Man was it hot in Sterling today.
I’m no stranger to heat at all, having lived in southwest Florida for ten years in an era when I could not always afford a vehicle with air conditioning. Yes, I am that old and yes I was that poor in my 20s. Summers in Florida driving with your windows open is manly business, and there was more than one summer when my work was construction and my drive home was in a non-air conditioned car.
But today was a complete ass-kicker, unlike any I’ve experienced in recent memory. I had to do the lawn, which is about a 2.5 hour exercise with the edging and trimming included. Unfortunately, my basic laziness was in full force this morning and I did not manage to break out the equipment until about 11:00 am. The “temperature” was only showing at 94 degrees, and there were numerous areas of shade in the yard, so I thought I could tear through the job with no problems. But the humidity and “heat index” were at another level altogether.
So as much as I like to tell people that 47 is not really so old thanks to modern science and I still get carded in 7-11 by cashiers from the other side of the world, I must admit that mowing the lawn on days like today is no country for 47-year old men.
Within roughly 15 minutes of embarking onto the front lawn (do that first, so if you die in the process at least the neighborhood standards will be maintained) my head started to burn and I had to breathe a LOT. So I mowed a stretch, then went inside for a cold drink and a chance to let the breathing slow down.
By the time I got to the back yard, which was around noon, the overall sensation could best be described as stinging from the inside out. Luckily, portions of the yard were still shaded, so I could strategize by doing a circuit in the sun and circuit in the shade, then the occasional break in the house for a cool down. The internal temperature continued to build, though, because during my circuits in the sunny portions, when I had to stop and empty the catcher for the obligatory stop in the sun, the heat-and-sweating sensation got so intense there were brief periods of chills. This, I would tend to think, is not a good thing.
Eventually, I managed to get the front and back yards both done, and by the end my ears felt like they were chimneys, almost burning. Needless to say, I spent some time in the house cooling down before moving one step further.
I also did a number of errands throughout the day, and the overriding characteristic was brief moments in the sun (or hopping into the car) were like a shot to the head.
Now it is 1:00 am, and I still have the burning sensation in my ears. It’s the heat combined with humidity. This has been one hot damn day in Sterling.
Tomorrow is supposed to hit 98 degrees, and we will be at the Steve Winwood – Tom Petty concert. I will try to send some Twitter updates from the concert on how that is going and how everyone is surviving the heat.