Still Summer: A Rant

It’s generally at about this point in the year that I start to lose heart.

I’ve gone on in several previous posts about how freakishly hot Texan summers are compared to the benign warmth of my British native land. I’ve compared the temperature to blast furnaces and ovens. I’ve wondered whether Texan solar photons actually have physical mass. I regularly joke about it being “quite cool – only as hot as hell today”.

But the really mind-sapping thing about Texas summers is that they go on and on. And on. And on.

Texans joke that their state has four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Christmas.

It’s funny, but it’s also true in the most disconsolate kind of way.

By late August, I’m ready for it to start cooling down again. Late August/early September in the UK has as much chance of being “need a jacket” weather as it has of being weather you could comfortably wear a T-shirt in.

In Texas, apart from these improbable thunderheads they get, the only clouds you see between mid-May and early October are ones that got lost on their way to somewhere with real seasons. Late August still has nearly as high a probability of 100+°Fahrenheit (approaching 40°C) as it does of weather in the merely ghastly hot range of the low- to mid-90s.

Texas has “weather you can comfortably wear a T-shirt in” for about 2 weeks somewhere in April and another week and a half towards the end of October or beginning of November. Between those times, there is nothing you can comfortably wear unless it has built-in air conditioning. And in the short, sharp winter, it’s almost as miserably cold as it gets miserably hot in summer.

Still, you can dress for the cold. You can’t undress for the heat without getting arrested.

As someone whose job requires them to work outside, it’s all very disheartening.

And yet, this is what I get paid for.

You have to admire the Comanches and the Caddo and the Kiowa and all the other Native American nations that called this part of the world long before A/C was even a whispered possibility in some white man’s fever dream. To survive all that the Texan climate can throw at them with no refuge beyond the occasional shade tree – that’s impressive. Evidently they are hardy and enduring people.

Not so much this poor Brit. I’m ready for summer to be over, and instead we have at least two and a half months’ worth of Still Summer yet to come.


4 thoughts on “Still Summer: A Rant

  1. Guess it’s not going to help much to tell you that it’s definitely getting towards autumnal here?! Hope you get some respite from the heat soon!…

  2. We are winding down our nice third week of summer here in Northern N.Y and getting ready for our 10 months of winter! —So that “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” thing is just a myth?

    • The saying dates from the days when we had an empire and the various locals’ incredulity at our naive thought that the sun was always a benign, gently warming orb. I’ve lived in Tx long enough to learn how obnoxious a summer really can be. And I’m a redhead: I burn in the woods on a cloudy day.
      The “Mad dogs and Englishmen” thing is true enough; I’ve just learned not to when I don’t have to. We can occasionally be taught!

      • Yes, I get it…we moved to the States when I was a kid and I did find this ..”weather so cold you can die” and “woods so vast you can get lost and die” a bit alarming at first….it did seem a bit dramatic, but it happens every year up here. I guess we all evolve. I love this part of NY in the foothills of the Adirondacks now.

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