Sunday, August 14, 2005

"Hot enough for ya?"

Anyone who was born in the South or who has lived there any length of time will recognize the standard Southern gallows humor greeting of summer. It's been our way of laughing at the inevitable for as long as I can remember.

Summer in the South is hot and humid. The sun shines (many would say "beats down relentlessly"), tropical airmasses bring in humidity in quantities that defy description and worst of all, the wind simply stops. The only word that begins to describe the conditions is "miserable". You're hot and sweaty just standing still. If you actually have to work outside, your clothes get damp, then wet as the sweat runs down your body. Your eyes sting as it runs into them, and you just get used to it dripping off the tip of your nose each time you have to bend over.

Yesterday and today are cases in point. We omitted the nearly obligatory visit to Camp Freehold this weekend in favor of other activities, such as getting some overdue yardwork accomplished. Mother Nature was kind enough to keep the clouds thick until nearly lunch, so the morning temps were only in the upper 80s, with about the same humidity level. With all Freeholders at work, we were able to get the worst parts done before the sun burned through the overcast and it got really hot. At 7 PM, when Mrs. Freeholder prevailed upon me to stand over a hot charcoal grill and create shishkabobs, it was only 90.

Today is another story entirely. The sun came up in a relatively cloudless sky (well, the weatherdroids call it "high haze", but that thin layer of clouds doesn't even begin to keep the sunshine from the surface), and by 9:30 AM the temperature was 92o. The humidity is still high, but no worse than yesterday.

I think today will be hot enough for me.

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