Break from scorching days

Published 2:51 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

The temperatures this week have provided a little break from the scorching days we’ve been experiencing. Some like summer best of the four seasons, but I’m certainly not one of them. If I could keep the long days and sunshine with high temperatures never above 80 degrees, it would move to the top of my list. It isn’t the heat that really bothers me. It’s the humidity.

Email newsletter signup

Dry, cool, sunny days would be just the ticket for me. As a kid, I don’t think I noticed the heat as much in summer. No matter how hot the day was, we had the joy of raising the windows at night and letting the fans suck the air through the screened windows in one side of the house and out the other. The summer night breezes were wonderful.

I suspect that air conditioned, climate-controlled living is the thing that’s ruined us for the heat and humidity of Kentucky in mid-day. I recall people working in the garden early in the morning to avoid the noon-day heat, and people mowing lawns at the end of sunshine before dusky dark. Middle of the day heat was for swimming holes and naps, sitting on the front porch with a glass of ice water, sweet tea, or lemonade, or napping.

As always, people in our region of the country have a lot to say about the heat and they say it beautifully. Perhaps some of the sayings that follow will ring familiar.

It’s hotter than blue blazes out here!

You could fry an egg on the hood of that car!

I bet it would crack 100 in the shade!

It’s too hot to go barefoot on the road unless you want a stack of blisters.

It’s hotter than h-e-double hockey sticks.

Walking out that door is like stepping into a sauna!

It’s so hot, I’m withering up on the vine.

He’s sweatin’ like a big dog.

It’s roasting out here.

Douse me with the water hose! I’m on fire!

I’m afraid to let the kids out to play in this heat. They might have a heat stroke.

Does anybody anywhere EVER get used to this kind of heat?

In spite of the heat, summer has a lot to offer. Children are usually out of school and enjoying a summer break. Families often schedule vacations in summer. People do more traveling and visiting family and friends during summer months.

According to U.S. News, companies are beginning to discover that employees are more productive during the summer months if they have some perks to go along with productivity. Some companies let their employees have flexible schedules about what time they come in to work and how late they stay. Some companies will let employees choose to work twelve-hour days so they can have a three-day week-end. Some let their employees dress more casually during hot summer months. Any and all of these changes seem to have a positive impact on employee’s health, and mental attitude toward work.

In Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt describes summer as this, “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

My favorite quotes always include those from the Bible. There is hardly a subject that cannot be found within its pages, including summer. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22)