Updated: Oct 16
When I first moved to Kansas, people told me that the weather — especially the summers — build character. But the way this weather builds character is to take down whoever you thought you were first. Think you’re a reasonably, friendly, light-hearted person? Land in a week of daily lows in the mid-90s, and you might find out you’re quite the opposite. Summer here is a little like PMS on steroids, but without enough energy to get homicidal urges.
The early unshelling of big heat makes it hard to say to myself, “Oh, in a month or so it’ll cool down, so sit tight” because it’s more like three months or more of probable weeks like this interspersed with relief. On the plus side, the chiggers, ticks and mosquitoes have been knocked back, and I never have to remember to take a sweater with me if I go out at night. Dressing is simple too: shorts, tank top, sandals, and often my legs forget what pants feel like.
I'm sitting outside right now, on the porch in the shade, sitting iced coffee under a blur-moving ceiling fan, I wonder what I’m complaining about. There are slips of time — early morning and after midnight or so — when it’s lovely outside so long as I don’t make any sudden moves. Like my dogs, lying sprawled across cool floors or porches, the summer heat burns me out of being elsewhere but here, taking what bearable breeze I can get. Plus, we have a magical cure for the heat: the crazy, windy, wild thunderstorms that shake everything, even the heat, out of balance for something new.