Until I moved to a new part of the United States, I had no idea how my body had adapted to the weather cycle of Western Oregon where I lived for fifty years. It rains a great deal there, in lots of drizzly days rather than in thunderstorms. It rarely snows; in fact an inch or two brings the city to a halt until it melts. The summers are idyllic, with low humidity and temperatures usually in the high 70’s or 80’s. Several times each summer the temperature soars, but it is almost always cool at night. We never owned an air conditioner either in our home or in our car for most of my life. Open windows and fans always cooled things off.
After nineteen years, my body still seems not to have absorbed the reality of weather in New England. While I have become used to the winter snow, I have yet to internalize the reality of summer. Two phenomena throw me every time. First, throughout the summer there are “rain dates” in case thunderstorms occur during scheduled events. I had never experienced those drenching summer storms and am still startled by them. And humidity and I are never likely to get along. I still seem to experience it as a personal affront!
My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Mobile, Alabama and happily works outdoors in this heat and humidity. He doesn’t stop his long daily walks. It appears his body expects summers to feel like this. To my ever lasting gratitude, he installs window air conditioners throughout our home. Whenever I go into a room, I can turn on that appliance and cool off. The rest of the house can heat up again once I leave that spot.
Every night he throws open the windows and gets fans running. For him getting the temperature down from 85 to 65 is a real achievement. As for me, it still feels hot! To my body, mornings are supposed to be cool. And don’t get me started about towels never drying!