# # Sunny-Side Up

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Sunny-Side Up

People all over the world have it hotter, longer, and more regularly than those of us in the Pacific Northwest (get your mind out of the gutter) but I don’t care, I’m going to bitch about it, anyway.


We broke some records this week: 102 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle, the hottest it has been in the city since 1891.

There are a lot of micro-climates around here, though. Various temperatures as high as 110 were reported, if not scientifically verified, but I believe ’em. It was miserable.

Heat? You can have it. Suntans, bikinis, palm trees, and hot sand? Forget it. Bright, steady sun beating down on my skin? I’d rather be pithed. I’ve had years enough of sleepless, sweat-drenched nights and miserable, greasy-bunned, workaday hells: no more for me, thanks. Living in a goldarn sauna? Nuts to you.

I’m one of those odd ducks who breaks into a sweat at the drop of a hat and gets all whiny if the temperature rises over 75 degrees. And if we’re talking about performing real, physical labor?

There’s a story my father could tell of coming out the house on a cold, snowy, winter’s day to see me, a teenager at the time, splitting wood, barechested. It might’ve been about 35 degrees out. My father wandered over to tell me to put my damn-fool shirt on but, as he got closer, he saw the steam rising from and sweat pouring off my body as I swung again and buried the maul deep within a tenacious and gnarled chunk of cottonwood. I didn’t need a shirt, I needed a fan. He recognized this – and himself – in me and backed off, leaving me to deal with my body temperature as best I could.

One of the reasons I moved up here was to get away from the ever-increasing heat of my hometown in Northern Colorado.

When I was a kid it wasn’t so bad but, as we crept through the 1990’s, summer started earlier, lasted longer, and burned hotter each year. Add to it the booming population, with it’s thirst for green lawns and, abomination of abominations, golf courses, and it was also getting humid.

Humid? In the high desert of Colorado?

I was in hell; getting and staying cool during summer a near impossibility. It probably didn’t help that I was a bronze patineur at the time, working in an “office” that, thanks to the torches, once reached a sizzling 135 degrees, a bit of information I was made aware of because some sadistic bastard hung a thermometer in the room.

And so I moved to the Pacific Northwest and never looked back. It has been my plan to sit here, chortling in relative comfort, and let the crazy, sun-loving folk boil away, presumably enjoying themselves as their skins shrink and crinkle around their jangly bones.

Since moving to Washington, I’ve felt I finally found a climate I could deal with: 50-70 degrees darn near all year round. Oh, sure, it snows once in a while, and yeah, we get a couple of weeks of the 80’s in the summer but other than that, it’s steady; temperate. Since I’m in one of the many rainshadows, I don’t have to deal with much more precipitation than I did in Colorado, allowing me to be active outside most of the year, bikin’, hikin’, dancing with slugs – you name it.

Of course, the locals are like everyone else, bundled up in layers – sweaters, flannels, and hoodies – until it hits the 80’s, as if their bodies are incapable of generating any heat at all. I’ve been here over ten years and still get treated like a tourist if I walk into a shop wearing shorts, no matter the temperature outside. I swear, I must be of a different species.

The catch is that, because of this year round temperate weather, very few places are prepared for the heat. If anything, the opposite is true: buildings are designed to soak up and retain as much heat as they can. Air conditioning is a bit of a rarity seeing as how, most of the year if you’re getting warm, all you have to do is open a window and a breeze off the water will come and refresh you in no time – but now we’re having triple-digit weather.

If this is climate change, what we can expect to experience with increasing regularity as the years continue, look for me to move a heckuva lot closer to one of the poles.

Tags: , , ,

6 Responses to “Sunny-Side Up”

  1. Chatty Patty says:

    Ya, I agree, if the climate gets hotter here I will not be happy but remember it is getting worse wherever you came from, so being in the Northwest is still the best place to live.

  2. ren says:

    The sun actually came out today. Temps were around 75-80…all in all a nice day.

    Yes, very.

  3. Sean S says:

    Nice and rainy here in your hometown… Irony is rare but I think that this might actually be a case of it…


  4. Anonymous says:

    According to the Weather Underground web site, the temperature peaked at 103.6 in my zip code in Seattle. PT got off easy. Wish I were there.

  5. NarLyB says:

    With all of this cool weather and rain that we’ve had in your hometown, my garden is going insane.

    If we ever get a week of two of hot weather, all of the tomatoes will ripen and I’ll be busy canning and freezing.

    See what a geek I’ve turned into!

  6. Matney says:

    Since you usually wear shorts in the winter….what did you have to strip down to to keep from melting during our heat wave??? 😉

Leave a Reply