What comes to mind in 106’ F, in the middle of summer? Maybe the beach, an ice, cold beer perhaps while lounging in the shade, swinging on a hammock? Or, how about a back-yard pool all sparkling in the sun-light, with an air-mattress floating easily along with the rhythm of the pool pump. Yep, that’s where I’m going with this, our back-yard pool.
This is just a simple, single, ring blow up, 15′ X 42″ pool. It’s our ‘first -to -us’ pool that we bought during last year’s heat wave. Nothing expensive, nor is it fancy. But boy, did we ever appreciate it in that heat wave. We didn’t expect such weather, so I guess you could say it almost caught us with our pants down! It was that hot! We were breaking records left and right! I was monitoring our weather temperatures for Southern Ontario with our friends down in Mississippi and we were keeping up, occasionally passing them!! With no AC in the house, I quickly did some shopping and found this bargain of a pool online. I made an offer to which it was accepted. What a deal I got! It came with everything needed, the pump, hoses, ladder, tarp, including some left-over cleaning chemicals from the previous year and a promise that it didn’t leak.
We wasted no time getting it home and setting it up. Everyone is anxious and kind of impatient. ‘Kind of impatient!!??’ is really tongue in cheek if you know what I mean. Just think about it. You’re taking a whack (means more than a handful) of Canadians, who are used to the cooler temperatures, don’t have AC and throwing them a steady, record, breaking heat wave of a summer! It’s like you suffer 24/7 with every body part swollen, sweating, sticky, and tired! You don’t want to move for nothing! But, life goes forward so begrudgingly so do you…slowly that is. But not now! Relief is staring us in the face and we are moving as fast as we can. Tag-teaming to get this sucker up! While one is rolling it out, another is in the house watching the video on the how to! Yes, you know it …we have ‘backward joes’ here too. Set up first, read instructions later, and then start over. But this time we struck lucky! Set up was a breeze. A hot one, but a breeze none-the-less.
What we didn’t account for was how long it would take to fill the pool, with the garden hose on the farm. The city-girl where we bought the pool from, said it only took her 4 hours, but being our first time and guesstimating, we thought maybe 3 days?? You know, like we didn’t want to run the well dry. So we would run it a bit and let it rest, then run some more. Always keeping an eye on the time it would take to refill our holding tank for house water.
After the third day we were almost ½ way!! After a week, and still not completely full, we gave in and climbed in. OH! now can you spell relief! It was the blessing of the summer! How long it took to fill it, no longer mattered. The rest of the summer went swimmingly! We went from aching, sweating, sticky, crabby and a whole whack of adverbs to discribe how we felt in that heat, to calm, refreshed, chilled out, loving humans again! This would be water therapy at it’s finest! We enjoyed it so much that when the season was over, we lovingly (yes, LOVINGLY) drained, dried, and carefully folded the pool up and stored in it the house for protection. A battle plan for next summer, was already forming.
The battle plan did work! This year we unrolled the carefully stored, summer life-saver in a pre-planned spot. The cement dog kennel!! Believe it! Yep, we moved Deeds (our farm dog) out for the summer, and the pool went in. A way better location for three reasons: 1) it’s a cement pad; no grass is killed 2) fence is already set up 3) neighbour can fill the pool.
Yes, you read that right. When the neighbour heard how long it took to fill the pool, because we were rightly so in taking our time with the well. He laughed and said, “but if you can set up the pool closer to your drive, I could just drive in and fill it in one day with a tanker of water!” The looks on our faces made him laugh again, with a jolly reply of, “just call me when you’re ready next year”. (Gotta love old farmers and their ways, better yet, thank God for good neighbours!)
So that’s it! This year, the pool was filled in less than 12 hours!! And it only took that long because our neighbour had to make 2 trips. He first used the left-over water in his tanker (it’s the tanker he uses to water his crops with fresh water), and then came back the next morning with a full tank. How simple was that! And the charge for it all? Well I guess you can chalk that up to the blessing of neighbours looking out for each other. We are very thankful to have them.
This summer has proven to be another record breaker of odd sorts for us. We have gone from too much rain, which held up the farmers from getting their crops in, in the usual time. To high heat and strong winds, drying things up much too quick! Then, came a brief spell of wonderful temps steady in the mid. 70s but no rain! Wonderful for sleeping but again, not so good for the farmers. And now it’s from mid 70’s to high 90’s in what seemed over night!
In such high and unusual temperatures, when your body temperature rises, you can lose as much as two liters of sweat, meaning your body has a harder time keeping cool. Great for those like myself trying to lose weight! But not so great for those who are having to deal with ‘hot flashes’ already! Just put yourself in their shoes when they don’t have AC to cool off in. Add to that the daily harping, and whining of those who do have AC and yet still complain about the heat!!! And should they temporarily lose AC….. Ohh, well, their world just got sooo tough and the pity party starts! I can just imagine what goes through the minds of menopausal women and those without, both the young and old at high risk of serious complications, even death, when having to bare the weight of listening to, or reading such self-centeredness of those who have AC. I be willing to say they are thinking, ‘oh shut it!’ (of course I’m being kind) it’s more like the equivalent side of road rage. This is reality and hitting more and more people everyday. Brings whole new meaning to ‘heat wave’!
(Just the other day, I read in a news article about excessive hot weather heading our way. Heat warnings and watches for the areas of the Midwest from Texas to Canada, and heat index values over 110 degrees Fahrenheit up to 117 degrees!! My first thought? Compassion for the elderly and those without a resource of keeping cool. Things are going to get very hard. I hope they find ways to cool off. This thought prompted the list below of inexpensive ways to help).
Back to the story…
It’s the middle of July now, and the heat wave has arrived. Our apparel is now officially one of convenience for the pool. Keep the swim-suits handy or just leave them on for the quick, sanity, cool down dip. I opted for the ‘keep it on’ and just throw on a long, button-shirt. That way, the family doesn’t have tend with nightmares in the heat of the night. Can you imagine… the visual, of what I’m hoping to ‘sweat off’ looks like in nightmares? (grinning, sorry…no not really J I just love get’n your goat like that!) Anyways… Opting to leave on the swim-suit allows a faster escape for whenever the ol’ body’s hormones start to send the warning bells and whistles of, the temperature is a ris’n! I can, at any given moment, sound off those precious words, “who wants to go in the pool?” Funny how the pool-yard can be a more accepting place for a certain apparel.
Minimum three times a day for the cool down. The final time is just an hour before it’s sunset, followed by the evening chores of freshening all pets and farm animals water before hunkering the farm. I throw on my button shirt unravel the garden hose and git’r done. This is not done in the common heat wave phrase, “walk slow; drink lots” mode. Oh noo! With sunset comes mosquitoes! And I’m not about to go and put on layers of the common farmer apparel in this heat just to hunker the animals! So it boils down to a matter comfort, convenience vs. mosquitoes. Last night, I got out of there with only one bite! And yes, it was worth it.
AC, swimming pools, and running around ‘butt naked’ what other ways can we find to chill out? Although, I would not recommend going ‘butt naked’, not even with your socks on! That is, unless your over all plan is to sit in an air-conditioned jail cell!?! Maybe you’d rather give a try at some of these ideas instead. I did a brief Google and here are some suggestions I found.
‘Back in the day’ (I just love that saying ;), they had a second story balcony commonly called the ‘sleeping balcony’. Yep, they use to sleep outside, under the stars. I imagine they used mosquito type netting around them, though. The equivalent to that, for us, would probably be a tent.
And to cut this short because that excessive heat has started. The heat index right now is 114′ F !! I’m sweat’n those buckets just sitt’n here type’n. I can faintly here those ‘precious words’ beckoning to come out, so I’ll cut this to a quick list:
– Cooking outside on the (propane) grill
– Use the crock pot rather the oven
– Preparing salads for dinner
– Having a quick, cool shower before bed to make sleeping easier
– Take an ice pack to bed, wrapped in a zip-lock bag and cloth,
– Keep the blinds and other window coverings shut to keep the sun out
– Run the ceiling fan and make sure it’s on the summer setting
– set a dish of ice-cubes in front of a table fan
Oh! And one last thought…don’t forget all those beloved pets and animals we are charged over to tend to. They too suffer in the same heat wave with the same health risks. Be sure to check them frequently and provide fresh cool water/ice and shade. Those under us are a reflexion of who we are.
Stay ‘way cool’ my friends!