I am not taking the heat very well this year. I know it is always hot in July and I complain about it every year, but I seem to enjoy July less and less every summer.
How did we survive growing up with no air conditioning and chopping cotton all day? Our parents would probably be arrested today for child abuse if they took us to the fields when the temperatures hit triple digits. I do remember taking off a few hours during the hottest part of the day and working later in the evenings, but the heat never kept us from working at least part of the day. When the weeds were out, we had to save the cotton.
As I have said before, we can't miss what we never had, but we had to be miserable. Maybe we were just tougher in those days. I know we spent a lot of time outside, so we were more accustomed to the heat. We did not have all of the fun, electronic toys kids have today, so there was no reason to stay inside. We were not allowed to watch television all day, either. Of course we only had three channels and it could not hold our attention for very long.
We always enjoyed the swimming pool at Manila. It was a great way to cool off and visit with friends. As I look back, I guess the movie theater was air conditioned because I do not remember being hot when we went to an afternoon matinee.
At this stage of my life, I do not think I would be able to chop cotton or hold any job requiring being outside all day in the heat.
I do worry about people who work outside during the summer. There are a lot of jobs that must be done outside, such as construction, highway work, farming, plumbing, landscaping, and many more. I know they get used to the high temperatures, but it still can be dangerous. A lot of factories and inside jobs are very hot, also.
I know there are places even hotter and more humid than Northeast Arkansas, but I do not want to visit them in the summer time. I have heard people say it is not the heat but the humidity. To me hot is hot. When it gets 90 and above, I am looking for a place with air conditioning.
The weather gives us something to talk about. When it is bad -- cold or hot, we can look forward to better weather. Some people prefer the winter cold and others the summer heat. I fall into the winter crowd. I can always put on an extra layer of clothes.
Again we need to take precaution and do our best to avoid heat injuries. Some of the tips I have read include drinking plenty of fluids (avoid drinks containing alcohol). The best way to replace salt and minerals when heavy sweating occurs is to drink fruit juice or sports beverage during exercise or working in the heat.
Wear sunscreen to protect skin from the sun. Slow down during the hottest part of the day.
I read when the temperature is in the high 90s or higher, a fan will not prevent heat-related illness. A cool shower or bath is more effective way to cool off. If anyone does not have an air conditioner they should try to visit a shopping mall, public library or other air conditioned places during the hottest part of the day.
We should watch for the warning signs of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion if we are working or playing outdoors in the heat.
We should check on our family members often and remember to slow down when the temperatures are extremely high.
We should also take care of our pets and make sure they have a shady area and fresh water if they stay outside. They get hot just like people.
I predict we will have several more weeks of hot weather (we always do) and then we will have fall. I, for one, am counting the days.