Most people think little about the weather but I long ago confessed to being a weather junkie so when it is hot, I think about how to share my experiences with the heat. If nothing else, writing about the heat keeps me out of the heat.
It is the beginning of the second week in July and at the middle of the day, the neighborhood swimming pool is empty. First let me say that the pool picture comes from the spring because it is too hot to walk over and take a new picture. I could have taken a picture if I had thought of it during my early morning walk but I was busy with other thoughts.
Today's outside air temperature is almost identical to yesterday's but I can speculate on why there are no children at the pool today when there were several there yesterday. My first guess would be that there is no air moving today. Yesterday we had winds of 10-15 MPH. At noon today with no breeze and with the temperature in the low to mid-nineties, congregating around the pool is a recipe for being cooked. Unlike the morning hours when I took the picture in the post there is no shade from the trees so the heat can be brutal. Also probably one afternoon of being cooked at the pool was enough to convince parents that maybe a movie in the heat of the days is okay once in a while.
I am reminded of winter when we get a hot spell on the Crystal Coast. The feeling of being trapped in the house by heat is reminiscent of being trapped during the cold weather that sometimes visits us. Both the heat and cold rarely last for more than a few days except sometimes in August and in February respectively. I love the out of doors, but I will admit to both cold and heat draining my energy so I try to avoid both.
If you live along the southern coast of North Carolina, you will be no stranger to temperatures in the low-nineties and to humidity to match, but when the mid to upper nineties arrive, you either surrender some of your outdoor time or you get very hot. Our area will be back to normal by early next week and I already have a list of things that need to be done. Fortunately mowing the yard is not one of them. While I still mow some of our yard, I have happily retired from our big front yard which someone mows and trims for twenty dollars. I mowed it far too many times during the heat of the day. Sometimes a dry thread was hard to find on me.
My wife and I garden a lot and we actually plant part of our garden in the shade so that it will survive hot spells like this. We have had tomatoes that would almost cook on the vine in the heat. Still any garden requires some almost daily work. This week our work has been done very early or almost at dark. We have managed to take out our green beans which have finished their summer growth. We will plant some more in about six weeks. Not many places get to enjoy November green beans but we do. The tomatoes and cucumbers will continue on for a while.
Even routine chores lose their fun when the heat gets in the mid-nineties. I enjoy grilling out all year round and it is not unusual for me to cook something on the grill for lunch. This week I grilled some turkey burgers for lunch. I felt like I was partially cooked myself after I came inside after my time at the grill. The slices of cheese were melting before I even got them to the burger. There are other challenges from the heat. This time of year I have to remember to leave my camera in our garage. If I do not, I end up spending the first five minutes wiping the fog off the lens. One of our cars is parked outside, so we try to put the windows down in the morning and put them up before bed. When it rains, we have to be on our toes and put the windows up before the storm.
Cleaning your glasses or sunglasses after they fog up is another high-heat, high humidity ritual of the South. We long ago switched to Tervis tumblers so we would not need coasters on every table. Another warm weather quirk is that usually on an extra hot day, we finish the day with slightly muted colors. Even in the mornings on high heat days, we usually have stunning blue skies.
As the evening is finishing today, a few children are gathering around the pool. It will not be long and I will try to get in thirty minutes of yard work before the sun sets.
The last two bits of trivia about hot days on the Crystal Coast both relate to water. The first is getting a glass of water to drink. In the summer when I get up in the night and have a drink of water from the tap in the bathroom, the water is warm. By the same token when I get in the shower, I can turn the water to full cold and have no problems standing under the water. Our water pipes are buried six to twelve inches deep. The water we drink is freezing cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Our pipes are not down far enough to keep them from the changes in the weather. It is part of living on the coast.
My weather trivia if nothing else is a good way to learn about the Crystal Coast and its quirks.