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We’ve had heat. Soaring heat that breaks all records Austin has known. Over 100 degrees feeling like 112 degrees with the heat index. It’s hot and the warnings are for people who know nothing about living in heat like this. Pay attention to the warnings. You can’t run an errand and leave your pet or child in the car, even for 30 seconds. Very unwise. Why go to the grocery store at noon when it is much cooler at 7 AM? It takes living in extreme heat to learn these lessons and how to function, how to treat your family and your belongings like your car. Get that window cover to protect your dashboard, try to park in the shade. Take your walks very early in the day or walk your favorite mall.

There was a time in Arizona when the heat climbed to ridiculous numbers – at least we all thought so. My children were small, and we had two same aged children staying with us for a long weekend while their parents were away. We were warned the heat would climb over 120. Though we were surprised, we doubted it would happen. The meteorologists could be wrong. The heat did climb. It kept climbing. The air conditioner worked and worked. We often kept our air controls at 78 during the summer to manage the heat. That summer, the AC labored at 78. I was concerned it might break.

We were stunned when the airport was closed. The temperature was 122 and there was concern that the airplanes would not get the lift they needed to fly in that heat. All four children lay like ragdolls all over the carpet trying to stay cool, even in the air conditioning. We stayed inside, blinds closed with movies running nonstop. Thank goodness for Ducktails, Mickey Mouse, and Disney films. We read and reread books. We drank water and juice, Gatorade, and water. It was constant. We did not use the oven.

The heat that has swept the country is a concern. The deep South that is used to strong heat in the summer is well over 100 degrees. Arizona is showing longtime records with heat 115 and above for many straight days. And Austin is in drought restriction, so I am keeping an eye on the garden to make sure the plants stay alive. It is wise to put off your hikes, golf or even the beach.

It’s like the opposite of winter and a blizzard. We stay inside to stay safe. Many people are unaware of the dangers of heat, so pay attention. Be wise. Rearrange your days so you get your errands finished and are inside in the heat of the day. You will find you have more energy. And you will manage to get through this climate change we are all facing.


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