Temperatures in the 80’s in summer was hot when I was growing up. If temperatures hit 90 all elderly people, children and pets were to stay inside. Although as I remember not many people allowed pets inside unless it possibly was a cat, and that was an exception, animals did not belong in the house. I will not tell that to my herd, they
would most likely do something dreadful to me in the night for my past transgressions!
My childhood was growing up on the shores of Lake Superior so I understand cold and snow (lake affect) and being snowed in for days. I do not remember complaining about nor did I complain about the ‘hot’ summers seeing they were rare. If a very hot day did pop up we played in the sprinkler, the old-fashioned kind often rigged out of a basement window seeing only ‘newer’ houses had water outside! Unless of course you had an outside pump seeing you had not upgraded. The basement, (think cellar) dark, damp and cool was also a place to play until the sun was low in the sky and Lake Superior winds took care of the night. Summers were short and nice, Spring was fleeting and Fall could hang on for a while, a beautiful time of the year in Upper Michigan. Winter, lasted a long time and I was ready for it. Lots of sweaters, boots, scarves, hats, socks, whatever it took to stay warm and dry. Wool drying on the wood stove in the basement is still a ‘nice’ smell to me. Once dried I could go back outside and go ahead get wet all over again! And it was always dark after ‘supper’, very mysterious and beautiful at ‘night’ in the snow, that was before the 60’s when the ‘time changed’ and screwed me up for years.
I later moved to Wisconsin. There was a marked difference in the weather, it was most often a month colder or warmer depending on the season and I adapted rather well to that change. It was better to my mind, less snow (still a lot) but not snowed in for days with no escape! The big storms were more of an event then a way of life.
Later in life I moved to Punta Gorda Florida. There I would have year round gardening and become the best gardener ever known to grace southern Florida. That part did not happen. I gardened, and did a good job but the plants were the houseplants that I grew in the Midwest, imagine that! Toss something out the back door and it would root and become a happy camper. I finally realized how captive I had kept all the houseplants of my life, suffering a long death at the hands of a girl/woman who loved plants and provided little light. Low and behold a hurricane came along and blew my garden away. I regrouped but wasn’t going to ‘do that’ again. Needed to move on, better lands somewhere.
Life’s events do come to me through the memory of what the weather was at the time. I marked the seasons by what I was wearing, what was blooming, what the temperatures were. In Florida I had nary a clue what time of the year it was, I started to lose track! It was a bit threatening, was I losing my wits or was my inner clock terribly messed up 🙂 It was my inner clock I’m thankful to say and I still haven’t totally recovered the regular four seasons in my mind’s thinking, but Texas is an improvement.
We live in a beautiful part of Texas. Where the hills are rolling and the soil is mostly black with a bit of clay, on the edge of the Piney Forests. Our land would have been great for a rancher (it was a ranch) to grow crops and forage the animals near the Colorado river or in the valleys. I live on a hill with good soil, plants grow so fast I can no longer keep up with them. I tell myself it is my age but I know it would be a great deal of labor no matter my age! Especially seeing I tend to plant or cultivate way beyond what I am capable of caring for.
The late winter, which is wonderful weather I start with enthusiasm planting and cultivating, I am a model gardener, the gardener I always was! Praise worthy! I stick to this faithfully and plant more than I should certain this year I’m going to care for everything seeing temperatures won’t reach last year’s highs, maybe I forget how hot it was the previous year 🙂
Today I’m at the how hot it gets in Texas part of the season. My plants are gigantic, threatening to take over all walkways and stop cautious people from darkening our doorstep, and that includes my husband! I refuse to go outside when temperatures are 95 and rising! It’s miserable for a Midwest woman who has adapted and does become cold easily, but still gasps at the sweat forming on my brow! My energy has gone, I am a slug a sloth would sound better at least it’s an animal not a slimy creature. Best I check to see if any moss is growing on my appendages. I simply hate hot weather, I tell myself I am not grateful as the water from my hose burns my feet and hands and would cook spinach if I was growing it! That I don’t mind that everything I own is a shade maybe two lighter in color from hot sun! My car needs windows tinted darker than it came with seeing it heats up while parked outside while I am shopping, air-conditioning is my friend in my car, my house, any building I enter! My other best friend is the pool! After anything that needs my attention outside I head to the pool and I think I hear a sizzle when I jump in! This is fact!
My decision for coping with hot weather is I pretend it’s ‘winter’, I do inside things, work with fabric, wool, make this and that just like I was snow bound instead of sun bound. It works for me, most of the time. I do enjoy being outside, in the gardens, sitting and relaxing, one foot out the door and my good humor turns to nasty old woman!
I am grateful for my home, where I live, the gardens that thrive (too well) and the critters that entertain me outside the windows. I have one exception re: critters. I do NOT like to find a shed snake-skin, which is as long as my arm in my rose bushes. I find something unsettling about that! The opossum that fell out of the tree a few weeks ago was more entertaining, not so much for the dog! A roadrunner looking in the sunroom at us is funny no matter the temperature.
This weather too shall pass and the many months of beautiful weather I enjoy will again be here. Next year at this same time I will again complain that it’s simply to hot for man or beast and it will again be my ‘winter’.