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.