At this very moment, at 5:07 pm, it is 81 degrees in my house. That’s IN…the house. If this was mid- January in Stonington, Maine, I’d probably be snowed in and worried that the pipes were going to freeze and then burst. But it is not. It is the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, a week after the official start of summer. Usually this coincides with the beginning of brush fire season. But we’ve already had a few of those. And lest you be surprised, a couple did start today. And now, I get to watch the progress of these brush fires on every single local TV news show for hours on end.
If there are any readers of my blog on the east coast, rest assured, compared to your weather problems, like Hurricane Sandy, I am well aware you are probably thinking to yourself, ‘What is she complaining about? I see the pictures every year of the Rose Bowl parade on New Year’s Day and the weather in LA is fantastic. She must have stayed too long in the sun.” They would be right. Sometimes, if you can believe this, there is such a thing as “too much sun.” Living here sometimes feels like I am trapped in a Twilight Zone episode, or a female version of the Bill Murray character in the movie “Ground Hog’s Day.” When there are days on end of relentless sun and heat I fantasize that what is really happening to me is that I am having some unpleasant dream from which I will hopefully wake up.
The heat might not break until as late as this coming Tuesday. Not to worry, I went to the market to get several days’ worth of food so I wouldn’t have to get in my car to drive to the supermarket. Do you know what it is like to go to the grocery store in this kind of weather? Doesn’t matter I am going to tell you anyway.
My process, when I know it is going to be a hot day is to, after I drink my first cup of coffee in the morning, go out to my car in the driveway still in my nightgown (note: car is already parked under the huge coral tree for maximum shade), start it up and roll down the windows. So that hopefully, when I start my journey, the car won’t be 112 degrees inside (I believe in being proactive). It doesn’t start to get interesting until once I get to the store, which in my case is Gelson’s. OK, I am in the parking lot. Where does one park when there is no shade in the form of trees or a parking structure? Keeping that in mind, and with my very limited sense of direction, I look up to see how the sun is positioned. Once I do that, I park in a space that angles my car opposite from a direct hit from the sun. And finally, before I turn off the engine, I roll down the front windows, just a little bit. Because at this point, I don’t care if anyone tries to break-in or steal my car ‘cause I am too damn hot.