Michigan Heat Wave

5:45am. The temperature is already creeping into the mid 80s according to the temperature outside. Granted, its still dark, the early morning light all but disappearing with the onset of late summer and the promise of fall. By the time I make the 15 minute trek to my first job of the morning, its climbed at least three degrees and getting out of my air conditioned car is like walking into a wall of invisible fire.

So continues the Michigan Heat Wave of 2006.

For a seasoned southerner, I’m sure this little piece is drawing forth more than a few laughs. “86? That’s rich! Try a normal summer day down here when its 106 and see how hot ya can stand it!” But one has to realize that this is Michigan, home of the ever changing temperature and wicked winters. My current location is in the snowbelt, so for me and my gang, a blizzard is not something to keep us from going joyriding if we have half a mind to get out of the house, and before school’s cancelled they take a snowmobile inventory to see how many kids actually could make it to class if need be.

Back to summer and our crazy hot weather. By mid morning, our temperatures have been in the mid nineties and come high noon, we’re staring down the barrel of 103 degrees. Folks come into the bank for the small dose of air conditioning we offer, a bit agitated that our efficiency gets them out the door in less than five minutes. Some stay and chat just to prolong the inevitable walk back into the oven. Air conditioning blasts from every house and every car that has it. Those vehicles that don’t are driven with all four windows down, giving their drivers the beehive look from hell that goes way beyond bedhead sexy.

Wayyyy beyond.

Pools and beaches fill up fast. Even those who wouldn’t normally don a bathing suit and go out in public toss their inhibitions to the side and take the plunge. Three cold showers a day are a must for those of us who like to keep our fresh, clean smell about us. There are, however, those who don’t care and its easy to smell them a mile off. Hydration warnings go out on the news, radio broadcasts urge people…especially the older set…to stay indoors with a fan if AC is not available, and the EMS vehicles patrol even more than usual, waiting for that first call of heat stroke. For someone like myself working in a customer service driven job, its hit and miss on who’s going to be in a good mood because of the heat and who’s going to be in a bad mood.

Yes folks, the Sweat Fairy has blessed our little corner of the US and all we can do is sit back and wait it out. And while many of us may complain loudly as we wipe sweat from our faces and necks, it does us good to remember that in six months time, this is the kind of stuff we’re going to be wishing for.

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