Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hotter than Blazes

My car thermometer read ninety three degrees as I turned the key in the ignition this afternoon. The thick air in the vehicle was swirled with hot jet-streams that pushed stale atmosphere through the anxious vents.

Summer has arrived in the Midwest.

I don't like to complain about the weather. As a native Iowan, I see it as a badge of honor to weather the atmospheric bi-polarity of our region.

But as an Iowan, I also have an inherent tendency to discuss the weather with people I meet. My wife hates it. I guess it comes from my agrarian heritage, where weather patterns affect your livelihood.

So when I stopped by the Downtown Grocery for a mid-afternoon refreshment today, made small talk with the polite Middle Eastern man who held the door for me.

The gentleman works at the store, and I've chatted with him many times as I stop in to grab a candy bar or Arnold Palmer Tallboy. As he followed me into the dingy convenience store, I joked,

Cool and Refreshing
"You open doors for your customers now too? Should I tip for that?"

"Oh no! I was just finishing my cigarette."

I wiped my brow and, in iconic Iowan fashion, retorted,

"It's almost hot enough to give up that habit, I'd say."

He just smiled and said,

"This is nothing! Try smoking in one hundred twenty degrees!"

Upon further inquiry, I learned that this gentleman was born in Dubai.

"The winters in Dubai are as the spring here - sixty, seventy degrees. Two, three, four o'clock, you cannot even leave your house. It is too hot!"

So to all those who are swooning at this unseasonably warm weather, take it from a man who has become thick skinned toward these Iowa summers.

In a way, my Downtown Grocery acquaintance has assimilated well to the rough Iowa approach to atmosphere. Shrug off the extreme weather, as it is always more intolerable somewhere else.

Just don't talk to him about the snow and ice. I'm afraid he may not be so tolerant in January.


  1. So here's finally a new comment (as a blogger, I know the thrill of seeing there's a comment on a recent post:) Umm, about the weather: I agree with the feeling of pride of braving the rather crazed weather patterns in Iowa. Well-put. It's seriously one of the best ways to endure it I think. I've come to enjoy discussing the weather more only as I've gotten older, so perhaps when I'm your age I will enjoy it even more. Speaking of, how about that rain today? :)

  2. I heard its supposed to rain this weekend...