The Heat Makes Me Ramble

It’s taken a whole lot of years, but I think I’ve finally managed to sum up my life in one sentence:

I don’t like to be too cold, and I don’t like to be too hot.

What I like to be is somewhere in the middle, which apparently launches me straight into the label of HIGH MAINTENANCE.

It’s why I don’t ski.  Or snowmachine.  Or snowshoe.  Or carve exotic ice sculpture outside with a chainsaw.

It’s why I am not an archaeologist who spends her life sweeping away sand and uncovering ancient Egyptian tombs.  It’s why I don’t study volcanoes.  It’s why I’m not a roofer.

It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy those things; it’s just that those things happen to be outside in all the nature where the extreme temperature swings are.  It’s also why I am going to fill out a requisition form and submit it to Hubs that basically states:  WE SHOULD MOVE TO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, WHERE THE WEATHER TODAY IS EXPECTING A HIGH OF 69 DEGREES OF THE FAHRENHEIT VARIETY.  Because I’ve caught wind of the fact that central California, on the beach, maintains a constant 70 degrees year round, and THAT, people, is my love language.

Plus, I think I missed my calling, because I’m pretty sure that I would have been excellent on the pro surfing circuit, and it’s never too late to start training.  Becoming the next rodeo queen in a sequined, snap-front shirt might have to wait a bit while I get my shaggy blonde hair and tan on.

Yes.  It’s true.  Small Town, USA is determined to burn itself up like a marshmallow in a campfire this summer, and I’ve had enough.  Which is why the good Lord actually blessed us with a balmy 87 degree day today.  It’s sad when 87 degrees feels like you might need to take a jacket with you when you venture outside, because it’s simply not 105 out.

This morning, the boy and I picked up Cousin B, and I dropped the two big boys off at the golf course, where they golfed 9 holes because of NOT THE TEMPERATURE OF THE FIERY FURNACE THAT SHADRACH EXPERIENCED A FEW YEARS BACK.  The boys had an enormous amount of fun, and they managed to avoid hitting all of their golf balls into the water trap today.  And then they each bought over-priced cheeseburgers at the clubhouse and practiced their putting, because LOOK, MA!  IT’S NOT WICKED HOT OUT THERE!  And after that, they asked to be dropped off at the pool, where they spent the remainder of the day frolicking in the water and tackling the water slide.

All of this translates into THAT OLDER BOY OF MINE IS GONNA SLEEP WELL TONIGHT.

But, a couple of days ago, when the weather decided to really crank things up and throw out a 100-degree day, Sister and I loaded up all of our kids (the boy and Thing 2, and Cousins L, K and Little Baby H), and we met Mam and Pa in Small Mountain Town, at the local fish hatchery, for a picnic lunch.  In theory, Small Mountain Town’s daily high is supposed to be much lower than Small Town’s high, but on Monday, this was not the case.

Which is to say, WE ALL BURNED TO A CRISP OUT THERE, and Sister and I contemplated the benefits of jumping into the fish ponds and cooling off vs. the fines that the Game and Fish Department could supposedly levy upon us for doing just that.

Somehow, though, regardless of the heat, the kids had a fantastic time.  Mam and Pa brought out roasted chicken, grapes, bananas, potato salad and Oreos for lunch.  Thing 2 had baby food sweet potatoes, because grapes are a real-live choking hazard.

Did I mention that there were Oreo cookies?  Because somewhere a dentist just went on ahead and called his realtor to say, “That beach house in central California — where it’s a constant 70 degrees all year long! — is a go.  I have the funding completely covered with a single mouth.”

Cousin H even managed to extend the right hand of cousinly friendship to Thing 2, as she DELIBERATELY and with FORETHOUGHT held his hand.  Usually, Little Baby H, who is sweet and quiet, likes to keep her distance from Thing 2 and his loud, jovial personality.

I think his energy overwhelms her a bit.

And because a gentleman told us at Small Town’s annual parade a couple of weeks ago that Thing 2 and H looked so identical, he couldn’t tell them apart, Sister and I were VERY, VERY careful to keep them in different strollers, so that we didn’t get them mixed up and accidentally take the wrong baby home.

I know that it’s quite difficult to tell, but Thing 2 is the baby on the left.  With the lovely suntan and the brown eyes.  And the eleven toes.  (That’s right!  Go ahead and count them!  Jesus gave us a bonus toe, which we had to pay our attorney extra for during his adoption.)  And he’s built like a short, concrete cinder block.  H is on the right.  She’s long and super skinny, with the fair complexion and the blue, BLUE eyes.  And, sadly, she only got ten toes from Jesus.

So…  you know… VERY IDENTICAL BABIES.

The bigger boys got to play in the creek a little bit while we were there, because of SO HOT!  JUST WICKED, AWFUL HOT!  MA, I’M BURNING UP WITH ALL THE HOT!

Sister loved on Thing 2 a bit…

…while the boy packed his youngest cousin, Little Baby H, around for a while.

And then, when the Oreos were pretty much gone, we all hiked up the road a bit to see the big fish in the big ponds.

There may have been JUST A TINY, TINY BIT of illegal hillbilly hand-fishin’, even though somebody’s mama kept saying, “When you get arrested for poaching fish from a state hatchery, don’t expect me to float your bail.”

The answer is yes.  The boy actually caught a big fish with his bare hand.

Dear Game and Fish Officials, he released it immediately, and he’s a good boy.  I think this just goes to show you that y’all should build a fence or something around your fish ponds.  The lure of hillbilly hand-fishin’ is strong in this one!

And then?

Well.  The children all hollered and carried on, because LOOK, MA!  A REAL, LIVE SNAKE!  IN THE WATER, MA!  A SNAKE IN THE WATER!!!  IN!! THE!! WAAAATTTERRR!!!

I’ll give you five guesses on who fished the SNAKE!SNAKE!SNAKE! out of the water and befriended him.  (And?  For the record?  TELE.  PHOTO.  LENS.  PEOPLE.  I never deliberately put myself within a mile of a snake.  Period.)

All the cousins just had a dadgum-good time being together on Monday, out in all the nature.

Where it was hot enough that sparks actually flew off of my jeans while I walked.

And now?

Well, we’re just looking forward to winter, because WINTER = NOT HOT IN SMALL TOWN.

I told Sister to remind me that I actually said the words, “I am looking forward to winter” out loud when winter actually gets here, and I end up saying the words, “I HATE BEING COLD!  I AM SO SICK OF THESE BELOW-ZERO DAYS, I COULD JUST SPIT ICE CUBES!”

And after we had all sweated profusely in our Victoria Secrets, we came home and laid in motionless heaps in front of the air conditioning vents on the floor and said words like, “THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR ELECTRICITY AND AIR CONDITIONING AND PRETZEL M&Ms AND OUR FAMILY.”  Because cousins are a whole heap of fun, and our boys are plum, jack-splat blessed to have every last one of their cousins living right here in Small Town, USA.  And those cousins?  Well.  They’re family, and they’re all also very good friends.

We do love us some cousins.

Here’s a shout out to Cousins L, K and Little Baby H!  And another shout out to Cousins Big H and R!  And still another WHOOP! WHOOP! to Cousins W, B, M and A!  We love all y’all.

Amen.

And y’all have a fantastic Wednesday night.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go remind the boy that golf is not really an indoor sport, because, as usual, my windows are grimacing with the expectation of a proper shatter.

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