Hot weather trumps snow, ice any day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

As I watched weather reports from all over the U.S. lately, I was so thankful the snow and ice evaded us here in beautiful south Alabama. Through the years, it seemed that every time we experienced a bit of extreme weather, the heating and cooling units in the house started acting up. One year it struck in July. Although we had a maintenance contract with a widely known national company, it was a month before they completed repairs.

I recall that once when we had window units in our house, the bedroom unit zonked out on the Fourth of July weekend. We suffered without it until the next Wednesday. That experience set us thinking about how blessed we were to have air-conditioning. We wondered how we ever managed without it.

I remember the big ceiling fans cooling the grocery store where my parents worked when I was a little girl. But I most vividly recall the over-sized window fan in our house on post at Fort Jackson, S.C., in the fifties. I think it was the same size as the fans installed in the post barracks. It was quite effective at certain times of day. It was definitely not pleasant from around 11 a.m. to two or three p.m. when the temperature climbed to 100 degrees and above. The fan pulled in all that hot air and circulated it throughout the little four-room house.

We had an infant in diapers in those days. I hung the diapers outside on my clothesline. It was so hot that by the time I pinned the last one on the line, some of the others were dry.

My husband fished a lot with his Army friends during those years in South Carolina. Occasionally, he persuaded me to go with him. He enjoyed it, but it was misery for me. I never could understand how anyone liked to sit in a boat with the sun beaming down and insects attacking on all sides. Not even pulling in a nice catch was compensation enough for me to endure that misery in the heat and high humidity.

One sweltering day, I got so uncomfortable in the boat that he took me back to shore and then returned to the middle of the lake. Suddenly, a swarm of insects attacked me, covering every exposed part of my body. The bites made angry red welts rise on my skin. By the time he paddled back to me in response to my flapping arms and loud complaining, I looked like I had a severe case of measles. It frightened us. We headed home in a rush. It was so strange, though, because by the time we drove the few miles home, they had almost faded away. Considering I was such rich bait for biting and stinging insects, I was more reluctant than ever to accompany him fishing again.

I’ll take 100-degrees any time over ice and snow though. I am still not interested in going fishing.