I’ve never been a big fan of hot weather. In fact, when I was a kid, hot weather used to make me feel so woozy, I’d have to stay inside during recess whenever the temperature rose above 80 or I’d end up losing my macaroni and cheese on the playground. Of course, it could have been that the school cafeteria just served bad macaroni and cheese, but I liked to blame everything on the heat.
I even got sent home from school once because I had what the nurse called a heat rash or “prickly heat.” It was pretty ugly – a bunch of itchy red bumps all over my neck, which kind of gave me a plucked chicken look.
So this recent heat wave has been less than pleasurable for me. When it’s hot out, I get really irritable and complain about everything. The other night I even caught myself yelling at people on TV and telling them how dumb they were, as if they actually could hear me. They deserved to be yelled at, though. I mean, they were in an old Superman movie and they couldn’t tell that Clark Kent really was Superman just because Clark Kent wore glasses and Superman didn’t? Even a two-year-old could tell they were the same guy!
I must confess I haven’t exactly been doing much to stay cool during this heat wave. On one of the hottest days, I baked four dozen chocolate-chip cookies for my neighborhood’s annual July 4th party.
The problem was, I own only one cookie sheet – a Lilliputian-sized one. So I had to bake one small batch of cookies at a time. It ended up taking me about five hours to bake all 48. By then, my house felt like the inside of a blast furnace, even with the air-conditioner on. And the chocolate chips completely lost their shape and oozed everywhere. The cookies looked as if they were chocolate frosted instead of chocolate chip.
Another scorching day, I decided I couldn’t put off mowing the back lawn any longer. Because of all of the recent rain, the grass had grown to huge proportions – kind of like a rain forest. My dogs practically had to carry machetes to hack their way through it so they could go to the bathroom.
I’m not the type who mows the lawn in a tank top and shorts, however. No, I have to protect every inch of my body from the sun, ticks, mosquitoes and wayward snakes.
I finally emerged into the yard looking as if I were in the witness protection program. I was wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, sweatband, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants tucked into knee-high rubber boots. Oh, and I also wore knee socks under the boots because if I don’t, the rubber chafes me.
I hadn’t even started the lawnmower when I felt as if I were about faint. Every five minutes, I stopped mowing and headed into the air-conditioned house to revive myself and drink water. As a result, I tracked in so many grass clippings, the kitchen looked as if it had green shag-carpeting.
By the time I finally finished mowing, I was pretty sure there were no fluids left in my body and that my internal organs resembled raisins. Everything on me was drenched with sweat, including my teeth. Never has a cool shower felt so good. I swear that steam came off my body when the water hit me.
The day before the July 4th holiday, another scorcher, the 110-foot trench that had been dug across my front lawn to lay a gas line for my generator finally was filled in. The problem was, the lawn, or what was left of it, ended up covered with rocks, most about the size of my fist or larger. Determined to get rid of them, I put on my lawn-mowing attire (freshly washed), grabbed a bucket and headed outside.
I picked up two rocks and put them into the bucket. Immediately I began to feel as if I were hanging on a spit over an open fire. I picked up two more rocks. Perspiration popped out on my face and ran down my neck. Two rocks later, I was lying on the front porch and praying for a swift and merciful death.
So I’ve decided not to bother trying to clear or replant the front lawn.
I think it looks much better as a rock garden anyway.