We began our bicycle ride last evening at 6 pm. We did a thirty-five mile ride at an average of 16.5 mph. Not bad for two old people. The temperature was 97 degrees and the humidity was at 85%. This ladies and gentleman is the deep south in mid-July. For those of you unfamiliar with humidity it is the amount of water vapor in the air. Now it would seem that water vapor is a good thing and it is when the temperature is 65 degrees but at 90+ degrees, hell at 80+ degrees you feel like you are slogging through tomato soup, hot soup at that. Humidity zaps what little strength you might muster to simply walk to the mailbox to check the mail let alone mow the grass. It is, in a word, brutal.
I am old enough to remember a time when we didn’t have air conditioning. When I was 10 or 12 my parents bought two window units from Sears and had them installed in our house and honestly my life changed forever and for that matter it changed the South forever as well. If you look back, Southern cities didn’t began their meteoric growth until the air conditioner became commonplace in homes. Growth of cities such as Miami, Atlanta and Charlotte just to name a few were stagnant (no pun intended) until the early 1970’s. The revolution wasn’t location, it was air conditioning.
I am pretty heat tolerant. In my youth I worked construction jobs during the summer and I have maintained an active lifestyle as an adult. But as I have gotten older I have found it is easier for me to blow off time in the yard during these brutal months. Sadly my yard suffers, my garden suffers, playtime with dogs suffer so that I can enjoy that constant 71 degrees my dual Trane Comfort Machines deliver. I am, unfortunately not a morning person so my exercise time, my activity time is in the heat of the day at 97 degrees rather than 77 degrees. I just like to be cuddled up in my bed to damn much.
In a couple of weeks we will travel to Denver for a week-long visit. We will hike, walk and ride bikes. It will be hot but there will be very little “humility” as Yogi Berra calls it. It will be tough to get on the plane and leave that paradise, back to the South where just thinking about thinking will make you sweat.