Monday, June 29, 2009

If You Can't Take The Heat...

This past week and weekend had a theme: heat. Wednesday dawned bright and humid, and I began the day quite innocently expecting that my air conditioning would continue functioning as it always did. While the compressor was replaced on Friday afternoon, it was nighttime before the house truly cooled down to its usual temperature. The theme was by then well-established. Sweat, sweat, and more sweat. Even with the somewhat cooler house, there was much sweat-inducing work to do on Friday to rid the house of it's open window and fan induced grime in time for my dad's arrival on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, I was repaid for all those times I've moved in the worst heat of summer and asked friends to lend a hand. Steve and I helped some friends move into their third floor apartment in some of the worst heat we've had all summer. Boy, am I glad I started working out the other week. I may not be Jane Fonda yet, but I'm certain it helped me through innumerable trips up three flights of stairs. The downside of helping non-family members move in the extreme heat? I had to keep reminding myself not to lift up my t-shirt to wipe my face!

Sunday meant church and returning the much appreciated fans to our friends. I can't remember when I've ever felt such a fondness for an electrical appliance as I did for those two white plastic fans. In the afternoon, I headed back over to my friends' house for the fun part of moving...unpacking, hanging pictures, and making things homey. Like the grunt work of moving, this is an area in which I am very experienced (as is my friend), and we powered through all kinds of jobs like a well-oiled machine. Okay, maybe the well-oiled machine analogy is a bit strong. Too bad there wasn't video of us hanging pictures. Two crazy women beating on the apartment wall trying to find the stud while her husband wanders by making a well-worn stud finder joke. Is there really a man alive who can walk by someone looking for a stud and not say, "Here I am"?

When I got home, Steve grilled hamburgers for dinner. They were amazing. Nothing tastes like summer like hamburgers on a charcoal grill. Maybe that's what prompted Steve to suggest we go get some ice cream. I must say I nearly fainted when he mentioned it. It very well might be the first time in our 9 years together that he has made such a suggestion. Sort of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Greer Edition.

Of course, there have been upsides to my drama-filled week of heat. First and foremost, I was reminded of the kindness and generosity of the people at Holland Park Church. In addition to the fans, we had offers of hotel rooms and guest bedrooms. It's such a blessing to be surrounded by such wonderful people. Another upside? People share their no-air-conditioning horror stories. As a writer, this is a gold mine. My aunt even sent me a massive post on Facebook that included not only her air-conditioning history, but also linked everything back to my own. I'm going to chalk it all up to future material. After all, isn't that the cliche: suffering for your art? I certainly felt I was suffering as I sat between the two fans, grateful that I had lost my sense of smell. Perhaps one day I'll write a story about someone sweltering away or about a family getting their first air conditioner or about....never mind. It's time for me to step away from the blog and get some serious writing done. I think I know where my main character would probably get a little overheated and need to sit in front of a white plastic fan that makes a vibrating hum when it oscillates to the right.

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