I believe my point is proven. I’ve always argued with my summer-loving friends that a hot, dry summer is more miserable than a cold, frosty winter.
They opine about the summer barbecues, the lazy poolside days and watching late sunsets from a lounge chair with an ice-cold drink.
What they forget to factor in the equation is unrelenting, inescapable, oppressive heat that would make even the hardiest summer fun-lover bolt for the nearest air-conditioned room.
Sunday night was the perfect example of why I’d prefer Nome, Alaska, on Dec. 1 to Wilmore on July 1. I walked through the brown, crunchy grass to check on the baby shrubs planted before we knew it was going to be a drought year. They were shriveled and pitiful, in need of a drink lest they perish. Scanning first the sky and then my friend the weather radar, I calculated the odds were good that the approaching storm would water them for me.
Retreating inside my cool house, I watched the storm come with eager anticipation.
I cheered the approaching blobs of yellow and red accompanied by white zig-zags of lightning. My enthusiasm rivaled that of a UK basketball fan.
Then — poof. No more electricity. I had said aloud a little prayer earlier in the day, “Please, God, send the storm, but let me keep my air-conditioning.” All I can say is that the Almighty must have decided my flesh needed a little discipline.
It took mere moments for all the coolness to evaporate into the sultry night air. My one consolation was that I expected a downpour any minute. It never came. I watched the evil radar show a mysterious gap in the rain pattern right over Wilmore. Everywhere else seemed to be receiving a deluge, but Wilmore got just a smattering of raindrops.
We reported the power outage to KU, with an estimate that we’d have power back by midnight. Reassured, I toddled off to bed after opening the windows to take advantage of the light breeze that followed the blustery leading edge of the rainless storm.
I awoke at 1 a.m., gasping for cool air in the suffocating heat. My hair was plastered to my head, my gown stuck to me like glue, and not a breath of air was moving.
I wandered the house trying not to wake anyone else, found a cell phone and dialed KU again.
The new update promised no repair time. It only told me an estimate of how many other households were as miserable as mine. Thankfully, at that point, I didn’t know it would be Monday afternoon before power was restored. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I returned to bed out of desperation rather than hope and slept only fitfully until I remembered — I had bought a battery-operated hand-held fan for soccer season. I tore through all three junk drawers and finally found it, seizing it like a drowning woman clutching a life preserver. I perched it oh so carefully on my nightstand, drinking in the little bit of breathable air until I finally nodded off.
My family has roundly mocked me for resorting to such desperate measures. I ran one set of batteries completely out and was halfway through the second set by morning. I felt completely justified.
This is my unassailable logic: In summertime, one can only shed so many layers of clothing until all that’s left between you and the cruel elements is your skin. In the cold stillness of an ice storm, you just keep piling on blankets until you’re warm.
I’m feeling a little smug. Case closed.