Sunday, July 31, 2011

Minnesota dreaming... on such a summer's day

Uff da!  It is another hot one out there!  Now I know that Minnesotans have taken a lot of heat (pun intended) over our wimpy response to hot and humid weather.  Believe me, I read the blogs of gals who lived in Texas and Alabama and now are here.  They have not been afraid to point out that our toughness may be limited to the cold.

I am not going to argue with that observation.  I only offer that this is NOT the kind of weather we are used to having in this state.  One of the best things about living here is that our summers are temperate.  How else could we endure the lengthy winter chills?  We believe that we will be rewarded for this endurance with a lovely (albeit brief) summer season that allows us to be outside, wear shorts and sandals and absorb sunshine. 

This really doesn't mean that we can't endure heat and humidity (despite all of the weatherman's warnings to the contrary), it just depresses us in a way that blizzards and ice storms cannot.  When the very act of sitting in a chair induces one to sweat copiously and breathing becomes a less than pleasant experience, the only solution is to seek out air conditioning.  If one is fortunate enough to live, work and travel in air conditioned environments, life is OK. 

The people who truly suffer in this kind of weather are those who lack A/C in any or all of these areas. 

Today I met my friend Jill for brunch at a lovely cafe called Common Roots located in south Minneapolis.  It is really a great neighborhood joint serving meals, treats, coffee, wine, beer and other assorted goodies all day long.  This place is POPULAR.  We arrived during brunch time and had no problem finding a seat.  However, by the time we left, the lunch rush was in full swing and seating was at a premium.

Now, I did notice that the cafe felt a bit "less than chilled."  Not sweltering, but definitely not the icy refreshment that true A/C usually brings.  I noted this, but I had dressed to sweat, so I was OK.  Until I stood up.  The back of my legs and backside were very damp and sticky.  Very unpleasant.  TMI?  Oh well, 'tis the truth. 

We departed the restaurant into the even hotter and stickier outside air.  Thankfully our walk to my car was not long and I had the A/C going quickly.  Not to jump around too much in this story, but I should add that Jill had offered to drive to the restaurant.  The reason that this did not happen is that her husband stopped us on our way out the door to ask that she not take the white car because he was going to take the dog somewhere and they needed the A/C.  As their other car does NOT have A/C, I quickly offered to drive instead.

Back to brunch.  We left the cafe and returned to Jill's house.  Jill and her husband live in one of the loveliest neighborhoods in all of Minneapolis in a truly prime location.  They love living there and I love that they live there too.  Unfortunately, the houses in this area are older and some (Jill's included) do not have central air conditioning.  Even more unfortunately, Jill's house also lacks a window or portable A/C unit as well. 

As remarkably resourceful people, Jill and her husband live through this.  They keep the windows covered and fans running.  They also keep properly hydrated.  But it is HOT.  We have had hot spells in MN before, but this year has really been a doozy.  They have made it through all of it.  There are plans to get a window unit next year, but until then, light clothing and shade are the name of the game.

So to all of you people out there who want to make fun of Minnesotans and how we wilt in the heat, I am here to tell you that some people are a lot tougher than you think.  I should also add that Jill's husband is a native of Sweden, where they are even MORE accustomed to cold weather than us.  As for Jill, I am fairly certain that if you asked her whether she prefers this or winter, she would still choose this. 

Does this make them the toughest Minnesotans of the summer?  I think it makes them strong contenders.  I certainly know that the next time I think about complaining, I will think of them and hopefully keep my mouth shut and dream of snow.  Lots and lots of snow. 

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