Hot and Cold

(Re-posted from several years ago…)

Not Too Hot, But Cold Is Nice!

I stepped outside this morning to feed the cat. It’s that time of the year where Lucy stays outside more than inside. Hunting opportunities abound, I would think… As I was enjoying the cool morning, around 42 degrees (That’s 10 degrees above freezing!), I could feel the warmth of the morning sun on my shoulders.

Then it hit me… The Sun? I looked around and there was not a cloud in the sky. The sun was on the north side of Mt Rainier and coming over the trees. The promise of a sun soaked day is peeking at my front yard!

True, there are many across the nation, and around the world, who are suffering from abnormally high temperatures while we are below our average.

I can remember being at my grandparents place at Lake Murvaul in East Texas. It was not a “true” lake, rather a reservoir. I think the creek (maybe one of several) that filled the reservoir, swung around the promontory of their land. The dock, bulkhead and boat house was built next to the bank and must have hung out over the creek’s original flow.

One of the things I remember most about those hot summer days that we spent with grandmother and granddaddy was swimming off the dock. On the really hot days, we would dive as deep as we dared in that dark lake water. Down to where the temp was a delicious ice-box cold. Probably cool enough to store milk in and it never go bad.

Then swimming back up to the surface you would find the warm water enjoyable.

Hot and cold. Back and forth. Up and down.

It seems like we need to live in a place where our bodies can experience this routinely. I know cold weather. Alaska temps, well, I’ve experienced wind chill down to -75. And I have experienced the Badlands of South Dakota where I sunburned through my shirt. Somewhere between the two extremes is lovely Washington!

A couple of years ago we broke 100 year old records and had 3 days that topped 100 degrees. Everyone was shocked! Here, most folks have no A/C – that’s air conditioning for the novice reader. I have heard way too many people say, “It only gets hot for a few days, let’s just live with it…” The obverse should then be true for those that live in warmer climates, say, Texas. “We don’t need heat, it’s only cool for a few days!”

There’s a little math experience I would share with you:

Let’s say that the optimum temperature is 70 degrees. I know, that’s too cool for some of you, but it’s nearly too hot for me(!). Since I have been outside with a wind chill to -75 and survived, the math shows that this is a 145 degree span of difference. Let’s take that same 145 degree span and add it to the 70 degrees and you get 215 degrees. At that temp we would not survive.

Generally speaking, you can always create warmth, but you cannot as easily create cold. When you are cold you can add clothing, seal the room, burn something to create warmth. In fact, it is said that in a survival ice cave, properly sealed from the winds, a single candle will create enough warmth for you to survive.

I’ve said all of this for a reason: Enjoy the season as it is presented! It could be too hot, or it could be too cold, but realize NOT EVERYONE WILL ENJOY THE EXTREMES, but all can enjoy the range!