I’m pretty sure I brought it with me (95 in Seattle today but it’s a dry heat)

I left Chicago in 1999 after a significant snowstorm. I had the coolest loft apartment with those big industrial floor to ceiling windows with the metal hand crank that let’s you open a square portion of the window for air circulation. And exposed duct work, and a great glass elevator. Anyway, I recall looking out the window during this snowstorm (it must have been New Years 98/99) and where I would usually find my car was the equivalent of a jar of marshmallow fluff dumped on a match box car. I eventually dug my poor little retro beemer (funky but old and uncomfortable) out with a broom and a bucket. I was thinking about that today because I got an e-mail out of the blue from someone I went to high school with who asked a lot of questions about what I had been up to. It all makes me think of Chicago and what I miss and why I left. My 20th high school reunion is this year. I haven’t yet decided whether I am going.

I also remember the hot and humid summer in Chicago. You had a choice: stay inside or stop giving a damn about what you looked like. I tended to do a little of each; stay inside much of the day and then go out when the sun went down and the city breathed a sigh of relief. I can practically taste those last few summers and I’m not really sure whether it makes me happy or sad to think about it (is that what they call melancholy? It’s confusing and I don’t like it much). I miss Chicago, but all the work that went into trying to be cool (and cool) was truly exhausting. I think I mentioned that my twenties sucked but I’m not sure whether my teens were any better or worse. They just came with more glittery eye shadow and a soundtrack compliments of U2, before they got all commercial, and some Reebok high tops.

And this brings me to today where, in my backyard, the thermostat reads 95 degrees. On the hot days like this (so few of them) I stay home rather than go into the air conditioned office because my house gets really hot and I feel sorry for my dog; we tough it out together.  At the first onset of heat, he goes outside to lie in the sun. Then when the novelty has worn off, he starts shifting around to different places, looking for that one place that’s going to be comfortable. It doesn’t exist. Right now (5 PM) it’s 92 inside and I decided that the temperature where it starts to have an impact on my mood is 89 degrees in the house with no breeze. I’ll admit that perhaps my blood has thinned and that half of the reason I am writing this blog post is that when you are subjected to such heat, the best remedy is to whine about it. And there’s nobody here to listen but you.

Comments (12)

  1. NativeWisdom says:

    95 is hot?!?  Listen here sister, in Phx it is 104. A nice dry heat.  Just the other day coming from RA Sushi restaurant, the car thermostat registered a slight stifling 119!!  I really don’t mind the heat, just the duration of the summer can try your soul.  

    I remember the hot humid days in the Midwest where I grew up.  Can’t say that I miss it much. Now I live in Phx, I could not move to a hot humid climate. No way no how!

    Keep the faith, this global warming will soon pass. 🙂

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    NW – I know! I know! But you can always duck into the AC! We just aren’t as prepared for it. My dad’s got a place in AZ and I love the dry heat feeling because when you sweat, it feels cleansing. I know that is weird. But I think it’s because it evaporates quickly. Tonight I went to the gym parlty to take advantage of the air conditioning. I figured I was going to sweat either way.

  3. RJD says:

    Guess that time at USC did nothing to sear you properly?  We’re here for you.  Melt away.

    And my 20th HS reunion is next year.  My 15th college was a few weeks ago.  Missed it, even though I live under 2 hours away.

  4. Wine-Oh says:

    Here in the NorthEast, the hot temps are wreaking havoc with the weather. Its gotten so hot and humid that for the 3rd time NYC had a mini blackout (atleast my neighborhood). Theres reports of manhole cover explosions too. Very common in this weather. Last night we had a bad thunder storm, that caused a 45 minute commute to be 3 hours. However today its cool sunny and in the 70s. My kind of weather.

    Oh and my dog hates the humid weather. Makes for a quick walk.

  5. tod hilton says:

    The thermometer in my backyard said it was 102 yesterday at 5:30 PM.  Like you [kinda], I come from a much warmer climate [Houston, TX with high temps and higher humidity] where every apartment I lived in had A/C.  I miss that on days like yesterday, but 99% of the time I count my lucky stars for living here in the PNW.  Oh well, the pros far outway the cons.  🙂

  6. Kevin Eshbach says:

    Do you have a finished basement where you and the dog can go to try and stay cool?

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    RJD – you would think. Especially from when I lived in the Valley (oh my god…I like totally did live there!). But you had the AC. I had a hard time falling asleep last night (well, technically, I believe it was this morning) but it’s about ten degrees cooler today… phew!

    I looked at the pictures from the previous 2 years’ reunions at muy school and it looks like a bunch of people that know each other really well. I didn’t do a very good job of staying in touch with people. It’s my own fault.

    Wine-Oh, I love the thunder storms that bring in the cool weather. We don’t get them much here but that was one thing I loved abut being in the midwest. Also, funny that you mention the manhole cover thing. Yesterday, I hear a clamor and I couldn’t figure out what it was (nothng appeared to be out of place). Last night, I looked outside and noticed that the front cover of my metal chiminea had popped off. That’s probably the closest thing to a manhole cover I have on my property (what, you thought Microsoft employees all had their own so they could ponder why it’s round?) and it just popped right off. Weird, huh?

    tod – I totally agree! Especailly when I see the winter weather.  I find that the heat here peaks at about 6 PM. I still find that kind of weird because it’s so late in the day (you would think it would peak at noon, but I guess that’s just of you live on the equator or something).  Man, the air this morning feels amazing!

    Kevin – nope, no basement. Just an icky crawl space. I don’t thikn there are many basements here. When I was looking at houses, I really wanted a split level. I know it’s all 70s, but for some reason I like them (maybe it’s the idea of having choices when you walk in…up or down?). That probably would have been a wise choice in weather like this because the lower levels seem to be partially subterranean. I do have neighbors with a pool that will let me use it any time. So  I am  fortunate in that regard. It just wasn’t on the schedule yesterday (the AC at the gym was awesome though).

  8. Bad_Brad says:

    I lived for five years in Texas and another year or so in Kansas before moving here.  Yes, the summers in both of those places were awful (especially Texas) but you could curl up in an air-conditioned pod and be okay.  I had a real, "Oh, crap" moment when we first moved here last August.  It was 109 degrees in Kansas that day when we flew to Seattle and found our temp housing apartment.  It was late at night when we got there, and also very cool, so we opened up all the windows, breathed the fresh air, and loved it.  About 1:00 or so in the afternoon the next day, I said to my wife, "Okay, it’s getting a bit warm, let’s close up the windows and turn on the AC."  I walk over to the thermostat.  "Uh, honey … I don’t think this thermostat is configured properly.  I see the switch to turn on the heat.  Where’s the one for the AC?"  Oh, crap …

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bad-Brad, oh crap is right. One of these days I am going to invest in a good portable AC. The one I bought last summer is really loud.

    One thing I find interesting is the temperature differences around the Seattle area. I’ve heard it’s about ten degrees cooler by  the water and it seems it’s ten degrees hotter up north (Everett/Lake Stevens area).

  10. Pat says:

    Window A/C unit!  It looks hoopty but saved my life yesterday!  I had to jump on a con call and just laid on the bed in front of the trusty A/C unit.  The rest of the house (indoors) was 87 degrees….We also have a portable A/C though as you say – it’s loud and can’t keep up.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, Pat, I will admit that at least part of the reason I don’t just put the AC unit in the window and deal with the sound is the hooptiness of it. Plus, I don’t have the right sized piece of cardboard, preferably a baby diaper box,  to wedge it into the window (I’m kidding, people).

  12. Kevin Eshbach says:

    I don’t have AC either.  (One day I’m planning on looking into getting central air since I already have the duct work.)  When it got unbearable hot here on the east coast earlier this week I went and hibernated in the basement.

    My home’s a split level built back in the ’50s (I wanted something all brick.) and the choices of going up or down really is cool.  It kind of like having your own personal amusement park.