Opinion

Keeping your cool

I suppose the excessively hot days we have been experiencing could be classed as ‘scorchers.’ The sustained heat is uncommon for us Lower Mainland folks, so close to the fickle marine air that our days can change in an hour.

How hot was it? It was so hot in Fort Langley, residents were petitioning council to fill their heritage hole with water and make it a public swimming pool.

How hot was it? It was so hot in Brookswood, developers  stopped cutting down trees just to have shade to sit in.

How hot was it? It was so hot in Willoughby, residents quit looking for a place to park and just drove around with the air conditioning set on max.

How hot was it? People in Aldergrove quit boiling their water and started freezing it.

Everyone has a favorite cooling off tip. Maybe it’s heading for the beach or maybe it’s just drawing the drapes and hunkering down in the dark.

Certainly, these days become ‘fan appreciation days’ as we dig many shapes and sizes of oscillating devices out of the back room or the garage where they have been gathering dust since last  fall.

The fans are usually ineffective, just moving hot air from one room to another, but there is something psychological about watching those blades spinning and hearing the gentle hum of the electric motor in the background. Surely, if the fan is running it must be cooler.

I bought a box of Popsicles. Grape Popsicles are truly magical comfort food. There is absolutely no nutritional value to  frozen colored water but they will cool you down when you’re hot, settle your tummy when you’re sick and the first taste will transport you back to your childhood.

I can see the gang taking a break from one of those day long games of scrub, finding some shade and relaxing while the sticky juice runs down the stick and over your fingers. An orange or purple stain on your T-shirt or shorts was completely accepted as a badge of summer.

They weren’t always ‘store bought’ treats either. One of the most practical inventions Tupperware ever came up with were the little plastic popsicle makers. You could fill them up with Kool-Aid or juice, place the plastic stick inside and snap on the top.

The biggest challenge was being patient and letting them freeze.  It was best done overnight because if you checked on them too soon they would fall apart. Waiting for a popsicle to freeze can add hours to a hot summer day.

There was always the ice cream man. In my youth, books and movies had not yet made the ice cream man a monster, so when we heard him coming we would scrape up a dime or a quarter from somewhere, usually from Mom’s hidden stash, and then there was no waiting. Revels and fudgsicles were almost as refreshing as popsicles.

It doesn’t matter what your secret is to keep cool, a big part of it is just keeping your cool.

Simon and Garfunkel said it best, “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last.”

On these hot days, looking for fun and feeling groovy is the answer.

If you are too hot, be  patient, the heat will go. The PNE starts in one month and we can always count on a change in the weather. At least that’s what McGregor says.

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