I remember hearing this expression when I was a youngster – my parents would say “oh ya, they’re doin’ great – they’ve got it made in the shade now.” I’ll bet it was an expression that a beatnik like Maynard Krebs would have said. But that saying, just like a lot of other fun, but archaic, expressions back in the day, like declaring someone is “sittin’ pretty” when they are doing well, have gone the way of the VW Bus and Beetle.
Get set to sweat!
That’s what our weather forecasters told us last week already – well, they got that right! Today I did not meander the pathways at Council Point Park, but instead I marched through the aisles at Meijer, wending my way around the perimeter of the store enough times to make four miles – any more trips and I might have been arrested for loitering. I’m only kidding about the loitering of course, because I saw a few other walkers there, and besides, I’ve been shopping at this store since the good old Farmer Jack supermarket closed down suddenly in 2006 and Meijer instantly became my go-to spot for groceries. I chitchat with many of the clerks while I am there and know several by name, including Barb, the weekday greeter, who is married to the former guard at the building where our office suite is, so we always stop to shoot the breeze.
Speaking of a breeze, there was none this morning, and that’s why I opted for the air conditioning to get in my steps – it was a sultry 75 F (23 C), with a real feel of nearly 80 (26 C), as the humidity was so high. Just walking from the car through the parking lot left beads of sweat on my brow, so I headed for the big freezers and refrigerated section first, sidling past the frozen sweet peas while gazing longingly at the Klondike Bars.
We’ve been in this wicked heat wave now for several weeks, but the end of the week will be oppressive – Friday and Saturday are predicted to be 96 F (35 C) with a heat index of 105 F (40 C) and storms both days. I fear a power outage from electricity overload – it happened last year and I lost my power for a day last June. I also worry about severe weather, including tornadoes, with this heat.
As to staying cool as a cucumber, it’s pretty difficult whether you are walking on two legs or four.
If you’re lucky and your father built you a tree house, that’s the perfect venue to stay cool, up amongst the trees and having your parents sending cool drinks and lunch up to your hideaway via a pulley system, as you while away the hours on hot Summer days. This is the same home I featured a few years ago – they have décor that is homespun and cozy-looking and I’ve complimented the homeowners on their décor several times through the years. The Dad built this tree house five years ago and I spotlighted it in a blog post. I had watched its progress over the Summer of 2014. You can check out that post right here, or see how that work in progress looked in 2014 and how it looks today, all covered in ivy and with many more enhancements – perhaps this is a version of a small house, only up in a tree.
But how do you keep cool if you’re not cocooned in a tree house or in your own air-conditioned home or at work? I don’t know how the people who work outside do it – I was pretty tuckered out after doing my steps yesterday.
When it comes to shady things, I aim for the shady side of the Park in this hot weather. One loop has more trees that are closer to the pathway and in some places form a canopy over the path – whew, it feels good to be in that area, and that is where the most birds and squirrels are as well.
Perhaps a little sit-down was in order.
I might have wanted to have a sit down, but there were a few issues that I could see.
This used to be a park bench and suddenly it was tumbling down; some cement and a few wooden slats are all that remain now. That happened Monday after I left. It was good for some critter pictures as the squirrels used to run along the top of the bench, or perch nicely while noshing on nuts.
While you could have a sit-down here, the view is nothin’ special.
This bench has been warped like this for as long as I’ve walked at the Park … you could take a load off your feet, but I bet you’d get a sinking feeling, although it’s perfect to perch on if you’re a squirrel.
Speaking of squirrels – how are my peanut pals faring these days?
Last year, I did a post showing the squirrels up in the tree branches. They looked listless with their tails stretched out like a banner, and all four legs dangling down. Last week in a post you saw a squirrel stretched out in the shady part of the perimeter path, similarly looking lifeless.
Yesterday I saw one of my furry friends up in a tree, in a similar position – he looked at me as if to say “go away, I want to be alone in my misery” … I took several shots of him.
Then I jiggled the bag of peanuts and told him I was going to leave a little pile at the base of the tree for when he felt better. I opened the Ziploc bag which I had just filled that morning and a fresh peanut smell wafted through the warm and humid air. I think he came to life because suddenly he seemed to say: “I was just stretched out contemplating life and very very hot, but wait … is that peanuts I smell? Well perhaps I could persuade you to put the peanuts up here next to me on the branch – what say you Linda?”
I stayed awhile to see just how tempting those peanuts were and soon, very slowly, he descended the tree, grabbed a peanut, then scrambled back up to his shady haven.
Stay cool in this sizzling weather, and enjoy treats – especially the ice cream variety!