Friday, July 28, 2006

Just like home

I think a little piece of the RGV came with me to the north. Over the past few weeks, we've been having temperatures up in the 90s and 100s. We do get some respite with cool days here and there. But, the locals will tell you that it's been a hot summer. Just today we saw people driving north towards Superior, WI to spend the weekend. There isn't much civilization up there, but there are parks, lakes, and more trees. Unlike the RGV, most apartments and houses do NOT have air conditioning. They come with a furnace for heat, but no system for cooling. When we stayed at the dorms in Oshkosh, the only cooling came from open windows. This is the same in Rice Lake, open window cooling is all the rage. Hot weather and high humidity make our stay here just like home.
 
If you grew up poor in the RGV, you may remember the days in which it was damn hot. The humidity prevents your body from cooling off by evaporation. Your sweat beads up. Your clothes, your bedding, and the very air you breathe are moist. As you listen to the sounds of the night, a barking dog, a passing car, the rustling of the mesquites, you try not to think about the heat. On occasion, you'll hit the shower with just the cold water to cool you off. A shower is just the right thing if you have a fan. Despite all the noise, you manage to sleep with your fan set on High. Some nights it works, others only offer a few minutes respite. You probably don't see this anymore with the increase in crime in the RGV, but we used to sleep with the door open. We would lock the screen door and sleep near the door. Some people would sleep outside if there were no mosquitoes.
 
We are suffering thusly these days. The only difference between here and home is that we don't get temperatures over 100 degrees frequently or for very long. When we return in October, the heat should be abating back home in the RGV. I hope it is. We are not particularly fond of the heat back home. We do like the warm winters, however.
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