Heatwave

Phew, thank goodness. Clouds. Finally.

cloud

We thought it might never cool down again. Oppressive, atypical heat was the topic of the day, every day, for at least a week. A week! Each day started out okay, with everyone hoping against hope the early morning fog would stick around but man, come afternoon it was the same old story.

sun

Sunshine and nothing but searing hot sunshine, blaring down relentlessly upon the tortured, panting souls below.

A friend of mine expressed it best when he signed off an email with: “Can you believe this weather? Great if you want to stay inside with the blinds shut but sucks if you want to do anything outside!!!”

Oof, I’ll say. Nonetheless, John and I scheduled an afternoon pickleball match with another couple and between each game, our two opponents dashed to the nearest shady spot to down copious amounts of water and gasp, over and over, “It’s so hot. It’s so hot.”

thermometerOut of curiosity, once we got home I checked online to see what the high temperature had been that day and wow, no wonder they were suffering so.

We’d just spent an hour-and-a-half outside, in the very hottest part of the afternoon, while the mercury soared to an unthinkable 76 degrees Fahrenheit. I know, I know. I’m stunned not one of us had keeled over from heatstroke. It was like the bowels of hell out there….

You’ve got to love people in Northwestern Washington, you really do. They’re kind of hilarious when it comes to heat. Or their perception of it, anyway. Back in Texas, 76 degrees is a nice, cool autumn day.

Thing is, after living up here well over a year now, I know we’re slowly morphing into Northwestern Washingtonians ourselves. We were perspiring, too, no doubt about it. And after the match, I found myself thinking about the jar of ice cold homemade pickles my friend Terri had surreptitiously slipped inside my car during a prior pickleball game.

pickles

At that time, when temperatures peaked at a much more reasonable mid-60s, the pickles themselves were the appreciated gift. On the 76-degree day, however, a jar full of frozen squid tentacles would have made me just as happy as refrigerator pickles. Either one would have been equally cooling pressed against a sweaty brow.

Yet, as written on the label, a jar of pickleball pickles seems a whole lot more appropriate than a jar of pickleball squid. We weren’t playing squidball, after all.

That gives me an idea though:  changing the name of the sport might influence Terri’s choice of future surprise gifts. Like maybe rarebottleofwineball, or freshmainelobsterball. And I sure wouldn’t argue with newwardrobeball or myownpersonalchefball. Heck, tenfreefullbodymassagegiftcertificateball sounds pretty good too.

Oh wait, I’ve got it. Next time we play, we’re calling it goldbarball. I don’t see how that would be a problem. Terri’s a good pal, always willing to share with a friend.

Still, on those sweltering 76-degree days, I wonder if it’d be too much to ask her to chill it first?

It’s June

While we await our move to the new house (soon…very soon) we’ve been taking advantage of our access to the community gym and indoor lap pool just down the hill from our future abode. It’s a little weird for us, since we’ve never been gym people. For the past many years, our exercise regimen consisted of walking hither and yon on the farm every day. Treadmills, stationary recumbent bikes, rowing machines and stair steppers are new to both of us and while I wouldn’t say they’re “fun,” we at least feel like we’re doing some good for ourselves by walking, pedaling, rowing and stepping on them.

We do have a bit of an ulterior motive, however, above and beyond bodybuilding our way to becoming the new Mr. and Ms. Charles Atlas: going to the gym is a handy excuse for driving over to the new neighborhood. This past Saturday morning offered even more of a reward for huffing and puffing up mechanically-generated inclines, in that the previous owner (and current renter) of our house was moving a truckload of boxes to her new home in Seattle and was kind enough to allow us to barge in and eat our picnic lunch on the deck while she was gone.

view

I suspect the adult beverage we each enjoyed afterwards wouldn’t normally be considered part of a balanced workout discipline but hey, it was a beautiful afternoon. One that begged for beer.

That evening, thick clouds rolled in. There’s nothing unusual about this. In the course of one day, we can get clouds, then rain, then sunshine, then clouds, then drizzle, then sunshine again followed by rain. And by “rain” I mean not really rain, at least not in the sense we’re accustomed to.

On a recent schizophrenic weather day, John and I were leaving the local electric company’s office just as another customer came inside exclaiming, “Wow, it’s really coming DOWN!”

Obviously, that person has never lived in Texas. While we did cover our heads with our hoodies on the walk to the car, we drove off with the windshield wipers set at intermittent. I don’t know that we’ve ever needed them ramped up all the way to “On” more than a half hour total — and I’m talking an accumulated 30 minutes, not all at the same time — since we’ve been here.

The clouds do cool it off, though. We decided to walk to a restaurant for dinner Saturday night and I considered wearing my leather jacket. John scoffed. (We’re trying to behave more like hardy Northwesterners who don short sleeves at 55 degrees rather than the thin-skinned Texans we still are, who begin to get a chill when the temperature drops below 68.) I compromised by wearing a cardigan sweater instead.

After dinner we walked out to the pier to watch some sailboats taking off. I was cold, wishing I’d gone with my first instinct and worn the leather coat. Then it hit me.

“It’s June!” I cried, stunned at the sudden realization.

June. And I was pining for my coat. I couldn’t stop saying it — “It’s June!” — all the way back to the house. “It’s June! It’s JUNE!”

me

I wasn’t pleased.

The following day, we found out from our neighbor who’s lived in Port Townsend for 30-some years that the locals call this month ‘June-uary.’ As further explanation, he said, “You remember how it was last week, when it was in the low 50’s a few days? That’s why we call it June-uary!”

I refrained from pointing out that last week was still May.

We’d already heard from other folks that June in Western Washington does tend to be rather bleak, but I’m beginning to doubt them all now. Today the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the long-term forecast is for more of the same with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. Personally, I’m still not ready to pull out the sleeveless t-shirts and shorts, but I sure don’t mind the idea of not worrying about leaving our jackets in the closet.

John

Yet come to think of it, judging from our experience with the weather here so far, I should probably keep in mind that anything could happen. After all, last week has passed. June-uary is just beginning.