Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Like a Heat Wave (I'm Martha, they're the Vandellas : )

Remember oh-so-long ago--like, say, February--when here in Maryland we were busy shoveling heavy, deep mounds of snow…again? When we thought we were safe, after surviving “Snowpocalyse” in December, yet found ourselves struggling once more just to clear a path wide enough to walk…ANYWHERE outside our front door for some fresh air (and to escape yet another day of forced confinement with our beloved family)? When we fought valiantly to find a spot to heap more of the white stuff, since we had already created drifts higher than our heads? When we had to come up with another creative name to describe the catastrophic winter conditions? (“Snowmageddon”)  When we prayed that the kids would please, please go back to school sometime before Easter? When we couldn’t imagine a landscape that wasn’t blindingly white, or a time that we would ever be warm all-the-way-through again?

Well, the old adage “Be careful what you wish for” seems mighty timely right now, as we swelter through Summer in Hades—I mean Olney. Temperatures for the next week are predicted to fall in the sticky 95 to 100 degree range, which as far as I am concerned, is just very, very wrong (in fact, triple-digits should be illegal...anyone know who I call about that?) Did Maryland get picked up and scooted a little closer to the equator while I was sleeping? Did our forecast get mixed up with the one for Texas, or Arizona? Because I need to blame this ridiculous heat on someone, and that someone will be fired, as soon as I find them!

And don't get me started on the Air Quality, which is listed as Code Orange. Yes, observant readers, this is the same scale they use for Terror Alerts. While it may not be a matter of National Security, from the data gathered on my Test Subjects (ie: Self and Sons), I can report that breathing the wet-blanket atmosphere can actually pose quite a threat, in the form of Intense Stuffiness and Violent Sneezing.  Even the normally hardy, play-'til-you-drop boys are balking at venturing outside in this. When I suggested stepping out for a short walk today, Derek peered at me very seriously and uttered his one-word reply, "Hot." (I took this to mean a very firm "no" from the amount of feeling he managed to convey in that lone syllable.) I tried running it by Riley as well, but after a brief moment of consideration he responded, "No, I'm really more of an indoor person." (Um, that's news to me...since when, yesterday?) Here's a true measure of how yucky (professional meteorological term, don't you know) it is: they don't even want to go to the POOL. Yikes.

So we resorted to the wimpy-but-effective strategy I like to call the A.C. Sprint. To do this, you run from the cool house to the climate-controlled car to a frigid store and repeat until either your errands are done or you're at least satisfied that you "got out" for the day. Upon returning home, you renew your desperate hopes that the blasted Heat Wave will end soon, and the temperate, breezy Summer (that we earned by patiently freezing and shoveling during the Winter, right?) will arrive and stay. If not, it's gonna be a looong summer inside, kiddies!

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