Friday, July 9, 2010
In a low energy future...I'm toast
It's been in the upper 90s during the day for over a week now. The night temperatures have been staying around 70 and while there is a break in the action forecast for tonight, next week's temps look to be cruising in the high 80s for much of the week. I wish I could say that we've kept a low energy profile during this wretched period but it would be a lie. We've kept ceiling fans, a box fan and a table fan running pretty much continuously and while I've taken measures such as closing drapes during the day and opening the house up at night to cool it off I've also turned on the whole house filtration/fan system that brings the cool subterranean air from the basement up into the rest of the house on the hottest of days. Can't wait to see my next electric bill. Frankly, the high humidity combined with the scalding temperatures makes it feels like Alabama around here. I've been trying to figure out how to stay more comfortable when it's this hot, using as little energy as possible and can't quite come up with a scenario that works. We did move downstairs to the finished basement which runs about twenty degrees cooler than the rest of the house. We did lay around like wet rags, drinking gallons of fluids and resting for three days. But that only goes so far with three normally energetic and busy children. For the last two days we decided to hang at the YMCA; running and swimming in their extremely high-energy facilities. And it was great. I rationalized that we were staying cool with hundreds of people rather than just cooling our house with five people...
We haven't had rain in days and days and I've needed to water the garden every morning in order to save the cool weather crops like cabbage and brussels sprouts and lettuce. But did I use rain barrel saved water for this task? Oh, no. I ran the hose. What does this say about my future viability quotient? That in a hotter world I am resorting to using electricity to pull the water out of my well to water my garden. There is so much I could address here about my prospects in a low energy future but I'm too hot.
In the garden the corn looks sun scorched and the potatoes appear to be protesting in the form of wilting greenery. The basil is pathetic, the beet greens are looking as if they've been attacked by a blow-dryer and the cosmos blooms are anemic. The cheese pumpkins, however, look fantastic and the tomatoes have lots of beautiful blossoms and I saw little purple flowers on the beans the other day so we may have dilly beans this winter. I, however, am a wilted, wiped out mess. Nothing can stop me in my tracks like heat and high humidity can. Normally, I'm buzzing around the house in a non-stop fashion tending to various and sundry chores and child or animal related crises or must-respond-to events or requests. Once the mercury rises above 82 though, it's a different story. I just can't deal. I mean, under normal conditions I understand how rest and relaxation are supposed to work, just not as they apply to me. But now, when the temperatures are practically unbearable, all laundering has ceased. The vacuum remains silent. Books are strewn everywhere. The dust bunnies are gathering forces and planning their siege. Dog and cat hair clump on the rugs and furniture. The children's bathroom is vile. I did shake out the floor runners yesterday but it was so exhausting I needed to lay down and rest for fifteen minutes. Thank God for the dishwasher or the dishes would be piled from here to kingdom come. Slovenliness ain't looking so bad right now. I guess the big question is: does one get used to the heat, eventually? If not, in a low-energy future where the heat and humidity reign..I'm toast.