Not just your regular Mississippi Dog Days of Summer hot, but …well, I don’t rightly know how to describe how hot it’s been. Hotter than a firecracker. Hotter than the devil’s kitchen.
Hotter than a June bride on her wedding night. No, maybe I shouldn’t say that.
It’s just hot. The kind of hot where we used to sit on the porch or under a shade tree and do nothing. It was just too hot to do much of anything, unless you had to. Then you got up early and worked during the morning or you waited until late and tried to finish before dark.
People from out of town, especially from up north, love to tell us how hot it is down here. Like we don’t know we’re sweating and burning up, slowly roasting. We know how a marsh mellow feels when you’re toasting it on an open fire. Burnt on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside.
They want to tell us how the humidity is like a wet sweat shirt. They’re right! But we know that already. We grow up knowing how to sweat.
I was sweating like this when I was a five year old kid.
Back then, we called late August and early September the Dog Days of Summer. The dogs ran up under the porch and didn’t move until nightfall. They knew enough to hate the heat also.
We watched heat lightning in the evenings. NO rain, just big bolts of lighting and crashing thunder off on the horizon.
I remember the old folks sitting on porches, telling each other what they knew.
“Nary a drop of rain for the past month. Grass is burning up. Trees are stressed.” They’d say. “Enough dust to choke a mule,” “Too hot to plow.” “My garden is gone.”
My Dad worked the drilling rigs, summer and winter. He hated cold weather.
“In the summer, you can cool off. You find some shade, you find some water, you get away from the heat. In winter, just ain’t no way to get away from the cold. You can get warmed up, five minutes later, you’re cold again. If you’re outside working, the cold will come get you. Every breath you take tells you how cold it is. I’d rather deal with the hot weather than a cold wintry night.”
Today, I noticed the cotton bowls were opening up. Fresh, brand new bowls of cotton. Down near the ground, at the bottom of the stalk. The upper bowls will open tomorrow or maybe the day after.
Like popcorn. Cotton. As pure white as anything can be. Cotton loves this hot weather. The summer’s heat makes the cotton crop. The weather people say the high today is 94 and the heat index is 106. The cotton crop is in love!
It’s still hot!
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