Living by the Weather

I grew up in the middle of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, that place famed as ‘The Valley’ of Valley-girl speak. But what they don’t tell you in the movies is how nasty hot it gets, especially smack dab in the middle, which is where my grandparent’s home has been since the ‘40’s. And then we moved to Maine and I got to experience humidity in all its awful summer melting ability. Our kids have visited both places, though, arguably we have not gotten to Maine as much as we would have liked. But California was a very doable trip from Colorado, and we visited the old family ‘homestead’ in the Valley often, especially over the kids’ summer breaks. So they are not strangers to nasty hot weather.

At Grandma’s house last summer

But man, we have been dying here in Szeged and the temperatures have really not been that much hotter, or even as hot. But our lifestyle is much different. The weather affects us more in general, we walk everywhere – rain has been much more annoying as well. I really have gotten soft. We miss our swamp cooled house (for those not in desert climates – they blow air through water, the moisture in the air cools everything down, they’re wonderful, but only work in very dry locations – like Colorado), that we would leave in our air-conditioned car. From the cool car we would shop in stores that were all air conditioned, usually too cold, but never too hot. The outside temperatures mattered very little unless it got super nasty hot. So, we have one more thing to adjust to that I had not foreseen. Hungary is in the grip of a heat wave now, and I thought I was hot all last month. We’ve canceled our plans for some touristy outings this week; we’re either running to the store first thing in the mornings, or waiting until evening (which means going to the few bigger stores that stay open later), planning meals that involve as little cooking as possible. We may be living mostly on potato salad, amazing Hungarian watermelons, and frozen ice cream treats. And this totally calls for some evening runs for ice cream, cheap and awesome as you can only get in Hungary. Some days of slowing down, going slower, and doing less – not all that bad really. We’re living more in-tune with our surroundings, and while that is strange I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Modern Americans don’t let little things like the weather change their plans or their lifestyle, but maybe it should.