Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


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

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