Surviving the Indiana Heat Wave of 2011

I was just looking back at the Icemageddon blog posts written a few months ago and had to laugh.  Indiana is currently in the middle of the longest, most brutal heatwave in more than 100 years. What’s with all these weather extremes?!

I’ll admit, I learned more during Icemageddon than I am learning during this sweat-fest I’ll now called Heatmageddon.  I really wanted to offer up some wonderful life lessons about what we can learn in the midst of this heatwave, and THIS is what I came up with:

1. When your air conditioner goes out on the hottest day of the year to date (which ours did), CALL MR. QUICK. Immediately. And search for online coupons (which I also did) so you can get a break in the cost of the repair.

2. Drink lots of icy water and lemonade from the time you wake up to the time your head hits the pillow at night. I fill a 2 gallon water server with ice, citrus slices and cold water in the morning and keep it sitting on the kitchen island with cups beside it all day long, so we don’t forget to say hydrated and refreshed.

3. I don’t recommend pulling weeds between sun-up and sun-down when the temps are over 90. Ever. It’s just not worth it. My neighbors might argue here, but getting a heat stroke just seems way worse than having a few rampant weeds sneaking their way into the yard.  The weeds will all freeze in a few months anyway so what’s the point?!

4. Whatever you do, don’t cook! Why heat up the kitchen when you could have yummy cold (and fast) foods like salads, sandwiches, fruit and cheese platters, veggies & dip, potato salad, cucumber sandwiches w/ cream cheese… mmm! These things are fun to eat and don’t require firing up a hot stove, standing over a grill or any other heat-related task. You might even buy yourself some extra time to get a cool bath, play Uno with the kids or look through a magazine!

5. If you can, maybe splurge on a meal at a chilly restaurant (at whatever point you get tired of cold food) and you still don’t have to heat up the house by cooking to enjoy a nice satisfying meal. (Tip your servers well, too. They’re saving you from having to lift a finger in this heat!)

6. Pets probably do not know their limits in the heat.  Keep them in, keep water available, and make sure their potty breaks are short before bringing them back into the cool air.

7. Fans.  Fans are so great.  On the porch, in the living room, wherever your family gathers.  Even in the air conditioning, something about keeping the air moving is refreshing. And isn’t that sweet little hum of the fan nice?  It just sounds like summer!

8. Make a summer-time play list featuring your favorite songs. Sure the heat is brutal, but you’re making memories, the kids are out of school and the schedule is (hopefully) more laid back than usual.  This season will past.  So celebrate the things you do love about it. Or better yet, do what my daughter did last night. Play your favorite Christmas song! Whatever gets you through.

9.  Ice your coffee in the morning. Now I am usually not a big fan of icing one’s coffee. But I was willing to give it a try when I woke up this morning and it was already like a sauna outside first thing in the morning. A steaming cup of coffee just didn’t seem like the right choice if I was going to stay cool all day.

10. Freeze stuff.  I currently have watermelon balls on skewers in the freezer for a cold, refreshing (not to mention healthy) snack.  I also hear about people freezing grapes and using them as ice cubes in their juice or sparkling drinks. Freezing those little tubes of Gogurt is also fun to create yogurt popsicles. Really, when the heat index is well over 100 degrees, you can freeze pretty much whatever you like and it’ll beat all your hot and room temperature options! Frozen chocolate is one of my faves.

11. Don’t go camping. I mean, seriously, what could possibly be fun and restful about camping when it’s dangerously hot??  Camp on the living room floor maybe, if you really have a strong need to sleep in a sleeping bag.  But really, I think maybe God created September and October for safe, healthy camping in Indiana.

12. Instead of trips to the zoo or the amusement park, where you’ll be sweating your brains out before you get from your car to the entrance, consider a local aquarium, children’s museum or indoor water slide until the worst of the heat wave is over. Also, I’m a big fan of the movie theater or even home movies on the couch during these sweltering days.

Well, there’s a dozen things that are helping my family survive the heat.  OH.  And one more thing.  Remember this crazy heat wave this winter when you would just love for your fingers to thaw out enough to open a package of hot chocolate.

Every season has its ups and downs. But we can make every season the best it can be with a little creativity.  What is working for you this summer?!

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