Summer = Winter

November 13, 2009

[note:  this is a partial entry that I never really completed.  In the interest of keeping a complete journal, I’ll post it now, despite its half-baked-ness.]


As I pass my first real summer here in dry central Texas, it strikes me that the hot season here has lots of similarity to the cold season of my Michigan home. A few examples:

Hunkering Down:

In Michigan’s winter, one spends lots of time indoors avoiding temperatures that can literally kill you if you’re not careful.  My wife still shakes her head in disbelief when I tell her that classes at Michigan State were occasionally cancelled – not for snow – but for frostbite:  if it was possible to have your extrmities frost-bitten in the time allowed to walk the pathways between classes, school would wait for more conducive weather.

It’s the same here in Texas, only we stay inside our air-conditioned homes or cars or Wal-Marts to avoid the 100+ temps that can fry your brains in about the same amount of time.

Michigan Winter:  You avoid going outside after the sun sets, because you need the extra warmth.

Texas Summer:  You avoid going outside from about noon to five, because the sun is just too hot.

Michigan Winter:  Sometimes you long for a place out of the wind for just a couple of minutes.

Texas Summer:  Sometimes you long for a place in the shade for just a couple of minutes.

In the Car:

I can vividly remember the constant task of scraping the frost off of my car windsheild every time I needed to drive anywhere – sometimes the scraping took longer than the trip.  And the annoyance of frozen door handles, windshield wipers and gas lines often came into play, too.  Once the car started, we all shivered and shook from the chill until the car warmed up enough to blow some heat into the frigid interior.

Same here – except that the preparation is to throw open all the windows and doors to let out the 200 degree air, gingerly opening the red-hot door handles and trying to keep your hands from getting burned on the steering wheel.  If you’re unlucky, the heat may cause vapor-lock in the gas lines or the AC will make acceleration impossible.  If the car runs, one sweats and complains until the AC can blow enough cool air to make it possible to breath while you’re driving.