Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chill Out

Just recently I wrote on my friend's Facebook page, "You can take the girl out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the girl." I've often said something similar about myself, except saying that you can take me out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of me. I'd like to amend that and add, "...except in matters related to weather and temperature tolerance." The Midwest has left me, no doubt about it.

Again you find yourself asking, "Renee, what the hell are you talking about?" Let me tell you. It has been over 100 degrees here for almost a week and I have been DYING whenever I have to leave to comfort of air conditioning. Yes, me. The girl who used to spend June, July and August's hot and steamy days outside, laying in the sun, wearing oil all over my body, getting up only to hose off, dip in the pool, and get more lemonade. (Or California Cooler, depending on what year it was.) The girl who went to high school wearing no coat, a short uniform skirt, and slip-on shoes in six inches of snow and single-digit temperatures. Yes, that hardy girl who is now, apparently, a climatic weenie.

For my dear readers in St. Louis who only leave the AC to go to and from their cars and who may be wondering why I'd even be exposed to such heat while indoors, here's a teensy bit of insight about the Pacific Northwest. Until recent years, most homes were not built with air conditioning. It wasn't necessary because this kind of heat was extremely rare. However, things have changed, as we all it climate change, call it global warming...whatever you choose to call it, all it really means is that I am sweating my you-know-what off and it makes me cranky.

Yes, there are window units. Yes, there are fans. But the problem with those is that they effect only the immediate area around them. For example, the window units in the upstairs bedrooms crank out cold air all night long, but the fact of the matter is that the house - the structure itself, its contents - are already hot and cannot be cooled down with zonal cooling. So the floor is still warm, as the heat from the levels below rises. The levels below are warm and won't cool off until there are several days of cool temperatures. And right now, things have "cooled down" to the 90's. Yes, that is what they say on the weather reports, "Expect a gradual cooling to the mid-90's by Sunday." Since when is that cool?

For almost a year now I've observed a lot of disparity between the areas of my life that are best served by cold temperatures and those that are not. The airport in Manchester? ( WAY too cold. Beverages in England? Not cold enough. July in Portland, Oregon? WAY too hot. It seems that I'm like Goldilocks, searching for the place that is not too hot, not too cold, but just right for me. And that's rather telling, considering the up-in-the-air nature of our life right now.

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