Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

July 7, 2014

TIDBITS: Beat the heat in July and August

CROSSVILLE — I hope everyone enjoyed the Independence Day weekend, with lots of celebration and fun. We couldn’t have asked for better weather this July 4, or 5 or 6. In fact, it was so nice I was tempted to try and bottle some of that sunshine, low humidity and gentle breeze that greeted me each morning.

It was quite the gift to those who enjoy the great outdoors this weekend. July in Tennessee, even here on our Cumberland Plateau with it’s milder weather and somewhat cooler summers, is often hot, hot, hot, and humid, humid, humid. All that heat often comes with scattered showers that will have a deluge in Tansi and sunshine in town. Those scattered showers give little respite from the heat, though, and often bump the humidity up.

As those from drier climates will attest, it’s not the heat that does you in. It’s the humidity, that sticking, icky feeling that has you breaking a sweat walking from the door to the mailbox. I dread leaving my house after a scattered shower when I can look outside and see the steam rising from the pavement.

Friday morning, many in the community enjoyed the Pro-Troop Rally at the courthouse, with the Daughters of the American Revolution 4th of July Children’s Parade, with youngsters traveling from the Palace to the Depot.

It wasn’t especially hot Friday morning. In fact, if you were in the shade and a breeze came through, you might think it almost chilly. Almost. But the ladies of the DAR were prepared to help the little ones beat the heat anyway and were giving them ice cream cups at the end of the parade route, with wooden spoon and all!

That’s always been one of my favorite beat-the-heat weapons, a big bowl of ice cream. As long as you don’t go overboard, ice cream can be good for you, too, with its stores of calcium.

Chances are these pleasant days are not going to stick around. Scattered showers are returning to our forecast and, though we might dip into just the upper 70s Wednesday, we’ve still got the better part of July and all of August to go before delightful fall weather returns. So we’re going to need a few more beat the heat tricks.

Of course, you could just sit inside all summer long with the air conditioning running, but didn’t we get enough of being trapped indoors during the harsh winter? I know I did, and I’m not ready to confine myself to looking at walls for a few more months. I’m going to go outside and soak up some summer!

Fans are great for helping beat the heat. And, if you talk through one, you make your voice sound like a futuristic robot. It’s as hilarious now as it was when I was seven. Motorized fans are great, but they’re not always practical when you’re at a cookout or other outdoor venue. At a recent family event, my mother came prepared with a beautiful folding hand fan and it was incredibly popular as the rest of us either asked to borrow it for a minute or ordered some youngster to fan us for a bit.

Cool treats, like ice cream cones, are nice treats, but the most important thing to remember when the mercury rises is that you need to stay hydrated. Water is best, of course, but not everyone likes water. I, for example, can’t stand drinking plain ice water. Now, add a little flavor, found in a bazillion different easy to carry-with-you products, and you can add delicious fruit punch flavor to any bottle of water, whether it came from the store or your faucet.

We’ve all been warned about leaving children and pets in hot cars during the summer, but we often forget about climbing into one of those furnaces after a long day at work. If you’ve got leather seats, you know what I’m talking about. Ouch! But, there’s a quick way to cool a car down, though you may look a little silly. That’s OK, the heat makes people a little silly. Go with it.

Open two parallel doors and then start opening and closing one of the doors about five times or so. It pushes in cooler air and pushes out that stuffy, stale, suffocating air that’s been baking all day in the parking lot.

The best way to beat the heat, though, in my humble opinion, is to hit the water. From swimming pools to lakes, to swimming holes to a sprinkler in the yard and a Slip ‘n Slide, add some water fun to your routine to keep your cool. Just a quick dip can not only cool you off, but it can wake you up, and it can rejuvenate you to keep enjoying the summer, while it lasts.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014