The Hotter It Gets The More It Stays The Same

It was six o’clock in the morning. I could hear the faint whine of the air-conditioner from our room as I woke up. It had probably run all night, again. The electric company was going to love us this month. The summer beast of burden had been going at least 14 hours a day, every fan was running round the clock, even the dehumidifiers were putting in extra duty in the basement.
I could see the accountants talking over lunch, “That Sheehan bill is going to bring us out of the red for the year. If it repeats next month we will have it made for quarterly bonuses.”
When I got down stairs I commented to my wife about the string of hot days so early in the summer. “It does seem pretty hot for June,” she noted while staring blankly out the window adding, “I do worry about the plants.”
The plants? With proper watering I was not aware that the excessive heat had any impact on our potted plants. Most would save their concern for their pets as they suffocated in their fur or for the children trying to enjoy the freedom of summer, but my wife’s heart went out to the plants. I decided it better not to challenge her empathy. My eye was instead caught by the indoor/outdoor thermometer on the wall behind her. Seven in the morning and already 80 degrees, there would be no reprieve again today.
My daughter came down stairs around ten noting that she couldn’t sleep any longer because it was to hot. It was tragic that she had been awakened short of the required twelve hours of sleep, yet another victim of the merciless heat.
Her discontent brought to mind a ‘when I was a kid’ thought. Growing up my family had a house very similar to the one we live in now. Two stories. Drafty wooden windows from the turn of the century. An attic that served as a place for extra storage, as long as it wasn’t candles, because when Christmas came back around the snowmen looked a lot more like mashed potatoes. The current house did enjoy the advancement of central air. Granted it struggled of late to keep it anywhere under 80 degrees it did however do a better job than the window units of my youth.
Come to think of it, at one point we only had only one window unit in a two story house, it was in the living room. On the hottest days we would shut the room off and the family would camp together by the glow of the television. Another summer I recall putting a silk sheet in the freezer each morning so that the first few minutes of bedtime would be bliss, my mother was a patient woman.
Summer in Missouri is hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years. We all find ways to cope with how hot it gets, the electric companies get rich and the heat is always a great source of conversation. The best thing is that regardless of how hot it gets or how long it lasts it is only a few months until we can start complaining about how cold it is.


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