Hot! Hot! HOT!

In this part of northern Texas, and for several hundred miles around, the heat is worse than it’s ever been since Miss D. and I moved here, two and a half years ago.  The thermometer hit 114° (Fahrenheit – for readers who use Celsius, that translates to 45.5°) this afternoon, and as of a few moments ago it had cooled to a mere 111°.  Inside our home, despite the best efforts of our air conditioning system, it’s currently 82° – which sounds bad, until you go outside and realize it’s still almost 30° cooler than the ambient temperature!  The contrast as you walk through the door, in either direction, is striking.

The previous owners of our house had installed a window air conditioning unit in the master bedroom.  We’d wondered why, since we’d never needed to use it during previous summers.  Well, now we know!  I switched it on for the first time a couple of days ago, to help bring down the temperature in the bedroom before we went to sleep.  Tonight, it may just stay on all night!

To make his life more interesting, Old NFO‘s air conditioning went out on him today.  I suspect we may have him in our spare room sometime tonight . . . the coolth will make it worth even the company of the cats!

We’re apparently due for very hot conditions for the next few days, until the middle of next week.  I’m not looking forward to it . . . but this is Texas, after all.  It happens sometimes.  I have a new and very profound respect for the farmers, cowhands, road crews and oil workers out there.  How anyone can function in these temperatures, performing hard manual labor outdoors without any cover or shelter, without keeling over from sunstroke or heat exhaustion, is beyond me!



  1. Grew up here in DFW area working at age 12-14 for a neighbor cutting, baling, and hauling hay in this weather. I often wonder how. Never bitched about it then.

  2. You're out in it, and drink enough(especially of the right stuff) and you get acclimated to it.

    Kind of amazing when you think about it.

  3. Summer of '80, in Missouri – heat wave beginning on the day we got married – was 113° every day for 3 months, 89 at night. Upstairs apartment, and had A/C only in our bedroom. Miserable. You two, and Old NFO, have my sympathies. It's 71 here, and we're loving it.

  4. I have the utmost respect for the folks that installed the fence lines in that heat. Those were some tough hombres.

  5. Grew up spending summers on my grandparents' farm in Tucumcari, NM. I also spent one summer working for my grandfather. That summer in the fields it reached 125F. I was hoing jimson weed out of a field he was going to turn cattle into. I probably drank 2 gallons of ice tea that day that my grandma made. She'd send me off with a gallon of ice tea in a coleman thermos bottle, and then she'd come out around noonish with another and a sandwich. I won't say those are good times (farming is damn hard work!) but they were memorable.

    I developed a health tolerance from the heat between that and growing up in the Arizona desert.

  6. There's a good reason we bug the hell out for the Adirondacks for about three weeks every year this time of year. I'd prefer a place where I could take a handgun, but given the low amount of vibrant diversity in the place we're heading it'll do.

  7. Now you know why the South was sparsely settled until after the invention of air conditioning. Well, that and DDT and Deet.

    Heat sucks. Unlike in the cold, there's only so many layers you can remove.

    Good luck with everything.

  8. Grew up working summers on the farm near Lubbock, including that of 1980. We drank lots of water and ice tea. It was over 110 for almost a two week period. When dropped down to 101 one day, we nearly froze…

  9. McChuck, as one born in the South and still a resident, I believe Willis Carrier's birthday should be a holiday. Speeches should made, and parades held in his honor.

  10. What Chris said! I was working for the USDA in 1980 at the experiment station in Lubbock. Dad showed me a trick: staple a handkerchief around the sweat band in your hat so it covered your ears and neck. keep it wet, and instant a/c! Worked a treat.

    But that year was pretty sad, too. Old farmer out near us used a donkey to work his little corn field. They were out cleaning weeds from the edges of the field when it got so hot the corn started popping. The farmer and donkey thought it was snow, and froze to death right there in the field. Sad, hot summer….

  11. Have you looked into your insulation situation, both walls and ceiling? We weren't so happy with our ceiling situation and had an extra two feet blown in which made a big difference. Our walls aren't too bad so we didn't have to do anything to them. Contractors aren't too expensive or once your toes are happier renting the blower and doing it yourself isn't too hard.

    Either way spend the few extra bucks to get the plastic or cardboard air diversion things that get stuck down against the eaves between the trusses, and keep the wind from blowing the insulation away from the outside walls.

    A friend did have wall insulation issues, ended up pulling the siding and upgrading the old insulation as well as adding a thick layer of foam insulation board before replacing the siding. Not cheap or a lot of fun but it is saving enough on utilities that it will pay back in not too many years.

  12. Spent five years living in Phoenix. Yes, I was there when they closed the airport, 122F. Calcs for commercial aircraft take-off load/speed only went to 120. Yeah you get acclimatized but it's still hotter than H**l's anteroom. One was reminded of the story that in the 1890's some local promoter went to Washington to lobby for Statehood. One of his statements was that all Arizona needed to be a paradise on earth was water and civilization. A congressman replied ; "Sir, all h**l needs to be paradise is water and civilization." Statehood delayed until 1912.

  13. There's a story that a Mormon church leader visited St. George, UT in the late 1800's or early 1900's, and in a speech to the locals he included this gem:

    "If I had a house in St. George and a house in hell, in the summer I'd rent out the house in St. George and live in hell instead."

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