by Josh Magill
Heat that dries you to a prune was thick outside, which is why my wife had ‘closed up’ the house early in the morning on Thursday. Heavy blankets covered the first floor windows creating a cool darkness, fans blew, and our three young children were encamped on the couch preparing for a miserable day.
I courageously headed to my office in the garage, but quickly decided I required one of the fans to keep me company as I worked. I perspired through my emails, spreadsheets and a company conference call on which my boss, who lives in New Jersey, stated it was our turn to deal with the wild heat happening across the country. Oh really?
That made it easier for me to decide it was time for a break. The much cooler wave of air splashed onto me as I entered the house from the garage. Ah, relief.
“What is for lunch?” I asked.
“Anything you don’t have to cook in the oven,” my wife quickly replied.
Microwaved chicken patties, some apple sauce and barrels of water was the result of this short conversation because even the extra energy of talking seemed to produce more heat throughout the house. The five of us ate with as little noise and movement as possible.
Almost 90 degrees and lunch was not sitting so well because we had to keep drinking water to stay cool. Our bellies were filling faster than we could process the fluid.
“So hot, so hot,” my wife kept repeating as if hoping this chant would make the heat bearable. “I don’t understand why our house wasn’t built with air conditioning.”
Anything above 90 degrees really does not matter because it just adds to the discomfort, but it is still just swelteringly hot. The children tried reading books to take their mind off how poorly they were feeling, even recruiting their mother into reading When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins to them.
“Between tracking down dragons and brewing up lizards Charlie McButton forgot to be bored,” read my wife as the children huddled around her, forgetting the heat for just a moment. Afterwards, my only daughter decided to comb my wife’s hair and added barrettes to give her the look of an island queen.
Around 7 p.m. the tide turned and it began to be cooler outside than inside the house causing my wife to proudly announce it was time to ‘open up’ the house to allow the hot air out and the cooler air inside.
The blankets came down and the windows opened back up, but fans continued to blow a warmer than desired gusty wind.
Still sweating out the 85 degrees weather at 8 p.m. our young family settled down in front of the television for some laughs watching contestants crash through the fantastic courses on Wipe Out: Losers Edition.
“Dad, it was great day,” my oldest son said to me with a smile as he hugged me good night before going to bed.
I looked to my wife. We both smiled. It was a good day.
© Josh Magill 2012