Sunday, August 03, 2008

Too Darn Hot

According to the Kinsey report
ev'ry average man you know
much prefers to play his favorite sport
when the temperature is low

but when the thermometer goes way up
and the weather is sizzling hot
Mister Adam for his madam is not
cause it's too too
it's too darn hot, it's too darn hot
It's too too too too darn hot

Cole Porter certainly knew what he was talking about when writing the lyrics for his song from Kiss Me Kate! This summer we have passed 40 days with over 100 degree temperatures. It may not set a record this summer because I think the record number of 100+ day was 89 for a year, but we are going to make a run at it. August until early September is generally the hottest part of our year and nothing in the weather pattern seems likely to break to give us relief anytime soon.

Yesterday I went to the river with some friends to go tubing. For those dear readers not from the south, tubing involves taking a big inner tube (from a truck or tractor tire), putting it in a river, climbing on, and floating for a few hours. At the end of the few hours, hopefully a good friend with a truck, or someone (tubing company) you paid, will be there to pick you up and take you back to your car. One usually brings along an extra tube – for the beer, which is the most important part of the trip.

The cypress and pecan lined sections of the Guadalupe we floated were nearly idyllic as the stream flowed gently and the temperature felt quite comfortable. The gentle flow under the baking sun was completely different. The cool water flowing below did little to keep any parts out of the water from quickly baking. Even with SPF 50, the sun won and left me with some bright spots on my face and a nearly perfect farmer's tan on my arms. Fortunately, the SPF 50 put up a good fight and I did not badly burn anywhere on my exposed body.

The purpose of such a trip is just for pure relaxation because one cannot do much work while navigating the river. The river gives us a few good lessons too. The gentle float down our nearby river sometimes gets broken up by a brief stint of rapids, but then shortly returns to its placid pace through cypress-lined banks or under the baking sun. The river has carved its path for centuries so that most of it is gentle, slow, and steady. The pace picks up and the rapids race, but briefly, from time to time. If we could get our lives to work like the river, we may find ourselves happier and more fulfilled in what we do. After all, the river has been doing the same thing for centuries.

I have not been tubing in a while and maybe I need to make it a regular habit. It is kind of like the lake in that I get away from work, but I can still read or do some writing at the lake. I have not found the book with plastic pages that will let me read it at the river – nor do I want to. The rapids can come unexpectedly, so it pays to be on guard at all times, but not so much that a few rocks along the bottom don't bump you in the butt.

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