The heat is on

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, July 8, 2010

When is it just too hot for us Alabamians? Averages of 95-100 degrees this week sweated plenty of cool feelings about our climate, for sure, but we wouldn’t rather go anywhere else. At least I don’t think so.

I’ve never considered moving away from my state’s sticky humidity for that reason only. I’d much rather sweat than freeze. But as I get older, my allergies totally lose control once spring rolls around. When that volcano erupts, I wonder where my senses could flourish instead of assume a vulnerable position and withstand the onslaught.

If I head north, my itchy nose could smell a little relief, but my poor teeth would chatter until my car finally reached a warm enough temperature in the mornings.

In fact, settling in the east or west would compromise my already established relationship with a region and culture that I love but also defines my family and me.

For years, I’ve proudly basked (and baked) in the Alabama sun, somehow preferring the blistering heat to air-conditioned rooms and cars. As a severely cold-natured person, it was blind luck I was born in the Deep South. Why would I spit in the face of destiny by hightailing my way to a climate that would inevitably disappoint?

What would the farmers, pavers, roofers and gardeners think of my feeble wish to cool off if it felt a tad warm? This is my environment. So what if it gets a little toasty like every single day when it isn’t raining.

On a recent excursion to Lake Tuscaloosa, some friends jumped into the water and whined about the water’s more-than-a-little-warm temperature. Granted, a hot lake is a bit unusual and unpleasant when the purpose of your visit is to cool off. But at least we’re not ice-fishing from it.

This year’s ample rainfall and bitterly cold weather reassured some people that global warming could be farther off than originally predicted. If that’s the case, then hooray. So long as we get the occasional rain shower to counter the searing heat that makes us sweat seconds after stepping outside, that’ll do.

In the meantime, try not to stare at those large sweat spots on the front and back of my shirt. You’ve got them, too, so we’re in this thing together.