Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Four days a year
Here on the coast of Maine, we don't get a lot of heat waves. Our waves tend to be of the ocean variety, and the water hovers around 50 degrees. In the winter it really gets cold. The cool breezes that come in off that chilly water tend to moderate things and it is not uncommon for it to be 20 degrees warmer just 50 miles away in Bangor, which is still, technically speaking, a seaport. It is on the Penobscot River and cargo ships can come and go. But it is buried upriver far enough that it does not have the benefit of our ocean air.
That said, we do get some heat now and then. Maybe four days a year it is actually brutally hot here, like up over 80 and humid as hell. Yesterday was one of those days. It was too hot to work and so hazy and humid that it was like trying to breathe through a wet wool blanket. My lungs ached. I checked the weather and it seems like we're in for a few more days of this before we're done, and we might get some more next week.
So I gave in and went out to the back hall and dragged out the air conditioners. We have two units, and once fits in the living room window and the other in the bedroom. A box fan then circulates the wonderful coolness around the house. It is heavenly.
But it ain't no delight putting the damned things into the windows, let me tell you. They each weigh as much as a typical 8-year-old, I would guess, only with more corners and sharper edges that really hurt if you drop one on your toes. I had to dig under a pile of winter jackets to get to them, drag them out, figure out which way the cords go and then place them gently in the window without dropping them out onto the ground (not usually good for them) or pinching my fingers in the closing window (not usually good for me).
By the time I was done this cooling-off exercise, I was red-faced and drenched in sweat. Somehow, it all seemed counter-productive. Then I turned the machines on and closed up all the other windows in the house. It was stifling for about an hour. I put the box fan in the bedroom doorway to move the air a bit, and it got a little better. By 8 p.m., I was able to bake pork chops without making the house a sauna, and by the time we went to bed, it was heavenly!
Note in the picture that the temperature is set to 64 degrees. Oh happy day! Not only does the ac unit cool the air, but they seem to remove some of the moisture as well, so the house is not as humid as outdoors. L complains that the ac is on her side of the bed and that the remote lives on my side of the bed with me and my hot flashes. I tell her to cuddle up with the cat if she wants. I want to be cool.
Oh how marvelous it was to sleep in a cool room last night! Oh, how glorious to wake up and be able to breathe! Oh, how I dread going outside!
In a side note, my friend and power-dyke extraordinaire Darlene over at the slant has been having mouse issues in her apartment and has been behaving in a decidedly un-butch kind of way (see of mice and dykes and be sure to read the comments). So in an effort to help D get in touch with her more feminine side, I have sewn her a delightful garment involving fabric with cute little mousies and a white lace hem. I will see her this evening at a semi-official function for her job as the Gay Agenda Coordinator, where I think I might make some kind of formal presentation. Then again, I might keep it semi-private and minimize the humiliation. Until I post the pictures, of course. Stay tuned. Here's a teaser picture of the lace before I attached it to the garment. Not only can butch girls cook, but this one can sew as well!