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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017