On July 22nd we entered the period of Greater or Major Heat, In China it is the time of year when the amount of sunshine is highest, average temperature is the highest, rainfall is the greatest, and the thunderstorms are the most frequent. at least in the north. This pretty well describes the case where I live as well, except possibily the thunderstorms. They seem to pass to the north or the south, avoiding the town as though it is undeserving of cooling relief. This is the time of year when I adapt the custom of Meditteranean cultures and avoid going out during the middle of the day as much as possible and eating after sunset. Trying to cook when the sun is up creates heat far more like a commercial kitchen, I am dripping with sweat just cutting up the vegetables, racing to get everything done so I can escape the heat. The only thing missing is Gordon Ramsey cursing at me.
People are aghast when I tell them I’ve no air conditioning but how many people live in much hotter and more humid climates without that benefit. And the world is just growing hotter. The cats sleep all day long. I can gage the temperature and humidity by both where they choose to nap and in what position. As the temperature rises they move from the futon or the various cat beds to the floor or a carrier with no bedding. In extreme heat they uncurl and stretch out like maturing fern fiddleheads and at the top of the thermometer they are on their back paws in the air.
This is ruining summer, which I used to enjoy. It’s not just me. I rarely see the kids who live behind me outside. My neighbors who have a nice deck are only out there early in the morning or after sunset even though they have a big umbrella to sit under. An umbrella is no protection from the humidity and not really all that much protection from the sun.
I am looking long and hard at the parts of the country with fewer sunny days and more cloud cover. I attended university in Santa Cruz California. We had a rainy season but a nice summer, lots of fog from the Pacific Ocean. The only people who can afford it now are dotcom millionares but there are other cooler places. Even here the time of greater heat will pass and we’ll have a period of comfort before we start to suffer in the oher direction, from the cold. Still, the same places that have cooler summers have warmer winters. That would be ideal for the cats and suit me too.