Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mother Nature's Having Cold Flashes!

When my wife and I booked our Dominican Republic beach vacation for May, I thought we had really missed the boat on timing. Of course, a beach vacation is wonderful any time of year. But, somehow, running off to the tropics when it seems like you should be hiring a tauntaun just to get to the grocery is so much more exciting than going the very week every lilac bush within a 50-mile radius is blooming lavishly. I mean, who wants to escape lilacs?

To make matters less dramatic still, the day before we left for the D.R., it was hot. Not quite "quick, turn on the AC" hot, yet, but still, hot. Nonetheless, we completely loved our time in the sun and water. We spent our mornings bobbing in the ocean (Jeannene with snorkel equipment) and our afternoons making the circuit of the pool, books in hand, between pauses for handstands and giggling. Sometimes, we dragged one another around the pool by the feet while the other laid back and read. We were profoundly grateful to have an air conditioned hotel room where we could de-sticky-fy when we'd been away from the water too long.

When we came back to Hoth---erm, Michigan---it actually felt like we had leapt nearly directly into summer, even though we'd had reports that it was 32 degrees (yes, fahrenheit) over the weekend. I thought, "Oh, man, just one week of spring and I missed it!"

Monday confirmed my conviction that summer had arrived. While I like to wait until June to turn on the air, I contemplated an early switch flip. I had the windows open all day and the cats were delighted at the breezes, when they came. They spent most of the time flopped on hard, smooth surfaces in an attempt to get cool, though. I positively swooned over the fully leafed-out maple tree all day.

Even better proof that summer had arrived was the emergence of the backyard neighbor kids from their home in swimsuits. Their babysitter, amid much ecstatic dancing and chattering on the part of the kids, hooked up a bright orange sprinkler hose and ran it down the hill toward our yard. The kids were all a-twitter with excitement. I watched with delight as the kids joyfully and exuberantly leapt, spun, and twisted through the sprinkler and landed among the field of tall wishes (in the form of dandelions gone to seed) between our yards. It was splendid!

We went to bed debating whether we should assist the house in cooling itself. We slept with windows flung wide and sheet and light quilt tossed aside. We wrestled off the odd cat who, crazily, thought it was a good idea to sleep fur to skin. I didn't quite pant, but I did wonder if I would ever sleep.

Yesterday morning, though, we awoke with our quilt clutched close and a bedful of chilly kitty cats. The air had turned brisk overnight and socks and a hoodie were required of me on my errands. I left the bedroom windows open while I worked downstairs, but the kitchen door and living room windows remained firmly shut.

When Jeannene returned from work and I popped upstairs before we went to dinner, I felt the frigid bedroom air and knew those windows had to be closed before she got anywhere near the bedroom! I'd re-opened them after my errands so the room wouldn't get hot, which appeared to be a tactical error. It got into the 30s last night. She was still chilly at bedtime, so we returned the down comforter to the bed, tucked a heating pad in with her, and encouraged cat cuddling.

It certainly doesn't seem right that the outdoor pool is opening this weekend, but hey, at least there's no snow!

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