In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire
To tear their clothes off and perspire
It’s one of those rules that the greatest fools obey
Because the sun is much too sultry – Noel Coward
Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Noel Coward, playwright, penned a song in 1931, Joe Cocker recorded a remarkable album (1971), and a slightly daft, retired Senior Chief often goes out in the summer heat at mid-day. That was yesterday and it was 111 degrees.
It is the first Saturday morning in a very long time that I “slept in”. I missed our Saturday prayer -hike! Even the dogs slept fitfully past the appointed hour for us to be up and out the door. Seven-thirty in the morning, for a Saturday, may seem like an unreasonable hour to be ready to start your weekend but not to me.
“Alexa, what is the temperature in Santee, California today?”
“it is currently seventy-nine degrees (F) with a forecast of one hundred -one degrees today.”
Oh, it’s a cooling-off day.
I was gently urged by my wife to take the dogs for their walk so she could sweep and mop. Billowing wisps of black dog hair in the hallway on the off-white tile and the cool house at this hour are her reasons for not procrastinating. As a prudent husband, I was out the door quickly. It is deserted outdoors this morning, including my friend who going golfing on Saturdays. The men who installed my neighbor’s new roof completed their work yesterday – in two days – and probably recuperating from heat exhaustion. Yet there are a couple workers at the primary school nearby – beeping back-up horns, construction barriers and piles of dirt, that will become a ball field before the children return in September. We pass a dog-walker with a Scottie, a real scrapper, who is very displeased that Dexter and Comet are on his sidewalk (they were here first). We exchange greetings and murmur “gotta get along before it gets hot” as we pass.
Continuing, Dexter, Comet and I see a couple neighbors, one who has a realtor’s “For Sale” sign in front, joining forces to have a big garage sale. But my furry appendages – particularly the black one who wants to pee on everything – encourage me to continue walking. Saturdays are generally a busy day for garage sales but I imagine it is a little warm, at 8 AM, today for bargain-hunters. The sellers were prepared with tables, canopies and chairs for a big day anyway. In East County (San Diego) there are the die-hard “pickers”, but no cable-channel television personalities roam our neighborhood. While there may be some gems to be found among another’s “gently-used” items, I saw no stopped vehicles with Baja California licenses, nor minivans piled high with beds and televisions. A couple vehicles with Texas plates were directly across the street. Perhaps this is an exodus sale? Texas is the new destination for Californians to start married life or the newly -retired, if social media is to be believed. But I do know several who have made an exponential improvement in their family life by relocating.
It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility. Yogi Berra
I have mused several times about packing up and heading to Texas. One of my best friends just returned from south Texas where his son – a teacher – and daughter-in-law just moved. But they may have some border restrictions that I will have to investigate. Apparently, you have to live one year in Texas, employed, before you can obtain residency? And there is the whole “Y’all” language thing. But I was stationed in San Antonio twenty-five years ago attending a military technical school, and I was raised in Tucson, Arizona, so I can adjust quickly.
And heat? Pssshaw. Twenty-one summers in El Cajon, California has given me armor -plating. But what’s this thing about torrential summer rain in-between one-hundred degree sunny days? As long as the dogs have an air-conditioned home they will live anywhere. That was the greatest improvement for staying put – Air Conditioning my home in 2016.
But my residency is not of my choosing. I may be mad to go out in the heat, but I am not foolish. Where mama wants to live, is where papa lives also.