Let’s do small talk. You know, like, let’s chitchat about the weather. Ok, let me start. So, it’s been hot here in Southeastern Wisconsin. I know, I know, it is actually pleasant here compared to most parts of the country like say the south or Texas and don’t forget Arizona. I know this because I study the back page of the sports section in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. That’s where detailed weather information can be found.
They put the weather in the sports section because to seriously examine the weather is a sport. I mean you have to really be into it to go to the sports section. If you just wanted to know the highs and lows for the day or whether or not it will rain or be sunny; that info is at the bottom of the front page. The weather in the sports section has all sorts of data like what time the sun and many planets will rise and set and what the temperature will be on an hourly basis. You can find out what your air quality is going to be along with the pollen count. You can see what times of the day the UV index is going to be high or moderate or whatever. The seven-day forecast is laid out for you in a nice neat pictograph. There’s a little weather almanac, a map of Wisconsin with all the highs and lows for pertinent cities and a list of major cities through out the US, even Honolulu and Anchorage, with the a small forecast. But the most important thing is the map of the US with all the fronts and the high and low pressures with temperature bands. Now that’s where you can really study the weather. The point is I know its hot all over the US accept Anchorage and of course San Francisco, Seattle and Portland OR. Now they are nice and cool.
I remember the summer when I was around 14. It was 1964. By checking the Old Farmer’s Almanac I discovered that the first week of August was in the 90’s with dew points in the 70’s. Just about like what it is now. In the house we were living at in 64 we had a little thermometer outside the kitchen window over the sink. My stepfather always checked it. I can still see his long frame stretching over the sink and peering at that thermometer.
“It’s hot today,” he might have said. “It’s 91.”
“That’s not hot,’ I might have said. “ It’s nice. I love it warm.” And I did too. When it was in the 90’s was the best time to go to McGovern Pool and swim all day. To me the 90’s were the perfect temperature.
Now that I think of it the cold didn’t bother me either. I recall walking to my friend’s house during frigid temps in the winter with no hat, no scarf, no mittens and my coat open. Now when I see teenagers dressed like that in cold weather I think, what’s up with that? Don’t they know its 10 degrees? Now that I am older extreme temperatures don’t sit to well with me. Although for me I must admit I can tolerate the cold better than hot. No matter how cold it is I will go for a walk. I just bundle up with a at bunch of layers, a scarf wrapped around my neck, a hat and if its cold enough a scarf over my mouth and nose. If necessary I will walk fast to bring my internal temperature up. Hot weather is another story. There is almost no way to cool down when walking. In fact, I feel trapped in hot weather, a slave to the air conditioning.
My stepfather probably countered my inane statement about ninety being warm with, “Ninety isn’t warm. It’s hot.”
I know I asked him what he thought was a nice temperature, to which he replied, “Seventy is just perfect.”
“What? That’s practically cold.” I would have said. Swimming at the public pool in 70 degrees would get me goose bumps if I didn’t stay under the water. How could ninety be hot? Now I know, ninety is hot. It sucks the life right out of you, as Mike would say. And ain’t that the truth. When it is hot and humid I have just enough gumption to lift my head off my pillow and look at the back of the sports page to see if it’s going to last.
Yesterday I was so zapped of energy that I felt incredibly lazy, like I had cement running through my veins instead of blood and it was drying quickly. Mike wants to go to the Wisconsin State Fair on Thursday and I am wondering if I am going to have the strength. I can see from studying the sports section that a front is going to move through on Tuesday and it looks like another one is behind it. The temps will still be in the eighties but the humidity will be down. I just may make it.