Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Portland Is Melting

Yesterday we had our first triple digit day since last July. And you would think it is the end of the world as we know it. Portland just cannot deal with heat. It is treated as a top-of-the-hour news break, and warnings and alerts saturate the media. This town is known for its “weather as news” mentality. With the exception of tornadoes in Missouri and earthquakes in California, coverage of the weather has not been a top priority in other places I have lived.

Nevertheless, it is hot. Having grown up in Missouri without air conditioning, I am pretty well versed in all the tricks of keeping the house cool. I have fans and blackout shades and I don’t do much (if any) cooking. Good excuse to ignore the laundry and let the vacuum rest. The dogs and cats and I stay well hydrated and take it easy.

On the other hand, I don’t cancel everything just because the sun is shining. This morning I’m off to play golf and tonight I will attend the free concert at the Oregon Zoo. Knitting is cancelled this afternoon but not because of me. The other “old ladies” are scared to be outside of their air-conditioned cocoons.

Some of you reading this live in the Midwest (or did at one time) and therefore remember those wonderful hot summer mornings heading out to the garden to pick fresh berries for breakfast. And as darkness fell, dragging mattresses out into the yard to watch the fireflies and gaze at the stars. How did we ever survive?

More recently I remember a string of triple digit days when I lived at Terrapin Station. No big deal for the folks in St. Clair County. Old and young went about their business as usual and quite a few homes were without a/c. I did wonder about the Amish women in their voluminous dark colored clothing. But for the most part, people dealt with the heat without much comment or lament.

Today it may not make it to 100. 99 is predicted. A small differential, subtle but important. We do not want two triples in a row.


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