My eldest brother lives in L.A. He and I have a sort of game throughout the year where we text each other our respective temperatures, sometimes with a little personal update and sometimes not. During the winter, I get to call him a complete pansy, and during the summer he gets to mock me. When we got up to 80 degrees a few weeks ago I sent him a text that read, "80 degrees. Might be dying." He responded, "80? Sweater weather."
It reached 90 degrees here this weekend. My poor little Alaskan body is having a hard time handling it. For that matter, so is Shane's. And our pets only move to get water or find a shadier/draftier spot, it seems. (Once the cat figured out that the box fan wasn't going to eat him, he camped out in front of it and hasn't done more than adjust his position for hours now.) I was going to say that everyone is feeling the heat, but I remembered that when I took the dog for a walk earlier there was a woman wearing long pants and a sweatshirt. I can only assume that she's not from around here.
It was so hot that I actually looked forward to grocery shopping this afternoon, spending my time in the air conditioning. I'm looking forward to work tomorrow for pretty much the same reason. (I don't know if it's air conditioned, but it stays cool in there. I curse it during the winter, love it during the summer.)
Unfortunately, this weather is supposed to stick around all week. I'm trying to figure out what I can wear to work that will still be appropriate but which will keep me cool. In fact, nearly every decision right now is coming down to what won't overheat me. Everything I bought at the store today was with a view toward not heating up the kitchen. So, fruit and sandwich makings, milk and yogurt. Nothing which requires actually cooking. We've got some moose meat thawing in the fridge, so we'll most likely make burgers in the next day or two, but those will be grilled outside.
Even now, at 10:00 at night, the apartment is at 85 degrees and the sun, still fully up, is glaring into the living room through the blinds. We'll get no respite from the heat until about 2 a.m., and even then it will be short lived as the sun, which does no more than dip below the horizon at this time of year, will come back up almost immediately. By the time I head off to work tomorrow at 7:30, it will already be getting warm again. I didn't think it would happen after the long winter, but I'm already looking forward to autumn. (Well, for more than just the one reason, that is.) I'm excited for the cool, crisp air in September, the long sunrises and sunsets which we don't get at this time of year. (Of them all, I believe that September is my favorite month.)
For now, we're fighting the heat in the ways people always have. Lots of water to drink and to douse ourselves with. Shane and I took a cold shower earlier. (He was a baby and got out after only wetting himself down. I stayed in it long enough to actually shower, washing my hair and at least the important body parts.) It helps, although not for long enough.
We've mostly stayed close to home this weekend, only going out for a bit in the evenings. We got ice cream with friends at a nearby shop and went to beer league softball, them to play and me to cheer. We played frolf, which we walked to, I've walked the dog, and I biked to the farmer's market yesterday. It's just too hot to want to do much more, and we both get cranky when we're too hot. So I've been getting a bunch of reading done (lying in front of the fan) and enjoying the fact that I have time to read. Sedentary pursuits are the way to go.
In addition to the extreme heat, there are the mosquitoes. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that they're nearly the size of horseflies. They hurt when they bite, and I am one of those people who has particularly bad reactions to them. Pregnancy has only made that worse. And of course, this year they're worse than I've ever seen them before. People who've lived here all their lives are saying the same thing. I'm guessing that it has to do with the extra long winter, but I'm not certain. Usually the first hatching is really awful, and after that they become an annoyance but a bearable one. Not this year. We went frolfing with friends Saturday night and any time we stopped we were swarmed by the horrid little bloodsuckers. I killed dozens and missed so many more than that. Thankfully, though my bites swell up hugely at first, the itching tends to end fairly soon.
I sit here grumbling about this, but I have been trying to put it into perspective as well. We've started re-watching "The Human Planet", a BBC documentary series about how people have adapted to live in various places. It's one of those things that you watch and think, I live a pathetically easy life. I don't need to face down lions for my dinner, or navigate my way through the Sahara to the only well for many miles, or send my kids out to hunt tarantulas so that they can get a bit of protein. When I complain, I realize that these are first world problems. I can't control the weather, but I do have the luxury of lying naked in front of a box fan to cool off. We may have horrible mosquitoes, but at least they don't carry malaria. Even if they did, I live within five miles of a hospital. I have medicines and vaccines available to me. I need to quit whining.