The race is on. Can I get home before the yogurt turns to soup? Will the frozen pizza be a limp piece of thawed crust before it makes into my freezer? These questions will be answered by whether I am stuck behind a turtle going up the canyon, and whether I can keep the air conditioner maxed out in the car while ascending 3000 feet over the next 12 miles.
A couple of years ago I forged a friendship in the most unlikely of ways — a mutual hate of the summer season. While working at a booth at the Peach Festival in Lafayette, I met another Lesley. We baked on top of the black asphalt as rivulets of sweat dripped down my face — a product of 96 degree heat out on the plains.
I started the conversation with hesitancy, “I know this will sound crazy… But I basically hate summer and hot weather. This kind of day makes me long for a good snow storm.”
Her response shocked me, “So do I! The heat is the worst!”
This, while looking radiant and beautiful, her long dark hair falling down her back. Meanwhile, I am feeling like a gross, hot, sweaty mess. Another reason for my hatred of the summer season, I’m a sweater. I don’t glow or radiate — I sweat — my face gets red, my hair gets wet, sweat stains appear under my arms and on my back. It’s not pretty.
Last week, we went through a spell of hot weather, with highs in Boulder reaching 98 degrees, and even in Nederland, we hit the mid 80s. Living at 8200 feet, my threshold for heat is even less, because when the thermometer passes 79, it is officially way too hot.
Of course, I chose one of the hottest days to do my grocery shopping. During summer, I have to plan my tasks in a strategic way, running errands at the hardware store, the pet store, with grocery shopping being the absolute last task of the day. Ice cream is out of the question as it will definitely be liquid, along with an exploding top. Then I beeline it up Canyon Boulevard hoping to get home before everything has thawed.
This day I become annoyed as soon as I begin my drive up, as I spot the Texas license plates in front of me. This is bad. Very bad. It means it will be an exceedingly slow drive up the canyon as the touristas marvel at the scenery and slow down at every curve. I know it’s going to be really slow drive up when the braking begins going up hill.
I am pleasantly surprised though as about three miles up, the Texans pull over and I am able to go by, pedal to the metal, accelerating up to 50 miles per hour. I decide the extra horse power is worth bumping up the air conditioner. With a 4-cylinder car, I just don’t have the power to run the air conditioner full blast and get up the 10% grade.
I make it home and quickly grab the grocery bags. Success, things are still cold, and yogurt doesn’t seem to have become soup.
Only two more months to go before we hit the freezing temps again and summer is in my rear view mirror.