from their yard. How many can afford that unexpected expense?

Seeing people on their roofs is a common sight, and lots of us still have tarps or pieces of plastic protecting us. When Scott Miller came last Saturday morning to repair our roof, he found the shingles were so hot that they were sticking together in such a way that he decided he’d have another man come look at it. I notice some people are replacing damaged roofs with metal roofs. They will be ready for the next derecho, but the newspapers tell us that may not be again in our lifetime. I hope the prognosticators are correct.

This heat is especially difficult for people with multiple sclerosis or other conditions that make them heat sensitive. I guess Katherine had a difficult time day before yesterday.
However, with skylights covered to keep out sun and multiple fans moving cooled air, her home was wonderfully cool yesterday when I stopped by for a visit. Scooter was content to take a nap in his kennel when Katherine did as it was much too hot for him to want to leave the air conditioning and go outside.

Her evening aide dropped by unexpectedly with her two adorable little girls dressed in sweet new swim suits, and the two-year-old told us, “I went wimming.” They cooled us off and cheered us up just to look at them with their beautiful curls and deep brown eyes, and I was especially entranced when Kiki decided to call me grandma after we explained that I was Sam’s grandma. Mar-Mar, age four, was the perfect responsible big sister helping and correcting (bossing) the little one. I was there when friends dropped Sam off from band camp at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and I wondered if it were cool in the buildings there where they worked hard all day rehearsing for tonight’s end-of-camp concert. It was cool enough then that he took Scooter outside as I went on to get a few groceries while I was in town.

Enjoying the roadsides as I drove home, I noticed that the brown-eyed Susans and the orange tiger lilies have joined the Queen Anne’s lace and replaced the multitude of daisies in fields and ditches. (I know the golden flowers are correctly called black-eyed Susans. But when I was a child and we went to the farm each summer, I remember the annual greeting by the bright yellow flowers as we went down the steep hill with a rough rock-bed road that led to Mount Airy Farm. Since my own eyes are brown, I renamed the blossoms in order to claim them for my special flower.) The summer beauty at least gives us a reward for enduring the muggy heat.

No comments: