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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: Stuck in the parking lot

 


To say it has been hot the past few days in Three Forks would be an understatement.

I’m thinking not only could you have fried an egg on the sidewalk, but it was also warm enough to have cooked a complete Irish breakfast with ham, bacon, sausage, toast, and potatoes.

I know many people do well in the heat, but I am not one of them.

When I was little, my grandparents retired and moved to Arizona, and we would take a vacation there each summer. I’m not sure why we didn’t just go ahead and do this during Christmas vacation, but instead, we went when it was well over 100 degrees each day.

I remember the first time we flew into Phoenix and landed from Salt Lake City around 10 p.m. It was still over 100 degrees, and I wondered what in the world we were doing.

On one of the first few days of the vacation, I was asked to take out the trash at my grandparents’ condo and, for some reason, thought it would be acceptable to walk across the parking lot without shoes shortly after lunch.

About halfway through the parking lot, my feet were so hot that I just froze and stood there for about 20 minutes cooking like that previously mentioned Irish breakfast. Finally, someone came outside to see what was taking me so long and had to carry me inside.

I ended up getting heatstroke that trip, and it has happened several times since then, although I’ve wised up enough to start wearing shoes.

Fast forward several decades, and I really don’t see many 100-degree days living in Montana, so to see them in June has made me a bit crazy. So along with concern about how dry everything is getting and the potential for fires, I’m trying to figure out how I can cool down in my house.

I wish I had central air, but I don’t. My office in Three Forks is nice and cool, but it is getting to be ridiculous when I’m home.

Over the past few years, we have figured out ways to keep it cool with fans, a couple of window air conditioning units, and blinds, but it doesn’t matter when it gets to triple digits.

Often when the house is too hot, I will go outside, but it has been staying warm pretty late, so I can’t win whatever I do.

I know many people who can handle not having central air, but the older I get, the more I wish I had it, and the next place I move to, it will be a requirement.

It’s a bit sad that I’m already writing about being too hot when it is still June, and I cannot even imagine how bad it will be in July and August when it doesn’t cool off nearly as much at night.

My cats are also not thrilled. I’m surprised they don’t throw more of a fit because I’d probably move to Antarctica if I had that much fur.

One thing that gets me through the hottest of days is daydreaming of having a pool to go along with my central air.

For that to happen, I would have to move somewhere like Phoenix, but I don’t think I could handle it 100 degrees at 10 p.m., with or without central air. I have a stepbrother in Arizona who says they treat August like we treat a bad January storm in Montana. They only leave when they need to.

Hopefully, it will be a mild July and August with some moisture, and if not, I’ll be daydreaming of lounging in the pool.

 

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