Wednesday, May 21, 2014


It should be obvious that my schedule has changed somewhat with the end of the term and the beginning of the summer hiatus. Sleeping until the entirely-too-late hour of seven in the morning since getting back from my Michigan adventures has had some good effects; I feel better, anymore, although I cannot say that I look or act any better. And I am not getting less work done than I did while the semester was on, although it is of somewhat different sort. Freelancing continues, as does work on The Work, while grading is fortunately set aside for a time and lesson prep can be put off for a while as my upcoming schedule solidifies itself. Each is appreciated.

Perhaps less appreciated is the encroaching summer heat. The formal beginning of summer, as determined celestially by the solstice, is a month away, yet the weather around Sherwood Cottage has begun to act as though the summer is in full force. My wife and I will need to do somewhat to secure the place against the warmth; it is no better suited to keeping out the febrile heat than it was to keep out the biting cold earlier this year. We plan to hang curtains between rooms, blocking off the kitchen and living room from one another so that the cool of the air conditioner in one room does not have to fight so hard against the warmth of cooking. (I plan also to try to do more cooking on the grill, following Robb Walsh's note that there is some perversity in simultaneously heating the house while trying to cool it.) The idea that isolating the parts of the house from one another will aid in keeping at least some parts comfortable without sending our utility bills to unacceptable heights is one we bring with us from Bedfordside Garden in The City; it worked decently enough there, and so it ought to help here.

At present, we run the air conditioners only in the later afternoon, when the heat gets oppressive, and when we seek to sleep, so that the compressors can remove some of the stickiness from the air. And I have to wonder at the changes that have taken place in me and mine, that we who grew up in Texas and lived so long in Louisiana are now so discommoded by warmth that is not yet summer--and that we know is not yet summer. Did the time in The City so weaken us against such things? Are we so much less enduring than we were? And if so, how can we return to the hardihood our childhoods ought to have instilled in us? (It is not the only return with which I am concerned; my physicality has diminished somewhat as I have done the work I have done here. I really need to start working out again, even if it is only in going to the gym on campus. Ms. 8 deserves to have a healthy father, and I am not doing as well in that regard as I ought to do.)

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