October 25, 2014

The eternal struggle against summer

7/9/13

I will come right out and say it: I have never been a huge fan of summertime.

Oh sure, it’s better than winter, in the same way that a pile of garbage is still better than a pile of rotting garbage. For one, I can go outside without freezing to death, and I never have to worry about scraping ice off my car and shivering my way to work each morning. And frankly, waiting for my car to heat up is way more annoying than waiting for it to cool. I will also admit, it’s pretty nice to be able to go out and relax in the sun when the weather cooperates, too.

That is the key phrase — when the weather cooperates. Too often my summertime experiences involve sweltering heat that cannot be easily squelched because it’s also incredibly humid. The fact it’s been raining and storming as often as it has been this year is definitely no help on the latter point, and since I haven’t lived with air conditioning for at least six years now, finding solace from the heat indoors isn’t really in the cards for me.

Back at my parents, it wasn’t totally awful, as they keep window units in a couple rooms, and I could always dive into the basement to cool off. Not really possible now — I don’t have an air conditioner, so my primary methods of cooling off has been A) ice cream and cold drinks, B) blasting myself with fans, and C) working places with air conditioning. Plus, at the time I mainly worked afternoons, so by the time I was out of work it was the evening when things had cooled off.

Lately my feud with summer has entered a new phase. A friend of mine who lived in Texas some years back told me that people there try to keep cool by taping tin foil to their windows. This reflects the sun’s rays back out and keeps rooms cooler (and darker, for that matter). She said this in a joking tone; as though this was a silly solution that I wouldn’t possibly think of doing.

Well, I taped up tin foil “curtains” in my bedroom window. Take that, sun.

It looks really stupid, I’m not going to lie, but I have to admit that the room is way cooler than it was before I stuck them on the wall (and cheaper than picking up actual curtains that do the same thing). I haven’t even needed to sleep with the fan on since then, which is rather blissful — the noise ends up waking me up way earlier than I prefer for whatever reason — and I also appreciate the fact that it’s not nearly as bright when the sun does come up. Some people prefer waking up at the crack of dawn, and others do it for work. But as a night owl, I don’t want to wake up until I have no choice but to do so or not make it to work.

But this is not the end; it is but a skirmish in this endless fight. I think I can deal a powerful blow to summer by recharging the air conditioning in my car so it blasts out cold air rather than stuff that makes me reason “well, it’s sort of cool, so let’s run with it.” Oh, and maybe if I put some ice behind a fan while it’s running? The possibilities are endless.

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