I had just come in from spraying some weeds in our yard after lunch. My t-shirt was soaked and I had what appeared to be water running down my face. My wife wanted to know if I had squirted myself with the hose. She knows that I am not above doing that. Then she took a closer look and knew that it was actually sweat running down my face and my shirt was soaked with sweat.
I got told to put my clothes directly in the washing machine so she would not have to touch them. I am happy that she has mellowed over the years. When we lived on the farm, sometimes she would hose me off on the porch and make me take my clothes off outside. I probably would have said no to taking my clothes off on the porch now not because we live in a subdivision but because it is seriously hot on our front porch this time of year.
I am pleased that she still puts up with me even when I have a three shower day during the hottest part of summer. I think she does it because she grew with a father who also thought the best way to spend a day was working outside even if it meant getting sweaty and dirty. He was worse than me. He would work right through meals. I try to come inside so I do not get in trouble with the cook.
There is no way to get around working in the heat if you live in the South. The last couple of weeks which are the hottest two weeks we have seen in ten years on the Southern Outer Banks have been a challenge. We garden and still take care of some of our yard. You cannot ignore a garden for two weeks and expect it to do well especially in serious heat. This week our lawn maintenance folks did not show up so I mowed our yard. While it is not a huge yard, it still means a mile of pushing the mower around the yard which turns out to be fifty minutes in the heat. Even doing it in the evening, you are going to be hot. We also had some weeds so when I took care of them after lunch, the thirty minutes of over ninety Fahrenheit heat was enough to cook me and soak my shirt.
The thing about working in the heat is that once you reconcile yourself to it and start sweating, you are probably fine as long as you are well hydrated and do not over do it. The problem comes if you try to go back inside which feels like a meat locker to your warm body. It you go inside for a few minutes, it is twice as hard to go back into the heat. I prefer to work, resting some in the shade and a breeze if I can find one and then go back at my chores until I am done.
There is no shame in hard, sweaty work and I am happy that I can still do some of it even if I have to take a nap to recover sometimes. I have found that it you do a little of the work each day, you avoid trying to do it all at one time on the weekend. As you get older it is easier to pace yourself a little. In the worst heat I have been know to mow the yard in three parts, taking an evening, an early morning, and another evening to finish it up.
Maybe I would do it differently if I did not still work during the day, but my job is still important to me.
My wife should have known that I would not squirt myself on a hot day like today, I would waste too much water getting the water in the hose cool enough to touch my body. Anyway I do not waste any hot water in shower on a day like today. Our water in the heart of summer is warm enough right out of the tap to avoid any shock when it hits your body. I do not even need to turn on the hot water.
I doubt that I will ever run from the heat, it is part of living on the Crystal Coast and I can take the heat better than extreme cold.