Tag Archives: heat

On “The Beauty of Eating Outdoors”

Good morning Everyone!

I noticed today that one of the postings that made “Freshly Pressed” yesterday was entitled “The Beauty of Eating Outdoors.”   I didn’t read the post, but the phrase did make me think.

Paris, cafe, eiffel tower

At A Paris Cafe, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

I am sure that to many of you, the idea of eating outdoors brings  pleasurable, vague feelings involving sidewalk cafes, family picnics and sunshine with a slight breeze.


Beetles and Spiders and Bees, Oh My!

Not me.  The thought of eating outdoors brings two words to mind – bugs and heat.  Picnics are especially prone to invasion by members of the insect family, and I am an equal opportunity insect hater – I care not whether the invader is a mosquito, an ant, a bee, a wasp or even one of the almost infinite number of species of beetles.  I don’t like them.  At all.  Especially around my food or anywhere were the insect might, heaven forbid, actually touch me.  My sisters and I were so bad about the uninvited guests that come to picnics that my parents ditched the idea of family picnics except in the most exigent circumstances from the time I was 8.

heat, desert

Too Hot!

The association of heat with eating outdoors is a later addition.  The association arises because I live in the Southeast United States.  During those summer days when people in the Northeast are enjoying balmy days somewhere in the low 80’s with pleasantly light winds, we are sweltering in the 90’s with 100% or higher humidity.  This weather starts in Alabama in May and won’t really depart for good until mid-October.  When the only way to survive the heat and humidity is to run from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned store to the air-conditioned office and back again, FN.  the idea of eating outside is unthinkable.   (We had a car salesman once tell my mother and sisters and I that he wouldn’t consider buying even a bicycle down here without air conditioning.)

velocipede, aerial

A bicycle with air conditioning?

So, without regret or even a second thought, I will respectfully decline the chance to experience “The Beauty of Eating Outdoors.”

Have a great day everyone!


FN.  I firmly believe that the inventor of air conditioning deserves a national holiday every bit as much as our President’s do!  Those Presidents who came from the Southeast would agree with me.

Kayla’s Conundrum

Good morning everyone!

In case you haven’t noticed, it has gotten hot again.  That ugly two word phrase “heat index” which usually comes with the equally ugly “heat advisory” has slipped back into my weatherman’s vocabulary.  I think our heat index was somewhere between 106 and 108 the other day.   When that happens, our house gets a little warm; our poor air conditioner does the best that it can, but only manages about a 20 – 25 degree temperature differential during the day.  At night the house cools down, but when the heat index is over 100, it is still several hours after sundown before the air conditioner gets to rest. 

The other night, we put Kayla to bed at her usual bedtime.  An hour later Kayla started crying, so I went into her bedroom to see what the fuss was about.  She told me, “Mommy, I’m hot.”  I gently pointed out to her that the fact that she had her bedspread,  a thick blanket and a sheet tightly cocooned around her might have something to do with it.  She emphatically disagreed. 

Rather than teach her elementary thermodynamics at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night, I decided to make another gentle suggestion.  Perhaps, I urged politely, the room might feel cooler if she used her ceiling fan?  As I did so, I turned the fan on for illustrative effect.  I was told that solution, too, was unacceptable because it meant that the fan would be rotating while she was asleep.  A little less gently and politely, I mentioned that the fan rotating was the whole point of the exercise.  She remained unimpressed.

At that point, the tired parent part of me kicked in.  I told her that I was sorry she was hot, but she had to stay in bed.  As she crawled back under her comforter, the blanket and the sheet, I had one last idea.  I told her that I would bump the air down another two degrees, but that it would take a while for her to feel any effect because the air conditioner hadn’t even gotten below 76 yet.  A little teary-eyed, she sniffled her way to sleep as I closed the door. 

Kayla managed to find her way to sleep and out of her conundrum.  When she got up the next morning, she showed me that she had turned on her fan.  She also conceded that having it on did make her feel better.  Whether this was sans bedspread and blanket, she failed to share. 

Have a great day everyone!