Yesterday I was driving home after running some errands with my family when the kids asked if they could play in the sprinklers. It was about 87 degrees outside and I’d just battled Wal-Mart and Costco, so even I was ready for sprinklers! So I said OK and they quickly got into their swimsuits when we got home.
Since my wife and I were still unloading our groceries in the kitchen and the kids really wanted to go outside NOW, we just opened up the back curtains and watched them though the window as we put everything away. As I pulled back the curtains, a blast of heat hit me directly. My little curtains covering our back windows were doing one heck of a good job of blocking out the heat. I have seen all the messages about closing your windows during the day to block the sun and opening the windows at night when it’s cool, but it was never as clear to me as it was yesterday.
About an hour later it was time to watch the U.S. Women’s World Cup game on TV. I made this required viewing for my 6 and 7-year-old girls. I headed down to the basement to turn the game on. My girls come down the stairs in jeans and long-sleeve shirts. “It’s cold down here, dad,” they told me. And indeed it was. While the rest of the house was fighting to stay livable, the basement felt like a snow day. Hot air rises, so the basement was nice and chilly while the bedrooms upstairs were not so great. We watched the game under blankets. (Congrats to Japan by the way, even though I was obviously cheering for the U.S.)
Later that evening my wife opened up the doors and windows because it had cooled off quite a bit outside. We spent part of the evening reading and talking on the front porch, where a slight breeze made it rather comfortable. A nice way to end the day.
So to sum up my findings from yesterday:
-Sprinklers are always cool
-Use your curtains wisely
-Don’t be afraid of the basement
-Get outside when it cools off
In the Northwest we get maybe two months of hot weather – lately it’s more like one day here and there. Because of our wonderfully inconsistent weather pattern, some of these easy ways to beat the heat may just escape us. Don’t let the heat beat you – you can always just hide in your basement like me.