Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If I can't take the heat ...


Lincoln Park was full of lounging people on Memorial Day. I love this couple. They are so relaxed.

Memorial Day weekend is done. The Rolling Thunder guys have rolled out of town. School is out, the swimming pools have opened. Oh yeah, summer is here.

I know that DC is part of the American south, and therefore all about summer. There are people, (to my mind, an unbelievable number of them), who love the blistering heat, the oppressive humidity. Those folks might as well be members of a separate species. I was born in the Rocky Mountains; this skanky, swampy, sweaty weather makes no sense to my body or being.

Some days (like today apparently) I whinge. Most days I prefer to stand tall and face the summer heat, or - to be honest - challenge the heat. I react to summer by becoming obstreperous, confrontive. I grab a hat, put on my shades, throw a big bottle of cold water into my backpack and get out there no matter how hot it is, no matter how thick or toxic the air. A major component of my Plan to Stay Sane includes spending a lot of time outdoors, no matter the weather. I test myself against the DC heat, I do. Perhaps a part of my agenda has to do with the wisdom that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Who knows?

And, too, I'll admit how I revel, after a summer walk, in the pure carnal pleasure that accompanies a nice cool shower, a glass or two of chilled water, followed by an Arnold Palmer. Mmmmmmmmm ...

It was very hot yesterday but I worked all day so had no chance to tilt against the weather. Today I'll get out there, I'll walk and sweat and perhaps curse under my breath, my own way of "welcoming" summer. But I'll keep my eyes on the prize: the cool shower, and the pure poetry of iced tea mixed with lemonade that awaits me after my ordeal. Focus, Reya: focus!

C'mon summer! I am not scared of you. Bring it. C'mon.

26 comments:

Rick said...

Summer's got nuttin' on you. You're hot! Hang in there. We'll blink and the leaves will be falling. Circles and circles.

Barbara said...

I thought of you recently when my daughter and I shared an Arnold Palmer at the Birchmere. All they had was Snapple for the lemonade part, but it was still refreshing as the musicians turned up the heat. A very good summertime drink.

Elizabeth said...

Too much heat makes me wilt.
Swimmimg is a good way to go.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yeah, it is definitely summer. Having been born in south Texas, the heat never bothered me but now I take a med for thyroid that one of the side effects makes it affect me more. Nevertheless, I'm out there. According to the almanac, this summer is supposed to be hotter and dryer than last summer and last summer was brutal. Well, the hammock is up and we have plenty of ice.

Merle Sneed said...

The most miserable heat I have ever felt was on the 4th of July on the Mall. Just brutal.

Beat it into submission, Reya. If anyone can, it's you.

lakeviewer said...

D.C. is in the South? Nah!
You're testing the waters and feeling courageous. Yeah you had the highest temps in the nation yesterday.

Just think, seasons in, seasons out. Enjoy each one at its fullest.

Marian Wiseman said...

1. I am of the other species. Had the AC on only because of Tom.
2. What is an Arnold Palmer?
3. I also worked all day yesterday. we should get an award or something.

Ronda Laveen said...

I also worked yesterday. It was a busy work weekend, always is when so many have it off. It always feels so good after exercise to cool down and clean up. Renewal.

Love the photos. That couple looks totally relaxed. And, in the bottom one, you look like you're in another dimension snapping a pic of this one.

Lynne said...

I say bring on the heat! Last summer was so wimpy we hardly used our pool at all. If the heat and humidity get to be too much for me I just hide in the air conditioned house!
:)
And oh, please send your t-storms our way, we really need a good one ...

willow said...

I'm scared.

Reya Mellicker said...

Willow, I was thinking about you today, definitely.

k-brow said...

I was born in South Carolina, so I embrace the heat and humidity, too. I think the most wretched period in my life was the summer I spent in SF. I could NOT get warm enough.

Atlanta is fiercely hot and muggy right now, and very still...the Arnold Palmer sounds like the way to go.

Whitney Lee said...

I prefer to wait until evening when the sun's not beating down. At least that way all I have to contend with is the mugginess...I also weave fantasies about cool bodies of water.

Gary said...

I have a difficult time with the heat as well but when I think about it my problem has more to do with what I am doing in it then the heat itself. Enduring my long, stressful commute into New York when it is hot is terrible but sitting poolside in Italy with nothing to do but eat and read...well, that is another story.

I like the notion of challenging the heat. Given those terms it is a fight I am determined to win (with the help of a cool shower).

Reya Mellicker said...

Gary, who gets to sit poolside in Italy? Not I.

Don't forget the lemonade/iced tea combo. xx

Linda Sue said...

Oh ick Heat...can't do it! I spent an entire summer in S. Ca in a bathtub of cold water. I puff up and can't move- it's just not good....Stay cool cooly cool. makes me want to break out into a Jets song! i see by the reflection in the Linsay caddy that she be wearing short pants! You're HOT, sistah!

Deborah said...

Please do not invite it--having to return to that weather is the greatest incentive to just stay in the perfect California summer. . .

love and miss you

Meri said...

I remember Summers there. I'm not sure I'd taunt him.

Reya Mellicker said...

Weather gods vs. Reya? There really is no contest whatsoever. Nope. I'm doomed, but I can fight it, can't I? Well????

Reya Mellicker said...

Linda Sue we ALL wear short pants here in the summer. And sandals. Before I moved here I would never have believed that I would shave my legs every day. EVERY day ... in summer, that is.

steven said...

ha! reya i was just writing about the end of spring which never really got started - it was just all of a sudden here. everything. blossoms, grass. leaves. wildflowers. warm tree smells. bark softened. birds. birds. lots of birds. little animals. pools opening everywhere. cars with loud dance music passing me. me biking everywhere. long rides. short rides. and hot hot hot. humid hot!! bring it all on. everything a gift. steven

The Bug said...

I've gotten all pampered by the relatively less hot & humid Ohio summers - I can hardly bear to step foot in NC after Memorial Day. And yet we're going back for another visit at the end of July. Yikes!

C.M. Jackson said...

reya-that's why I love the high desert of santa fe--the humidity in NJ while not as stifling as DC is no party and like you I force myself out of the ac into the hazy sun...you go girl!! Love the new photo!!

Steve said...

I do the same thing -- just get right out and march around in it -- immerse myself in the kettle of summer! (Thank God for AC when I'm indoors, though.)

Bee said...

There is something so delicious about cooling off when you've been hot. I actually miss those mellow summer evenings -- still hot, yes, but in a wonderfully sultry way.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sultry is more fun when you're remembering it.