Thoughts About The Heat — By Gene K. Garrison

Location: Sedona, Arizona

Date: June 30, 2013

You’ve seen the news on TV — red-hot weather reports from the Southwestern U.S. I just looked at the thermometer outside our dining area — a hundred and seven in the shade and we live a hundred and ten miles north of Phoenix where it must be at least a hundred and twenty. I’ll check. Well, a hundred and nineteen. That’s ridiculous.

Even more ridiculous was the day in June of 1990 when the temperature outside in the Phoenix area was a hundred and twenty-two. I heard it on TV, opened the kitchen door to see if it were true. It was. I felt as though I had opened a pre-heated-oven door. I could feel my brain beginning to bake. I slammed the door quickly, very quickly, and switched channels to hear what was going on at Sky Harbor Airport. Flights were being cancelled because they had no records of aircraft flying in those superheated temperatures. They didn’t know what would happen, so they weren’t taking any chances. Advice was given to keep people safe — number one was to stay in your air-conditioned home if possible; two, don’t climb mountains or go on hikes; three, keep your pets inside; and four, drink plenty of water. The heroes didn’t have the opportunity to stay home. They were out distributing water to the homeless and the poor who weren’t living in the most ideal conditions.

Two evenings ago my husband and I, tilted back in our lounge chairs, with feet propped up on our respective footstools, watched Al Gore’s award-nominated documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Watching the global changes to our beleaguered planet was another wake-up call. We’ve been told about it for years, but we needed to be shown the snow- and ice-melts, land barren that has not been barren in our memories, rivers running dry,
and neglect all over the globe. We rated it five stars.

So we try to keep cool and not do anything foolish, like walk the dog in the heat of the day, and keep enough food in the house to tide us over to more sensible weather — and do the big things, like conserve energy, don’t pollute, keep our forests cleaned up, don’t add to the waste strewn around the countryside.

This is our home, this little blue planet. We have some housekeeping to do.

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