When I moved to Ukiah last year, a friend gave me an invaluable piece of advice: “Don’t resist the heat. Give in. Let it wash over you.” At first I didn’t really understand, until that first hot day smacked me upside the head. “Don’t resist!” I admonished myself. I endeavored not to complain and not to hate it, and it worked. These days I’m more or less a heat lover, until it hits 105 or so. On those days, the plants will wilt no matter how much you watered them that morning. Empty mason jars in our back room seal themselves, with the familiar “tink!” being heard all afternoon. The most energetic among us languish. Diet is based on standing in front of a frozen freezer, eating anything that doesn’t require cooking, or going to a restaurant with A/C. On these days I really, truly have to submit and live my life based on staying cool. Here’s how I do it.
1) Get up early. When Carson’s home and it’s hot out, we generally get up at 5 am. When he isn’t here to drag me out of bed, I tend to sleep in but try to get up by 7. That way I can get everything done early and laze about during the heat of the day.
2) Avoid electricity. Even the heat from a lightbulb feels like searing heat when it’s 110 outside, so turning on the oven is out of the question. If we don’t already have a dinner plan I will probably make whatever it is first thing in the morning – boiling noodles for a pesto pasta salad, for instance. Even that heats up the kitchen, though.
3) Draw the blinds. We’re blessed with an attic fan and new windows, so we’re pretty well insulated. However, our central air is broken. Boo. During the day we keep all the windows and doors closed and all the blinds and shades drawn. Once it’s cooler outside than it is inside, we open everything up. This cools the house down beautifully if it’s under 100; once it breaks 100 degrees, nothing will cool the house down.
4) Go swimming. Pretty much every day I hit a friend’s pool, the river, the lake, the reservoirs at Cow Mountain, or at the very least the backyard sprinkler. As a result I have crazy swimming hair most of the time. Personal appearance has definitely tanked with the advent of summer – I wear the same running shorts and light tee just about every day. If Carson minds, he hasn’t complained yet!
5) Stay hydrated. Every morning I make several jars of iced tea, which is a more fun way to hydrate than drinking water. We also drink a lot of lemon water and fruit spritzers with sparkling water (and sometimes booze).
6) Give in. I lay on the floor a lot, and watch a lot of Netflix, and hang out with friends by the water. What I try not to do (and sometimes succeed) is complain. After all, what good will it do me?
7) When all else fails, head west. An hour and a half in the car rewards you with a 20-30 degree drop. Plus, the coast is beautiful.
What do you do to stay cool?