Monday, May 24, 2010

Springtime in the South - No Such Thing.

Actually, that's a misnomer. The South DOES get a springtime, it's just that it only lasts a short time. I define spring to be that time when a light breeze is lifting the leaves in salutation, birds are singing, and you can stay out in the sun for more than an hour without turning into a puddle of hot chicken fat. Spring in the South lasts about 2 weeks, in a good year. Then, we are hit with the full force of the humidity and heat that only the South can offer. Yes, hot chicken fat time. I spend most of my time indoors, checking the air conditioning level to keep the humidity at bay.

This all comes about because I mowed my lawn yesterday. Yes, in the 88° degree heat, and about 150% humidity, I felt the call of the Lawn Ranger and saddled up the mower. As regular readers know, I have a nice rear-wheel Deere which saves a lot of wear and tear on yours truly. But the heat and humidity still is a killer.

I have a full outfit which I wear to mow the lawn. Along with the camouflage jeans, and white tee-shirt (advertising a proper Non Lite Southern Beverage) I wear a polyvinyl pith helmet. I am from Scottish heritage and have the kind of complexion where a large photo of a sunny day can give me a sunburn. The Pith Helmet does, in fact, do three things. 1) It keeps the sun off my face and neck. 2) it allows air flow over the top of my head, and apparently 3) gives my wife something to laugh at. Sometimes, when the heat gets the best of me I also carry a wet towel which I wrap around my neck. Yeah, I have a lot of trouble with the heat.

Oddly, none of my Suthun neighbors laugh at the outfit. They seem to know that the sun and heat must be kept at bay at all costs. Though none of them wear pith helmets they all have their own ways of keeping the heat off while the duties of the Lawn Ranger take precedence. I like to think that the pith helmet makes me some what special in their eyes.

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