June 25, 2007

Summer heat

Boy and cat

We always get a hot spell somewhere near the end of June. When the kids were little, this kind of weather used to send me out to buy a wading pool. Now we all just lie on the floor and complain about the humidity. The upstairs of our house gets ridiculously hot, so by midday we gather downstairs, which is one big room, with curtains drawn to keep out the sun. Creatures, human and feline, sprawl on the carpet.

Late afternoon, the bullfrogs begin croaking, the noise coming in through the open windows. I wonder that they have the energy. Boy in Black stirs off the couch to go teach a drum lesson over at the music center. (He made the switch from student to teacher when his teacher went on vacation and asked him to take his students.) With-a-Why drifts lazily over to the piano to play a song. My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter sits up at the edge of the couch and opens the nearest laptop computer, checking to see who is online. Shaggy Hair Boy, sound asleep on the floor with one of the cats, does not move as I step over him and go search the refrigerator for some cold juice.

I often protest Boy in Black's nocturnal tendencies – I'll come down at 5:30 am sometimes and find him playing his guitar, which drives me crazy – but in this weather, staying up during the cool darkness of the night and sleeping during daylight hours makes a whole lot of sense.

That's Shaggy Hair Boy in the photo.

15 comments:

zhoen said...

I have a friend who nearly lost his health trying to be a day person. He now works 3AM to noon, handling calls from other time zones, and fixing problems before most staff arrive. A happy, healthy engineer now.

Linda said...

That looks like the perfect way to spend a hot summer afternoon.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I grew up in a house without AC. I remember those kinds of days when all you can do is to sprawl... you don't want one part of your body touching another because they get sticky.

After the sun goes down it is time to go out and see the world. These days I end up waking early to get things done before it gets too hot -- the recessive farmer genes in me I suppose...

Lorianne said...

Three observations & a question. First, Shaggy Hair Boy really does have shaggy hair. Second, every summer I'm tempted to buy a wading pool for my dog. Third, on days like today, I find that walking the dog first thing in the morning, when the temperature is bearable, is the only way to keep both us happy.

Question: Do the cats have blog pseudonyms?

Teri said...

interestingly, this is exactly how the middle east works--everything happens while it's dark, and during the day everyone stays inside, lying on the tile floors, sleeping the day away.

It's the only way to go.

Now, in the midwest, I have air conditioning but it's super expensive so I turned it off and bought a fan...and I spend a lot of time sprawled in front of it during the day (and night). Today it's supposed to be 95, though, so I think I'll turn the AC back on for my cats...

jo(e) said...

Lorianne: I don't give the cats pseudonyms because I figure that the names we call them are already pesudonyms. I don't know what their real names are because I don't speak cat.

The cat in this photo is the one we call Gretel.

RageyOne said...

what a great photo! i like the juxtaposition of the cat in relation to Shaggy Hair Boy. It looks like he is stretched out and enjoying a nap also.

Ampersand said...

I love the way the cat is spread out :).

BeachMama said...

I remember days like that before we had ac. Now, I sometimes sit with a blanket or go outside to warm up. I am still not a fan of AC but if Hubby can take a hot stinky bus to work and home everyday, the least I could do was to keep the house cool for him to come home to.

Do you have a basement? We always spent the really hot days in the basement which always seems to stay cold all summer long.

jo(e) said...

Beachmama: I can remember going down into the nice cool basement at my parents' house when I was growing up. We don't have a basement here -- it's just a crawlspace. The nice thing, though, is that we live out in the country and it does get cool pretty quickly in the evening. And next week, we'll be up at camp, where there's always a breeze off the river and the shade of the oak trees.

kathy a said...

gretel looks [to me] like a cat wondering why the lazy boy will not give her a tummy rub.

Marie said...

We don't do air conditioning at home much either. Here in Cambridge, MA today it's about 95 degrees. My room is on the third floor of an un-air-conditioned building. So I'm learning to manage the heat by using more public spaces and only going to my room at night. (Although I'm wearing a sweatshirt here in the air-conditioned library.) It's interesting what it says about community and individuality that I wasn't completely comfortable with that arrangement at first.

Rana said...

I too am charmed by the juxtaposition of the two sprawled mammals.

But isn't lying on the carpet in the heat uncomfortable?

I'm feeling somewhat envious of all of you who can go without AC. When I was a kid, living in dry places, we'd close all the window blinds and curtains, and it was lovely and dark and cool inside, a nice contrast to the baking heat outside.

But that doesn't seem to work for humid heat. It gives me palpitations and headaches, and if I didn't have AC, I would spend the summers here feeling lethargic and sick.

On the other hand, icebox-temperature AC also makes me feel headachy and sick, so it's a delicate balancing act, when I'm outside my own home.

We're about to move to a place without AC, but a hot humid climate like here - it makes me afraid. :(

jo(e) said...

Rana: Yeah, I don't like lying on the carpet in the heat either -- I put a quilt down or else choose the linoleum. But the kids and cats don't seem to mind. Shaggy Hair was sound asleep when I took this photo.

shrinkykitten said...

two requests:

1. please oh please post more kitty pictures! I love this one and the curled kitty tail pic above so much!

2. Can I come kiss this kitty's spotted tummy? It is so cute and tummylicious!