Residing for 36 years in Texas makes one somewhat of an expert on what “hot” means. Those who live further west (Phoenix comes to mind) would argue that a Texas doesn’t know what hot is. And the Phoenixan would be dissed by anyone living in or near the deserts of the Middle East. Hot is in the eye of the beholder, or more aptly put, in the sweat glands of the sufferer.
This is my third summer in Ohio, and I can honestly say before this summer I’ve never been uncomfortable. While those around me panted and complained about the heat, I just smiled, enjoying the balmy (to me) summers of Ohio. This summer, however, I may have join them in a group pant-and-whine.
Maybe I’m becoming acclimated to the climate differences, or maybe living through two winters here has reset my internal core thermostat. I do know that during my temporary time in Ohio, flights back to Houston gradually seemed more and more unbearable. I’d exit the Houston Intercontinental Airport baggage claim area to wait for my ride and feel like someone put a baggie over my head.
I grew up in an age where air conditioning, both car and home, was a luxury usually reserved for the master bedroom (at least in our house). Our family car trips back then to see relatives in Texas or California (crossing Death Valley desert more than once) were performed au natural (as in, without air conditioning, not meaning without clothes, although that was considered at times). We had a cooling unit that hung off the car side-window and via conduction blew coolish air into the car. Also remember we had a floor fan one trip that plugged into the cigarette lighter and took chipped ice, over which air would blow and we’d luxuriate in the presence of the cool. Provided you jockeyed for position and sat in front of that roughly one foot square area of decadence. Those helped, but we coped with the heat more than we complained.
The summers in Ohio, although occasionally hot, are generally mild, especially at night. These over-baked Texas bones enjoy walking to work in the mildness, and cool nights without bugs. But don’t worry: penance is coming, a mere 3-4 months away when mild walks to work become trudges against cold wind and icy paths. That’s okay, because I’m reveling in the contrast of seasons up here: the rebirth of spring versus autumn’s celebration of life-cycles; winter’s white rage against the blue-sky frolic of summer. Bliss, at least, to me.