“And What’s the Weather Like Where You Are?”

It’s the middle of the day, and I’m sitting in the recliner in my office. The window is open and the light is on. I haven’t had a single glass of ice water today. I’m seriously considering having something other than straight watermelon for lunch. You have no idea how exciting this is.

Okay, so I lead a boring life. But the reason I’m so excited is that the weather has changed. It’s only 76 degrees today, cloudy, with a cool breeze setting the wind chimes ringing out on the deck, and when I went up to get the mail there were actual rain drops on the sidewalk. After more than a week of daytime temperatures ranging from a low of 91 degrees to a high of 111, this is delightful.

I work at home. After a recent career change, my partner does, too. Usually, that’s not a problem. My office is upstairs and his is downstairs, so there’s plenty of room for both of us to think, pace, and mutter to ourselves without disturbing one another.

Except when the upstairs temperature starts creeping close to the three-digit mark. When having the window closed to keep out the hot wind means the room is a mere 97 degrees instead of the 104 that it is outside, but it’s closed up and stifling. When it’s too hot to wear jeans, but wearing shorts means that my fabric-covered chair is scratchy and imprints funny designs on the backs of my thighs. When I can feel beads of perspiration popping out on my forehead even though I’m doing nothing more strenuous than sitting at the computer trying to keep the mouse from sliding out of my sweaty fingers. When the light is off because it creates heat, so I have to squint at the screen or else cope with my reading glasses sliding down my sweat-slippery nose. When drinking ice water helps for a few minutes, except that all those trips to the bathroom are just extra activity that generates even more heat.

The obvious solution is to work down in the basement, where the temperature is a mere 85 degrees. Except that my partner is already working down there, and he talks to himself while he works and so do I, so his map editing tends to get confused with my book editing. And the extra chair in his office is an ancient recliner whose manufacturer must have cut corners by skipping extraneous components like padding. And I know it’s called a "laptop," but having the computer balanced precariously on my knees with the keyboard wobbling every time I take a breath just doesn’t work for me.

All in all, for the last week I have been displaced, unproductive, uncomfortable, and out of sorts. Today is a cool, refreshing change which I appreciate beyond words—and which my long-suffering partner quite likely appreciates even more.

And some people wonder why we talk about the weather in South Dakota.

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