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The calendar turns over another page and suddenly we’re three weeks from the first day of summer. Here in the Denver area we’re expecting our first ninety degree day next week. Then my little family starts relearning the coping hints we use for hot days every year.
Not one of the three of us (four, if you include Bratty Puppy) is heat tolerant. Nor do we particularly love the snow. We all have a temperature comfort zone that’s pretty close to razor thin, in fact.
For me, raised in Texas, this is the result of aging and health problems. For the other two, born and raised in Colorado, this seems to be connected to being raised at a higher altitude. Of course one of them is fair-haired and the other has reddish hair, so that might be part of it also.
I call myself a platinum blonde, but my hair is probably closer to silver. So I’ve been told, anyway.
Regardless, high temperatures and hot, sunny days, at a mile closer to the sun than most Americans live, give us some difficulty finding a comfortable place to spend our time. Even air conditioning doesn’t really provide full relief.
We have the wimpiest central air conditioning available, so we use portable units in the bedrooms, supplemented with fans elsewhere. For the most part, this seems to work well.
We add drinking a lot of water, as well as iced tea, letting the coffeepot take a break for most of the day. Meals are lighter and either cooked outside on the grill or in a separate appliance, as much as possible. This gives the main level of the house a chance of not spontaneously combusting.
Cool wet washcloths are often deployed for dabbing at the face and neck. Ice in the Bratty Puppy’s water bowl will probably happen quite often. He does enjoy splashing water about wildly, trying to fish out the chunks of ice. It’s sort of a cheapie version of a water park ride for any onlookers near the water bowl. Standing there makes you an instant volunteer participant in the splashy free-for-all.
Cotton and linen clothes are a given. Shorts, tank tops, short sleeve shirts and tees, as well as lightweight dresses and skirts all come into play. Also, sun hats and sunglasses are necessary, and for the offspring, swimsuits with season passes for a local water park are high priority.
Beds are relieved of heavy coverings and linens, and remade with the lightweight versions. This year, I’m contemplating trying out a cool gel pad for my bed. Temperature regulation is just not as easy as it used to be, especially since I sleep on a memory foam mattress topper.
But the main coping strategy, for me at least, is to slow down. I’ll do any physical work needed early in the morning and finish up after sundown. During the day, I’ll try to avoid all fast marathons of rushing from chore to chore or from errand to errand. I’ll try to set as few appointments as possible to avoid having to be somewhere at a certain time, since I find that often leads to a rushed feeling.
Yes, summer is coming in and it’s time to cut back the pace for a few months. Happy summer days to us all!
And if you have any other helpful hints, please share!