2011.07.20 Keeping cool with grandbaby Caroline

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I walked out of the library Monday evening at 6:30 into a blazing hot and steamy wall of heat emanating from the parking lot. It felt hotter than the time we geocached in a weird little patch of trees in Miami and hotter than the days I spent  last summer in New Orleans when I showered and changed my clothes three times every day because I was a constant sweaty mess. It felt even hotter than the blast of furnace air in Phoenix where I really thought I might die from the heat.

“What the heck?!” I almost shouted. “What’s the meaning of this heat?”

I had spent most of the day in the air-conditioned library and was literally shocked at how hot it was when I emerged. And, it’s not like we keep it all that low at the library—when we’re open the thermostat is usually set to 76 degrees; when closed, it’s set on 83.

My very un-air-conditioned house was maybe half a degree cooler than the outdoors Monday evening. Usually, we win the war on summer heat by running a powerful fan out an upstairs window at night, drawing cool air in. But there was no keeping Monday’s hot air out. 

I keep thinking we’re going to have to install an air conditioner since our kids keep moving to places where AC is everywhere and they are now acclimated to its use—as opposed to sweating it out with me and David...and repeatedly uttering, “This, too, shall pass.”

But, heck, we haven’t even bought the extra fans we keep saying we’re going to buy. So, we revert to our trusty homemade form of air-conditioning—a spray bottle of water turned to a mist setting and a fan turned directly on you. Just a few squirts cools you right down...until you have to do it again a few minutes later.

You almost have to brace yourself before spraying because even with room temperature water, it’s a tad shocking when the mist hits your hot face or body. It’s most lovely to spray straight up into the air and anticipate the coolness as the water wafts down and the fan blows your wet skin dry. 

Yes, as David Green always says, “Evaporation is a cooling process.”

I think baby Caroline enjoys it. She, too,  braces herself when I squirt the bottle upward, and then closes her eyes, breathes in, and shudders a little when the water lands on her—before breaking into a big smile.

I admit to less efficient ways of cooling off—standing in front of the open refrigerator pretending to look for something to eat. But, good does come of that when I actually find something to eat. I e-mailed Ben about that and other hot weather-related news Sunday.

“I am so happy to report that I found the yogurt container with just enough cilantro dip to cap off a dinner of open face chicken salad sandwiches with mustard greens. We even had a new bag of chips to dip.

“And earlier today I discovered you left one of those rocket popsicles in the freezer. Cooled me off long enough to get to the air-conditioned library.

“It was 88 degrees at 8:30 tonight...although our positive-thinking thermometer outside the kitchen window insists all day long that it's 76 degrees.”

That’s another way of keeping cool—believe your inaccurate thermometer and trick yourself into believing it’s not really so hot.

Or, there’s a whole new keeping-cool approach I discovered last night when I was dancing in my pants from an incredibly itchy spider bite right at the base of my spine. I put an ice cube between my underwear and my pants, right up against the bite. Not only did it take care of the itch, it cooled me down immensely.

OK, it did leave a gigantic spot as if I had wet my pants, but I was cooled off, the itch was gone, and baby Caroline, who wets her pants on a regular basis, did not care one bit that her grandma was looking prematurely incontinent.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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