[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 61°F  
High: 78°F ~ Low: 54°F
Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

How hot is it?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hi neighbors. The Fourth of July has passed us by, and now instead of hot and noisy, it is just hot. Hot. That's a pretty small word to describe this week's inescapable heat. Here are a few phrases that come to mind: Incendiary atmosphere, skin scorching sunshine, and blinding, eyelid blistering hot winds.

How hot is it? Well before you start with "oh, 'bout as hot as '85" or "almost as hot as '35," let me tell you the last time it was this hot.

It was three years after the molten lava started firming up to form the earth's crust. That's when it was this hot before. How do I know? Let's just say Flossie told me. We don't argue with Flossie.

Shoots of grass have shriveled up to avoid the sun. Trees have thrown off brown leaves in sacrifice to the spirits of moisture. Birds have torn up their nests to catch a breeze.

The cat doesn't beg for me to open the window -- she doesn't even sit on her perch and look outside to watch the birds. The window sill is too hot, and the birds aren't moving that much anyway.

What can we do about the heat? First, start reading more about global warming. Second, stay inside with the air conditioning running constantly till it breaks down or your electric bill gets so high you have to take out a third mortgage on the house to pay to cool it.

If you don't have air conditioning, spend the night times moving furniture and rearranging your living spaces.

Move the television, microwave, telephone and refrigerator into the bathroom and spend the day sitting in cool water in the tub or standing under a cool shower. Whatever you do, don't leave the house!

Clean out your refrigerator and take out all of the shelves so you have a safe retreat for emergencies.

Get some fans and place them around an open freezer so they blow cold wind out toward your chair. Keep wading pools in every room of the house so you can keep your feet cool.

We have entered a point of aggressively malignant atmosphere and environment. Don't go out there! Stay behind closed doors and wait for autumn.

Going to the swimming pool is OK, but they should put an awning over it. And a few blocks of ice into it.

The best idea may be to visit friends in Canada or Alaska. But only if you have a good air conditioner in your car. Don't fly. Airport security hassles will wear you out and the air conditioning isn't all that cool in airports. Just imagine if you get caught sitting on the ground waiting for hours!

Better travel with your car. Take gallons of water and a cell phone to call out for ice. When you stop for gas, fill up the back seat with bags of ice to help cool the car. Make the kids sit in the shotgun position part of the time so the drivers can stretch out on the bags of ice now and then.

If you have to stay home, shave the dog and cat. They will thank you later. Just remember to put some sun screen on Rover when he has to go out to do his business.

In all sincerity, folks, be aware of the dangers of the heat.

Heat stroke can be remembered like stroking up a wood fire. It gets hotter and redder and burns itself dryer and dryer. A person suffering sun stroke gets red, their skin gets dry and hot and they "burn themselves out." They need to be cooled down quickly, so put them in water, give them cool (not iced) water to drink. Put wet towels under their arms and between their legs and get them to a hospital as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion makes you look and feel like a wrung out rag. You are covered with perspiration, you are exhausted and you can hardly move. You feel cramps like you are literally being "wrung out." You need to sit down and cool off. Drink lots of cool (not iced) water. Sit in a reclining chair in the shade or better in an air conditioned room or car. Use a cool wet towel to keep wiping yourself down but not to the point of chilling.

Call a doctor if you start throwing up or don't get to feeling better within 10 or 15 minutes.

The heat is nothing to ignore and you can't just bully yourself into "carrying on" through the heat. Have some respect for Mother Nature. But be warned, she doesn't have any for you.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup