I never dreamed of writing about weather. Under ordinary circumstances, endless discussion about the weather is sleep inducing. Basically, it’s what people say when they have nothing to say. But this summer is different. The country is cooking and I’m jumping in with my two cents.
The reason I’m breaking my own rule is shame. I heard myself whining about how cool it still is around here and I’m feeling guilty. But come on, it’s August, below 70°, and I’m dying to wear shorts. I know, I know, hard to hear when you’re frying your brains out.
I’m lucky to be living right now in a place where vacationers are coming to escape the heat, Washington State. But my vivid memories of living where opening the front door was like opening the oven door have triggered a couple of tricks you might not have thought of. Tricks that might bring relief to those across the country who are frying eggs on the sidewalk.
Wet Clothes. People laugh or scoff at this idea because they don’t want to look silly, but it’s amazing how well it cools a body down. Put on a wet T-shirt. Or better yet, if you have a partner or children wet each other down with spray bottles. I often wore a wet bathing suit around the house when I lived in the heat. The reprieve lasts until it dries, but then you just re-spray. I kept a tree crew cool one summer by going around with a bucket and periodically dipping their T-shirts in water. Didn’t want them falling out of my tree.
Years ago I made a bunch of Cool Scarves for my daughter and her friends when they went to the Nevada desert in the Sept. heat. These “neckties” provide continuous heat relief, can be purchased online, and are easy to make if you can sew a seam. It’s a long tube containing a teaspoon of polymer beads that swell up when soaked in water. This squishy snake-like tube tied around your neck makes your whole body feel cool.
Wet Hat. Dip a cloth hat in water before putting it on. Straw hats work, but can get misshapen as they dry. Of course, this is a good thing if you want to have character.
Wet washcloth. Many a night I managed to fall asleep with just a wet washcloth draped across my feet. This bit of cool seemed to lower the temperature of my whole body. You can always expand this idea with a wet towel draped over your whole body.
Hydrating your body from the inside is number one, but working on the outside works magic too.
Ahhh, water. A stress reliever in so many ways.