Out of the Frying Pan and Into the…

hot weather Spring, autumn, winter, all of them have their special joys for me. I love seeing the new growth of flowers, the changing colors, the stark beauty of bare trees and snow. However, I have to confess that summer is a tough one. Maybe it’s the red hair and pale skin with affinity to 10,000 SPF sunblock that does it, but I’ve always had a hard time with summer. I just wilt in the heat. As much as I love going to the beach, the sea and the breeze just aren’t enough to save me.

Being from Virginia, I’m used to the oven effect in the DC area and the amazing humidity that smothers the state starting almost every July. If you’ve never experienced it, we’re in the middle of a heat wave this very week! I have learned the joys of going out for ice cream as the sun is going down(when you get that ice cream cone in your hot little hands, it feels like you are holding the corner of heaven) or spending lazy afternoons in heavily air-conditioned museums and galleries. Now I’m up for a new challenge. This year, I’m going to a good friend’s August wedding in the Deep South and I’m making a vacation out of it. I’m pretty sure my puny heat wave survival skills are not equal to it, but I am determined to have a grand time.

I do remember hiking in Mississippi one July and while the location was beautiful, I don’t think that I would survive another round of that. I have memories of a breathtaking view, but I also seem to recall feeling the need to jump in a nearby lake. And then the lake ended up being warm as bathwater. Indeed, I’m pretty sure steam rose from my skin. So, as much as I look forward to my getaway, I have to admit that a part of me wonders if I’ll be able to manage the heat. And I am determined not to be the wimp on this trip!

So, those of you that love the summer and can flourish in the heat waves that wilt the rest of us, what’s your secret? What do I need to do to stand tall when it’s eleventy gazillion and one degrees outside?

-Lynn Spencer

8 thoughts on “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the…

  1. Tee

    Lynn asked: “So, those of you that love the summer and can flourish in the heat waves that wilt the rest of us, what’s your secret?”

    I wish I had an answer for you, Lynn, because I’m very much the same way. My ideal outdoor temps are between 70 and 75 and that’s it. Approaching 80, and I too begin to wilt. It has to be something individual. When our kids were young, we camped often as a family. I always looked for the shady sites with lots of trees and everyone else wanted the sun. They hated me! On truly hot days, I go out, but barely. I walk my dog in the morning and then when the cooler temps arrive in the evening. I keep vampire hours during hot spells. This summer has been a beautiful one in the Michigan area with wonderful temps in the afternoon and cool ones thru the night. We’ll get our due soon enough because it’s August. But for now, I’ll enjoy. Good luck on your vacation; it’ll work out fine–they usually do.

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  2. Katie Mack

    Sorry Lynn, I don’t have any advice for you. I too am a fair-skinned redhead, so ultra-SPF sunscreen is part of my daily ritual. I don’t mind the heat so much here in Northern California, but that’s because we have low humidity. I just have to make sure I don’t spend too much time in the sun. I don’t think I could ever live on the East Coast or in the South, because the humidity would kill me.

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  3. AAR Sandy

    Ummm, Lynn, nothing struck you as a bit phallic about that illustration? I just watched a special on sex in the ancient world and drawings just like that thermometer were graffitti-d all over Pompei.

    I hate living in a swamp. Hate it. And wouldn’t you know, just like you, I am also planning a trip to the deep south? As you say, from the frying pan…

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  4. Jill

    I lived in New Orleans for 5 years and I loved the heat and tolerated the humidity. Water, water, water. Vampire hours help too. I did the opposite. I got up early and tried to get as much done as I could before it got hot. Nothing really helps completely. There’s a reason the traditional southern stereotype is of people living life at a leisurely pace, sipping drinks on the verandah. ;-)
    Sometimes you just have to dash from air conditioned spot to air conditioned spot.

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  5. CindyS

    I managed to be dumb at 19 when I fell asleep in the sun in Florida. Sun stroke was wicked bad and the burn! Ever since then I over heat easily and do take precautions when I know the heat is coming.

    For sunny areas – a hat – it’ll save you every time even if you do look like a dork ;) Afternoon naps were created for heat waves. On our honeymoon I finally had had enough of the sun and heat and turned to hubby and said ‘I can’t go on’ and blessed be we went back to the hotel where I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later without the headache. Phew.

    I wonder about those ice packs (or maybe they are just cold water) that you can put around your neck.

    And like Jill said, sometimes just walking slow and taking it all in is the best way to cope. Do stuff early in the day and after dinner.

    Hope you have a great time!


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  6. carol irvin

    I have always spent my summers in the North. I have lived most of my life living in Cleveland which is on Lake Erie. My Dad was from Maine so we also spent summers there. I learned how to swim in very cold water there and prefer it. I used to vacation in Michigan too, up around Traverse City. Thus, I love summer as summers in those places are wonderful. I swim for at least an hour a day in our condo’s pool, use my convertible daily and rarely use the air conditioning in my car. It is now one in the morning here and we have fallen to 57 degrees. Perfect sleeping weather. I have been to DC in the summer and I absolutely hated the climate. You have a lovely spring but your summers are hell. I don’t know how you stand it. I would have to swim at night. Of course, we pay for all of this splendid summer during the winter.

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