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Heat And Happiness

Welcome to the world of triple digits.

Writing that lead, for this week’s column I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. Last week I dabbled in the topic of my children reaching “double digits” and now with the heat index rising or risen this topic seemed timely.

Truthfully, I pay little mind to the weather forecast. Not to be misunderstood, I check it on occasion, the night before heading to bed or in the morning when I rise. Most specifically if there is an event or outing planned. The “forecast” portion is what I tend to avoid.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve gained some wisdom, or so I like to think. One would be in the way of weather and weather predictions. It is my humble opinion that weather forecasters are simply educated guessers. Granted technology has taken us places to foresee, predict and study patterns which should result in complete certainty what the weather will hold. But they’re not always right and that’s okay, if you embrace the notion of educated guessers.

The irony with this column is that once upon a time it was my mother’s career aspiration for me to be a “Weather Girl,” yes – for the younger readers – back in the day that was a real term. Even with connections to bay area media outlets and intern opportunities, it was a path I chose to pass on. I had my own dreams and aspirations I needed to explore.

Earlier last week however, I could not turn a blind eye on all the hype via social media being given to the coming predicted triple digits. Somehow we skipped true Spring and are living a weather pattern with extreme mood swings. Perhaps Mother Nature is experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis. Honestly I’m not sure.

Even as I pen this the Friday before it appears in Wednesday print, those 100-plus days, may not materialize. An odd cold front or summer storm may sweep through in which case all the hype will have been for naught. It certainly would not be the first time, nor the last.

In the event that the forecasts do hold true and we do continue to dread walking outside I thought maybe I’d offer a few “beat the heat” ideas and/or reminders, so here goes.

If you have pets please remember to be wise and not take them with you on a quick run to the store or other outing which has potential to be extended. This is small town living. That five minute pop into the market can easily turn to 30 when you run into someone and begin discussing summer plans or commiserating about this heat wave. Fido is better served at home and not chained to a tree with a metal bowl of water. Be mindful when thinking of your pets, would you want to be left in either of these places with a 100 plus temp?

Keep the house dark and cool it down early, baking at noon is a bad idea. This is the time that AC service professionals go into overload and high demand. I mean, it’s hot and we all want to live in the refrigerator, creating it in your home is close to possible if you’re wise in how you do it. Don’t blow your unit and please can we all agree to try not to be so greedy we cause a power outage or force a state of rolling brown outs … thanks.

Remember the importance of hydration (i.e.: drinking water) for everyone in your home. Keeping the body replenished with fluid is a key part to maintaining a healthy internal body temperature. In short, it’s good for the organs and general well-being of your body. And no, I’m not a doctor. I am however a recreational athlete and a mom, who gets that hydration is an easy key to overall happiness.

Go see a movie or two. It’s a great and relatively inexpensive family outing if you plan accordingly and go before 5 p.m. Not a fan of current theater selections, walk the mall or visit Hobby Lobby or Costco. After 4 p.m. is always a good time for these locations, as the heat index has risen and the house becomes miserable.

Popsicles, lots and lots of popsicles. What more is there to say on this topic? Nothing. Just simply – popsicles.

Lastly, remember we’re all dealing with the same weather conditions. Your level of heat in your home or car does not trump that of your neighbor or the car behind you in traffic. We’re all living the struggle together. Be kind to one another, be patient when it doesn’t seem possible and when all else fails – eat a popsicle.



Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.