It's a Heat Wave - Elizabeth Franklin

It’s a Heat Wave

Over the years, I have met many people who love the summer.  My own daughter revels in the heat, mainly because of her experiences in Dunbar, WI where she went to college.  She fondly refers to that place as the “Frozen Tundra”. When she came home from months in Wisconsin, she regaled us with tales of the far-below-zero temperatures in Dunbar during the winter months.  She told us about the time that the giant water tower froze and the school had no water.

At that school in those days, the buildings were far apart and the students walked to class, the library, the cafeteria, the gym with their coats, hats, gloves, boots, and other paraphernalia while the wind was whipping at sixty miles an hour, creating the wind chill factor below anything we can imagine here in New Jersey.  Of course, at that time, the girls wore skirts to class, so their skirts needed to be ankle length in order to get some protection.  What a great day it was for the women when the head honchos decided that girls could wear pants on those frigid days.

Needless to say, my daughter came home between her years in Dunbar to defrost.  She reveled in the sweltering heat of summer, while I could barely stand temperatures over 70 degrees.  She went to the beach regularly, slathered in tanning lotion.  She lay in the sun baking like a loaf of bread, browning on all sides.  The funny thing about this was that when she came home from the beach, she wanted to know why I did not have the air-conditioning running.

Years have passed and my daughter still likes the heat, but at the appropriate places like the beach.  Over the years, my opinion of the heat has not changed.  I still detest it.  I love to have my windows open to hear the sounds of birds in my yard, the rustling leaves as the breeze travels through the trees, the smell of freshly mown grass; but no. Because the temperatures are so high and the humidity unbearable, the birds do not tweet and the breeze merely rustles but does not cool.  My grass is dead so no grassy fragrance permeates the air.  The intense heat and humidity cause my windows to remain closed.  My air-conditioning is on, running up my electric bill.  My ceiling fans churn the air and my standing floor fans are oscillate madly.  My dog lies under the fans belly up, cooling his jets.

Summer remains my daughter’s favorite season, while winter, fall, and spring are my favorites and in that order for now.  By the way, winter became my top favorite during the aging process, which most women will understand.  Maybe as I age and my skin thins, I will begin to enjoy the heat but as for these days, my daughter and I take opposite sides on the topic of summer heat.


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