What could be more inviting than a trip to Florida in July? The sun is powerful enough to strip paint, and the humidity exceeds any measuring device known to science. Even the boats seem too hot to do anything. But the “early bird” specials continue to be offered, in case you’re wondering.
Florida in July also tests the capability of the human body to adjust to abrupt and extreme changes in temperature. You go from frying pan heat outside to blood-congealing cold when you enter any hotel air-conditioning zone. For the glasses wearer, that means one thing: lenses so hopelessly fogged that you’re effectively rendered blind and left stumbling in your search for the reception desk.
What’s good about Florida in July? Well, it’s not crowded.
Here in the Midwest, we’re bracing for the latest round of unpredictable weather. People have read that a “polar vortex” will be moving through this week, producing unseasonably cool temperatures in Ohio and its neighbors, and there’s been a lot of chatter about it.
The meteorologists are debating whether the incoming weather conditions really should be called a polar vortex at all — but the average Joe doesn’t care about the scientific mumbo-jumbo. The fact is, we like having weather phenomena to talk about. It’s basic, inoffensive stuff that you can talk about with anyone, and since it’s always changing, it’s a constant source of new fodder for conversation. “Hot enough for ya?” “That thunderstorm last night was a big one, wasn’t it?” “This is the snowiest winter in years.” Sure, it’s boring — but remember, this is the Midwest.
The predicted “polar vortex” (or not) that is headed our way consists of thunderstorms followed by a few days of high temperatures in the low 70s and lows in the low 50s. Compared to tornadoes and other bad weather conditions, it’s pretty tame. In fact, it sounds like a delightful break from the normal July menu of blazing days in the 90s and hot, muggy nights. We’ll probably open our windows and enjoy the cool air.
And then, of course, we’ll all talk about it.
This morning I played golf. We had an 8:20 tee time, and with an early start time you expect it to be cool during the first few holes. Not so today! It started hot and just kept getting hotter and hotter.
Our group walks and carries our bags to maximize the exercise and rhythm of the golfing experience. Today, only a hole or two into the round, it was as if someone had drenched us with buckets of warm fluid. We drank water — Lord knows we drank lots of water — but sweated it out immediately.
After the turn it became difficult to gag down still more water, but you know you have to do so or risk heat stroke. By the last few holes we were staggering ahead under the broiling sun, just hoping to put the club on the ball and make our way back to the clubhouse. My shirt was plastered to my back, sweat poured down my forehead, and every time I lined up a putt beads of sweat dropped onto my glasses. By the time I got home every article of clothing I wore was wringing wet, sweat stained, and stiff with salt.
July, hot July, is here with a vengeance.