Midnight Sun Revisited

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

"The word that Mrs. Bronson is unable to put into the hot, still, sodden air is 'doomed,' because the people you've just seen have been handed a death sentence.

" . . . this is the eve of the end, because even at midnight it's high noon, the hottest day in history, and you're about to spend it in the Twilight Zone."

Rod Serling

The Twlight Zone – Nov. 17, 1961


For someone who would live on the beach, I sure don't like hot weather.

Why I chose to migrate from the mountains with their omnipresent evergreens and babbling brooks when I was in my 20s to the steaming South is beyond me. And why I left Georgia to get closer to the equator is still anyone's guess.

Or is it?

Truth is, as much as I dislike hot weather, I disdain cold weather more. That's the real reason I keep inching South - I must evade snow, ice and temperatures in the teens.

But folks, let me tell you, this heat wave we're going through is stifling. I've always said you can put on enough to stay warm, but you can't take off enough to cool down. It's illegal most places.

I suppose a lot of factors go into my aversion to heat.

First, I do not like to sweat. I know, I know. Sweating is how the body cools itself. It rids your body of toxins. I know all that.

And if I sweated like a normal person, it would be one thing. But I don't.

I'm obviously not a genteel Southern lady who "glistens" nor am I a normal woman who perspires.

I sweat. Buckets.

And don't be blaming it on hormones or weight. I've sweated my entire life, as did my daddy. My mother? She glistened.

And then I have this hair. Man, do I have a lot of hair. Even when it's short it's a retention pond for sweat. Now that it's long, I've given up on having any semblance of style. Humidity and sweat have put an end to "good hair day" for this woman unless you count a bun or ponytail – wet ones at that.

And then there's the inability to breathe, which I am told is essential for living.

Too often I remark to my husband that I really feel horrible for those who have breathing conditions. That's always in the same breath as, "This heat is oppressive."

For the past several weeks, almost daily, I'm reminded of the Twilight Zone episode where the earth has been shaken from its orbit and is moving closer to the sun.

"Midnight Sun" depicts people in a New York City apartment trying to cope with 100-plus degree temperatures and realizing that fans, air conditioners and baths no longer work. They are doomed.

That episode also focuses on how the heat causes people to do things they normally would not – acts of desperation born out of discomfort and frustration.

I get it. I totally get it.

I think we're all a little crabbier these days and the heat is our scapegoat.

We are approaching the end of the dog days of summer, but I know it's not the end of our heatwave.

September and October will be as hot and humid as it is now.

I look forward to January and the blissful 68 degree average temperature.

I only hope my "Midnight Sun" adventure doesn't turn into The Day After Tomorrow.

I left my snowshoes back in the mountains and for some reason I doubt the dollar store stocks them.