Summertime in Alabama — And the Livin’ Ain’t Easy

I feel like I’m living in a terrarium. The humidity here in Alabama is like the inside of a rain cloud that just holds its cargo out of some kind of cosmic spite.

I feel an odd affinity with Oz’s wicked witch when she croaks  “I’m melting! I’m melting!” But if she lived Down South instead of in Kansas’s alter ego of Oz she wouldn’t be wearing black.

Actually, in this kind of weather (90+with 99% humidity) my normally good sweet personality (shut-up, peanut gallery) takes on a decided witchy transformation. I-R-R-I-T-A-B-L-E spells witch. Occasionally I’ve been called the She-Wolf-From-Hell, though my lips are sealed about the Georgia-cracker’s identity. And since the Devil annexes the Deep South for the summer (I suspect he designates and goes on vacation to Alaska), I don’t feel too badly about the title.

But I will say my name-caller’s reaction to a hot, humid climate is more on a NORMAL level. He grew up in south Georgia (USA) where it’s often ten degrees hotter — and worked in his family’s tobacco fields. All I can say is . . . when he was born, somebody gave him a Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card. Me? I’m just enduring after 20 years in the fiery furnace of menopause. That’s hell on the inside as well as without. Case in point is my above profile picture from last summer. I had been outside in the heat. The hat covers hair hanging in wet shreds. The big happy smile? I’m indoors in blessed air-conditioning with North to Alaska playing in the background. (Just joking about the song – not the AC).

In this weather my brain goes into hibernation until the Hell Advisory is lifted. I eat cantaloupe and lettuce and drink gallons of cold, cold milk. Heaven would be a road-ready RV and a retirement package. We could actually find some place with S-N-O-W and I could walk around outdoors. I wouldn’t even need a coat. Or shoes. I could sun-bathe.

Several years ago I wrote a poem describing how heat affects people and animals entitled Southern Discomfort. It’s a wonder we don’t get vultures dropping out of the sky. A fellow blogger Susan Alton, who posts Travel Bug, and who once worked in Texas, said she could identify with its sentiments. (There is also a famous poem called “Hell in Texas”). But you will simply have to make do with my poem at the moment, if you care to read on. Here is a repeat of my composition.:

Southern Discomfort

Cats drip from deck rails;
Dogs splatter porches, felled by Fahrenheit.
Azaleas cast narcotic nets, holding senses hostage.
Bees droooooooone . . .
Flies buzzzzzzzzzzz . . .
Eyes glaaaazzzzzze . . .
and . . . ummmm . . . . . . .
Wha? Oh, yeah . . .
Summer sizzles.
Summer slays.
Summer puts you in a daze
In the South.

P.S. The above name-caller just breezed through and informed me that it is in the 70’s in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Get thee behind me, Satan. And wave that fan a little faster, would you?

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14 thoughts on “Summertime in Alabama — And the Livin’ Ain’t Easy

  1. We don’t often experience stifling humidity here in the mountains of northern New Hampshire, but when we do, we cease to function. We’re simply not used to high humidity and don’t know how to handle it. However, when it happens, I try to remember that it looked like this only a few months before.

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Personal/Winter/FrankTractor2-24-093.jpg~original

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Personal/Winter/RogerBoivinplowing1-12-11.jpg~original

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Personal/Winter/50percentTunneltobirds-22-27-08.jpg~original

    • Oh, those pictures!!! All I can say is . . . .Braggart! Rub it in. LOL. Mike said to tell you if Alabama got that much snow the whole state would come to a screeching halt. However, I’ll just print out your snow pictures and frame them. Then when I’m melting into a puddle I can cool off just by looking at them.

      • “Mike said to tell you if Alabama got that much snow the whole state would come to a screeching halt.”

        I have to chuckle at my blogging friends around the world who live in places that rarely get snow and life DOES come to a screeching halt. One friend in NC had about four inches of snow last winter (which melted in 24 hrs.) and her town didn’t even own a truck with a snow plow. Places like NYC DO have plow trucks, but the problem is getting cars out of the way so they can plow and then there’s no place to put the snow after they plow.

        Our schools are almost never closed due to snow so I was amused when my friends in the UK said schools were closed because there was an inch of snow. Sissies. LOL

      • Hey, sister. I’ll see your snowball and raise you a mint julep. Sissies indeed. Why I’ll have you know I’m so tough . . . wait a second . . . let me stick my head under the fan again. Okay. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. About being tough. I’ll have you know . . . that . . . I can kill spiders at ten paces. So there. I just can’t stand the heat. Or getting snowed in with no air conditioning. Yeah. I said it right. I need air conditioning even in winter sometimes. Mike calls me Alabama Power’s best customer.

      • “Hey, sister. I’ll see your snowball and raise you a mint julep. Sissies indeed.”

        You’re on! Actually, it wasn’t you I was calling a sissy. It’s the people who cease to function when they get an inch of snow.

        A blogging friend from Puerto Rico visited me in February, 2010. She’d never seen snow and our place looked like the pics I just posted. We thought we might have to resort to feeding her outdoors because we could NOT get her out of the snow. She LOVED it.

      • Mike and I are cracking up here over the story about the friend who wouldn’t come in from the cold. We don’t blame her. But Mike says to have you know that it takes all of two to three inches to shut him and me down. Also, we’re not sure yet, but we MIGHT be getting an RV. Mike has been doing some work on our old one, but says it’s going to cost more than it’s worth, not to mention the labor. I’ll tell you more about the one we’re looking at when we know more ourselves.

        I’m so glad Phyllis has joined in. She was practically right here amongst us when she was in Cullman, but lives more in your neck of the woods. Blankets? You’re killing me here. I may hitch a ride to NH.

  2. I do live in an RV and travel fulltime. Well into our 4th year.

    Hubby from Louisiana – too hot and humid there this time of year. His daughter in Houston – NOPE there either. His son in Cullman, AL – just came from there two weeks ago – no thanks.

    So here we are in my home state – the southern part of NJ. Maybe because it’s the SOUTHERN the heat and humidity is wicked here today. So why not head north? Well last August was in WY and it was 101 by 1 pm. ND and SD not much better.

    SO, next summer it will be Alaska. We will see if relief is in can be found

    • You guys are killing me! Jo Ann with her snow pictures and now a full time RVer. SIGH!!! That’s the life, Phyllis. The one we aspire to. Also, my daughter and granddaughter lived in Cullman. Granddaughter (named Montana), started school there. They moved to NC a few months ago. Did you know there is a movie star from Cullman, Channing Tatum, who starred in the movie The Eagle, based on the book “The Eagle of the Ninth”? But he only lived there a few years till he went elsewhere. The humidity probably got to him, too.

    • I live in the mountains in northern NH. Come visit me. We’re still sleeping with blankets!

      I have friends here in NH who have a beautiful RV. They left the first week of May for Alaska and will be touring the state until after Labor Day. What an awesome trip that will be. And for you next summer.

  3. I taught my friend from Puerto Rico how to make snow angels and she was like a 12-year-old turned loose in Disneyland. She must have made about 50 snow angels before she wore herself out.

    Believe me, we’re won’t be sleeping under a blanket tonight. It was 92 here today (most unusual for our part of the country) and the humidity was/is stifling. I was pruning all day and just took a shower. I feel as wet after using a towel as I did in the shower. Oh well, at least it’s clean sweat now.

    • Oh, don’t tell me there is no place sacred. I love your snow. Love the story of your Puerto Rican friend. Do they speak a different dialect of Spanish? My high school Cuban Spanish teacher once told me that he was teaching us “Southern Spanish”. He had a great sense of humor.

  4. Odd you should ask about my friend’s Spanish. She speaks English so perfectly that I never heard her speak any Spanish at all while she was visiting us. She’s an elementary school English teacher in San Juan. I’ll have to ask her if she speaks the “Southern Spanish” dialect. That’s a good line. ;>)

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