Although I have learned to expect very hot weather in August, the lingering high-pressure area looming over Texas has brought weeks of temps hovering around or exceeding one hundred degrees. Sigh. It has put me in an ongoing bad mood exacerbated by the fact that our AC has not been working well.
The compressor unit outside our home was replaced last year thanks to our homeowner's warranty, but the attic unit was twenty years old and barely functioning. A call to the warranty folks brought a technician who told us the problem was a dirty filter. OK, then. We quickly replaced the offending item to no effect. Another contractor said the filter had nothing to do with it. When the sun was beating down on the west facing side of the house indoor temps were reaching a very uncomfortable 80 degrees. Another call to HWA resulted in their unwillingness to replace the unit due to the dirty filter. Our friend the local contractor did the work on our dime yesterday, resulting in a much cooler residence and my improved state of mind.
We love having a pool, especially for our three grandkids to enjoy, but it's simply too hot to be outside in the blazing sun. Even if you could stand that, the pool water would feel like soup. I'm watching my carefully planted perennials fry in the Texas heat despite frequent watering. It's been too hot for me to get out there and trim the plants back and remove dead ones. Getting into a hot car is no picnic, either. The other day, I found myself using Covid masks to hold onto the steering wheel.
Now that I've pretty much recovered from my surgery, it's too darn hot to take Toby for a walk. The pavement is much too hot for his little footpads and I can't bear the heat, even after sundown, when it can still be around 95. It's even too hot to grill outside with the sun beating down on the patio. I worry that we will be subjected to this misery for the rest of the summer. A Canadian vacation sounds like a good idea at this point.
OK, enough bitching about the Texas weather. On the plus side, we've binged through lots of shows on Acorn (our British streaming service), Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. We've figured out ways to prepare dinner without using the oven or grill--our small toaster oven (or eating out) is great for this. Any errands take place as early as possible in the day. Ceiling fans help to keep everyone cool.
If I can get through the next eight weeks or so without melting or being in a perpetually bad mood, it will be a miracle. Meantime, I will look forward to a milder fall and the prospect of holiday fun.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.