hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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August 29, 2013

Cool ways to beat the summer heat

My mama used to say, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

What mama failed to tell me was this: What do you do if the heat is all around you — inside, outside, scorching your mind and tormenting your body?

How do you handle a heat wave that lasts a week with no immediate relief in sight?

By the time you read this, the third week of July will have melted into oblivion. But who’s to say we won’t get an encore in August and even September. I’ve seen some pretty hot days after Labor Day, just when you thought the cool, crisp air of fall was beckoning us.

It is mid-July and like all of New England, I am sitting still and sweating up a pool. All it takes is my fingers running across a keyboard. My wife wanted to move some bedroom furniture around. I told her to forget about anything strenuous, except opening a can of beer and pouring it into a frosted mug.

“No walk today, dear, unless it’s from the kitchen to the TV room. The den you wanted painted will just have to wait another day, week or month. What’s the rush?”

We have abandoned our camp in the woods and headed back home to an air-conditioned condo. It spells r-e-l-i-e-f. I pity those poor people without it.

Some clown on TV weighed the advantages of hot versus cold. Would we rather freeze in the dead of winter or swelter in the summer’s heat? I can take heat. It’s the humidity that gets me down.

“You get used to it,” says a Floridian. He denied bringing this heat with him from the Sunshine State.

“You go from an A/C car to an A/C office to an A/C home,” he tells me. “The summer comes and goes before you actually feel it.”

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