Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No Holds Barred



Summer has kicked into full gear, catching me by surprise. Damn. It's HOT out there. Yesterday the sky looked like a sheet of tinfoil, the air felt like a thick blanket. It was so hot that I found it hard to breathe - in or out.

As much as I do not enjoy sweltering, I'm always secretly in awe of extreme weather, provided I have a way to escape it, of course. It never gets that cold in DC, though on days when it's 17 F. and the wind is blowing, I'm impressed by how impossible it is to get warm no matter what.

Days like yesterday remind me that, not that long ago, when it got this hot, people would sit in rocking chairs on the porch, in the shade, fanning themselves, drinking sweet tea or lemonade and gossiping about the neighbors. In weather like this, no one fooled themselves into thinking that they could - or should - try to accomplish anything. We've lost our ability to access this kind of common sense. Sad, isn't it?

My plan today is to stay inside the National Gallery biosphere during the hottest part of the day. I will be outdoors on the way there and home again, though, so I'll have an opportunity to sweat and marvel at the drama of summer here in the midatlantic.

Nice work, weather gods! I salute your hutzpah!

24 comments:

Eternally Distracted said...

I am ready for a weather shock today - I will soon be leaving 45degrees to land in 18. I am sure I will freeze :0)

steven said...

hi reya, i sat outside for quite a bit of yesterday reading and watching the skies. iced tea would've been good. it used to be in my hand most of the time through summer's past. gossipping - along with a dozen or so other books, i'm reading a humungous collection of katherine mansfield's stories - there's enough clever gossip and juicy snarkiness in there for anyone!

that flower just gives and gives . . . . . ! have a peaceful day in the whole world and the national biospheres! steven

glnroz said...

I hate winter. (cold weather). The heat is equally dangerous, but It seems that I have more freedom in the heat. Fresh sweat seems to lubricate my attitude. Your postings are a cool shade for when it gets uncomfortable.. :)

Pauline said...

Accessing common sense does indeed seem a thing of the past (I miss-typed and wrote "think" of the past but after I deleted I thought, well, that's right, too!)

Your photographs are stunning as always.

ellen abbott said...

That's a beautiful hibiscus. My red one has been blooming practically non-stop this summer.

Reya Mellicker said...

Hibiscus - they look so fragile but they're really so tough!

John Hayes said...

Most civilized places--especially in warm climes--practice the very sensible art of the siesta--can you imagine DC shutting down for a few hours after lunch each day? Might not be a bad thing at all!

Poetikat said...

We've had a pretty wet and cool summer here. I too am in awe of wild weather, but I have to admit that thunder and lightning terrifies me.
Love the photo at the top. Is that mallow?

My back is much better, Reya. Thanks for asking.

Kat

Sandra Leigh said...

You and John have got a great idea there, Reya. How about a "Bring back the Siesta" campaign? I'm all for it. We would have to get the internet to shut down automatically between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., though, or else the lot of us would be here, blogging and Twittering the siesta away.

Dan Gurney said...

Across the continent, about 15 miles inland from the Pacific... I just looked at my thermometer. At 10:18 in the morning it's 17 degrees (Celsius) or about 62 F. Where's my sweater?

Tom said...

Ugh...after a long weekend of playing hard,and finally getting rehydrated, am just now getting caught up on some blog reading...you are right; other than the essentials not much else gets done in this oppressive August swelter...but i'm thinking it might be a nice day to wash the car, get soaking wet doing it, then escape into the airconditioning...welcome back, Summer.

willow said...

I know. I know. And I thought we were going to get through the summer without all that horrid heat and humidity. Not.

Ronda Laveen said...

How I would love to sit on the front porch with you and while away the day with witty reparte and iced tea, lemonade, and a dog or two at our feet. What a lovely thought.

Reya Mellicker said...

It would be great fun, Ronda - I wish you all were here. We could have an iced tea fest.

Steve said...

It's such a shock to actually have a summer all of a sudden, isn't it??

Sunny said...

I enjoy your blog very much, lovely photos.
Sunny :)

The Bug said...

We've suddenly gotten summer too - with the requisite thunderstorms that just make everything steamier... I'm trying to stop relying on air conditioning so much in the new house (living in a 3rd floor apartment is NOT the time to try to go air conditioning free!), but this week is a challenge...

Barry said...

We turned on our air conditioning for the first time today. Then in the afternoon we hopped into our air conditioned car and drove to our air conditioned movie theater and watched Julie and Julia.

Now I'm home and the movie has made me very very hungry.

lakeviewer said...

In awe of extreme weather? Yes, we are curious to see what happens, how long it takes for ice-cream to melt.

You are on to something here; because we have controlled our environments, we think we can fool our rhythms too. Summer is for resting/kicking back/vacation at the beach, at the lake.

Barbara Martin said...

When the humidity arrives I end up looking forward to the cooler, crisp days of October.

karen said...

Hi Reya, couldn't see your photos yeseterday for some reason, but I'm glad I tried again today! What a stunning hibiscus... Hope the cooling day in the biosphere was wonderful! :)

Brenda said...

Your hibiscus photo made me miss having one. I usually buy at least 2, but didn't this year. I don' t know why but our weather has been wonderful this summer.

Amy said...

Blogger pulled a fast one on me and dumped all of the people I follow from my blog. I'm finally back to a bit of normalcy and have found most of my bloggy friends again.

It's interesting to listen to people talk about the weather where they live. I inadvertantly laughed at the barista at Starbucks the other day when I went in for my daily dose of green tea. She looked at me and asked, "Is it still humid outside?" I couldn't help the laughter that escaped. Humid? In Arizona? Oh...she should really visit my Texas!!

Bee said...

You're absolutely right: before air conditioning, people slept on their porches and spent all evening drinking sweet tea and talking to their neighbors!

My kids often say that they miss the "extreme" weather of Texas - the shimmering heat and violent thunderstorms.