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Southern Stories
Jan 27/17

Summer Cooler Than Others: Southern Ingenuity Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments

A friend of mine is facing his first summer in the South. Not long ago, while on vacation in Michigan, he texted me to say, “I see it’s 85 degrees down there. Could you make it cooler before I get back?”

“Oh, honey,” I thought. “Bless your heart. It’s only June. You’re never gonna make it. Come July or August, you’ll long for a day that caps out at 85 degrees. You’ll see overnight temperatures that hover around that mark and then skyrocket up another 20 degrees when they see the sun.”

The natives know what I’m talking about. Those summer days when the mercury finally drops below 100, and we call that a happy reprieve.

I tried to explain to my friend that in order to survive he’s got to tune out the heat. If you concentrate on it, it’ll crush you. It wins. But if you ignore it, it becomes merely an annoyance. Like background noise that eventually weaves into the fabric of your day. Or a bad smell that blessed habituation incorporates into your surroundings.

But sooner or later, the swelter will become downright intolerable, and that’s when you start to really get smart.

See, I believe the heat could explain why pragmatic Southerners are some of the most inventive people in the country. It’s sort of like when the mind of a hungry cartoon character turns everyone into a walking roasted chicken, in the face of oppressive heat, Southerners tend to see swimming pools everywhere they look.



Hay bale photo courtesy of the CowDivas.



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