Not deferential enough: A tropical heatwave

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: A tropical heatwave

by Gina Hamilton

Down at Turning Tide Cottage, we somehow managed to nurse our gardens through the worst of the heatwave, and were rewarded today with cucumbers and tomatoes, ripe on the vine.

But oh, that heatwave.

When it was just ramping up, a little bit, we were headed somewhere and Chris asked me to turn on the air conditioner in my car.

"I don't hold with air conditioning," I said.  He gave me a puzzled look and turned it on himself, but my air conditioning is the four-point variety - that is, you have to open the windows for it to work, and the fan just blew hot air.

"Why didn't you just say it didn't work?" he asked.

I didn't know.  But I am not sure I knew it didn't work, because truthfully, I don't hold with air conditioning.  It's awful for the planet and not that great for human beings, either. 

So we don't have air conditioning at Turning Tide Cottage, and most of the time, that's just fine.  But oh, dear, Friday.

Thursday, we bundled up Rudie the Dog and headed down to the beach in my airconditioning-free car, where she played happily in the water for quite a long time, and Chris ruined his cell phone.  When we got home, it was warm, but not outrageously so.  Without any difficulty, I managed to hold a meeting with a board member - outside, sipping lemonade to be sure, but still - and get to the theatre for a review. 

Friday I would have sworn that the Sun was about to swell up into a red giant.  I know I felt like I was.

We drank cool beverages and ate fruit salads, took periodic showers, watered the plants in the coolest part of the day, and lay prostrate reading library books with the lights off and the fans going.  And it was still too hot.

I got an email from one of my reporters, telling me that her brain had melted.

Now, in fact, it was only about 102 degrees, and our bodies should be able to tolerate that without too much difficulty.  Where it is a normal occurrence, people do all the time.  It's just that we don't have more than a couple of days like that in Maine every year, so there isn't enough time to acclimate.

And surely, not enough time to worry about air conditioning.

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