Friday, June 26, 2009

Be Cool

Although our grass isn't growing as quickly as it was last month, it still needs to be cut on a regular basis. Today was the day, and I wasn't looking forward to it because the forecast called for temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index of over 100. I was gone all morning, and when I got home I kept finding things to do other than get the lawn mower out. I spent so long procrastinating that it was mid-afternoon before I got outside-ironically, the hottest part of the day.

In preparation for the job I put on old baggy clothes, slathered on sunscreen, and borrowed Tony's lawn mowing hat (an old sweat-stained baseball cap from the Cayman Islands). I was almost ready, but I decided to take one additional step to keep myself cool while I cut. I filled a bucket with water and added a handful of ice cubes to keep it cold. Just before I started the lawn mower, I dunked the cap in the bucket, wrung out most of the excess water, and put it on my head.

It felt wonderful! There were cool rivulets of water running down the side of my face, and drops of water from the brim hitting my nose. After I finished cutting the front yard, I turned off the the mower and re-wet the hat. This time I left a bit more water on it so it would cool off the top of my head. I repeated the dunking procedure three more times before the mowing was finished, not because I had to but because it felt so good. Each time the hat was a little more saturated when it went back on my head and there was more water dripping off it.

When I finished the lawn my clothes were completely covered in sweat, my eyes were burning from sunscreen running into them, and I had very unattractive raccoon rings from melting mascara. It was time to get clean.

I don't like to shower after exercising in hot weather, because it doesn't cool me off; I continue to sweat after I get out. I'd rather take a bath, because I can sit in the water as long as I want. However, today I decided to improve the bathing experience. I carried a large drinking glass and the ice container from the freezer up to the bathroom. I filled the glass with ice and water, then turned the cold faucet on in the tub and dumped the rest of the cubes in.

There wasn't a lot of ice, so it was melted about the time the water got six inches deep. I stepped into the tub and sat down. The water was almost cold, but quite invigorating. I dunked my head under the water and let the extra run down my back, then sat back and drank my ice water. In less than five minutes I had stopped sweating and was ready to get out.


  1. Anything to keep cool today, before going out to do a little gardening I filled a ziploc bag with ice cubes and stuffed it into my straw hat. The hat didn't quite fit right on my head but it kept me from overheating!

  2. I used to feel that way when we lived in Minnesota. Most of my life has been spent in a very dry climate, so all that humidity was an eye opener. Your way of keeping cool sounds ingenious.

  3. That MN humidity Nancy speaks of here in MN is the worst! I love the creative ways you found to beat the heat!

  4. Web Designer, I'm sure your cubes lasted longer what I did!

    Nancy and Jackie, I always thought of Minnesota as cooler than St. Louis, since it's north of here. Reading your comments, I realize I was wrong!