We have now lived in Montana for almost four years and up until now I would say that the temperature has rarely gotten into the triple digits--maybe twice before this summer and usually in late July or early August. So far this June we have hit triple digits at least three times while also having to endure quite a few temperatures in the 90s. We are literally in a heatwave! And . . . it sucks!
We moved to Montana to escape the oppressive heat of the summer in Nebraska where it seems the majority of the summer is spent in the 90s and always flirting with triple digits. And, for the most part, since moving to Montana we have been pleasantly surprised at the seemingly mild summers here . . . until this summer. It seems that Mother Nature is making up for lost time and is attempting to shove all the heat into as short of a time span as she can. She is doing a good job, too!
The older I have gotten the worse I had the heat. Used to be a time when it got hot I did what any real man would do--I stripped down. People don't appreciate me stripping down at my age. I tried sitting in my boxers at the office at the university and all the ladies in the office asked me to put my pants back on while mumbling something about eye pollution. I guess at my age, with my well-used and worn physique, most people do not appreciate entrophy at work. Or, it could have been my fabulous farmer's tan. Either way I was told to put my pants back on before the campus police were called. But it is not just at work that people don't appreciate the idea of stripping down for the sake of coolness during a heatwave--unless you are under the age of 30 and look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. So, I have been keeping my pants on during this heatwave . . .
. . . and it hasn't been easy. Especially at night before the house cools down. The house we own does not have air conditioning--who needs air conditioning when it is only unbearable for two weeks a year? We don't have air conditioning and so far no one has pulled a Wicked Witch of the West and melted. A few candles have, but no humans . . . not yet anyways. When bedtime comes the clothes come off down to the shorts . . . in the darkness everyone is created equal. In a semi-nude form I lie on the bed beneath the ceiling fan praying for whatever cool circulation I can get across my body. Mostly though the wife and I lie there sweating . . . that is her argument for air conditioning--sweat. My argument is that sweat evaporates and creates coolness as the circulating air of the fan flows down onto our bodies--natural air conditioning for mere pennies. Air conditioning is artificial and costs way more than a few pennies a night, besides with the heatwave air conditioners have tripled in price. One for our house would cost more than the house is worth. So, being a manly man, I lie on the bed, semi-nude, sweating . . . as I wrote earlier, I haven't melted yet!
I haven't melted yet . . . but the heatwave is beginning to take its toll. It is beginning to win. I am starting to get desperate to find cheap ways to cool down. I have thought about getting a block of ice and sitting on it . . . the wife nixed that one as it would soak the carpet. I thought about sitting in front of the refrigerator, but we couldn't eat the thawing food fast enough. I thought about running through the sprinkler, but that involved stripping down and being semi-nude . . . yeah, I know, eye pollution at my age. Then I remembered . . . I remembered that my daughter and son-in-law got the grand dog--Blitz the German Shepherd--a kiddie pool for when it got hot. They filled it up and ol' Blitzer laid down in it when the weather turned hot. He was one happy and content dog no matter how hot it got. That was it! A kiddie pool . . . my own kiddie pool . . . in the backyard where no one could see me in my semi-nude state, cooling off in the cool and refreshing waters straight out of the hose! I can picture it now . . .
. . . wonderful, isn't it? If it works out I will get one for the wife . . . she might enjoy it. But I doubt it as it is not quite the image she has of us as clergy. I think that it is making the best of a hot situation. God will forgive--surely our congregations can too. Maybe I can even sneak one into my office at the university . . . but the hose down the hallway might give it away. The custodian wouldn't be too happy, but I'd buy him one too.
These are just possibilities. It does not hurt to dream. All I know is that I cannot let a little heat beat me. Tomorrow I get my very own kiddie pool . . . what? The wife just informed me that there is a shortage of kiddie pools in our area . . . something about an onslaught of middle-aged, overweight, semi-nude men with great farmer tans bought them all! Just my luck . . . I wasn't one of them! In the immortal words of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz: "I'm melting! I'm melting!"