Hot Enough For You?
Our lives are complex arrangements and usually take all our time to maintain. Work, school, home care, shopping, maintenance, just getting everything done is a challenge and usually consumes our attention. Until Mother Nature stirs and then our attention is quickly concentrated, usually on the weather. So here comes another heat wave, another lesson on how Big Mama can command our focus by just pushing the temperature up a few degrees. Whew.
Sunday morning was pretty fine but the promise, not to say the threat, of heat to come was in the air. So much so that Maggie, my friend’s wonderful three legged dog was inclined to lie down in the cool grass several times on the morning constitutional. When that bundle of energy needs the break it’s definitely a sign of rising heat. But Sunday held further proof in store for us. We were booked for a long-scheduled afternoon party with old friends, friends whose party we would not miss, in a lovely home with a large backyard, a swimming pool and paved patio. . . wait for it, in Martinez!
Martinez is a pretty area, rolling hills, stately homes but right in the middle of the Red Zone. We might be talking politics here but we’re not, we’re referring to that band of bright red on the weather maps on the TV broadcasts. The ones where the coast is blue, cooled by the marine layer, the bay is yellow with coolish temps moderated by the Bay waters and then over the hills the fearsome red of the interior where the heat sets up its domicile, gets comfortable in the valleys and decides to settle down.
Challenging circumstances for a party when the thermometer leaves one hundred degrees in its wake on the way to the stratosphere. Great music, good food, plenty of beverages both soft and adult, intelligent people and stimulating conversation were all arrayed on one side of the enjoyment scale and only the heat was on the other. Call it a draw but eventually the heat won.
And then the trip back home, a race to the tunnel and through it, a dash down 880 and then across the bridge and onto the (cooler, much cooler) island. It was still hot on our return to Alameda but it was cooling down quickly. By nightfall the back porch was well within the pleasant range and it had the effect of relaxing us in ways we hadn’t known we needed to relax. It was as if the heat buildup of the day had stiffened our muscles in response and baked us into a hardened, uncomfortable stance and then the cool breezes of home gradually eased the tensions and allowed our bodies to get comfortable once more.
It wasn’t magic, just the healing balm that is Alameda.