I remember my first couple of years living here on the River. Now that was a long time ago and a lot has changed since then. Like the internet, for example, and cell phones for another. See, I told you it was a long time ago.
But two things haven’t changed. One is that it gets really hot here and sometime after that a lot of humidity is added into the mix – just for kicks I guess. The second unchangeable fact of life on the River is that when the humidity starts showing up people’s patience begins to go down and they get noticeably cranky.
It was either my first or second summer here. I was standing in a long line at the old Post Office and it was a hot and humid August day. I know I was sweating and am sure others were as well. While waiting my turn I remember how short some of the people in line were with each other and the Postal employees.
They weren’t terrible, mind you, but they sure were cranky. That’s when I realized how the humid, sticky, sultry heat brings out the worst in us Desert Rats. As much as we like to brag about how we can ‘take it’ out here and that it’s not even really hot unless it’s 110 or so. Add in a bit of humidity and you’d better jump back Jack because that’s where the cranky begins!
I confess to being just like everyone else when it comes to this. For some reason I’ve been ‘blessed’ to go to a lot of very hot and humid places in pursuit of my calling. Yangon Myanmar in late February and March is one extremely steamy place. I’m usually there every year around that time. They rather euphuistically call their “dry season.” It’s only dry because it’s not raining. It’s always humid there but for a few months out of the year the clouds stop overflowing with 100 percent humidity for a while and that’s what they call “dry.”
Then there’s Haiti in June. Yowza! I was there about six months after that huge earthquake a few years ago. Things were still a terrible mess and I was in the sun carrying rocks to build a foundation for a new house and painting a huge building too. I’ve rarely been so miserable, and since we had no AC at all, enjoyed sleeping on the roof of the mission each night.
Talk about cranky. Believe me, I was feeling it then.
But I have learned a few things from all these experiences. Perhaps the most helpful is that the old saying, “forewarned is forearmed” is actually quite true, if you pay attention to what you know that is.
Long before I leave for Myanmar next year I already know what the weather is probably going to be like. Miserable. Thank the Lord for hotels with what they call AirCo (Air Conditioning). So knowing that clammy stickiness awaits I can prepare myself for it. Over the years I’ve found that if you can accept the misery it actually seems to feel a bit less miserable. The last five years or so I’ve been over there haven’t bothered me nearly as much as the first few did. (This does not apply to mosquitos but that’s another story.)
Surely we who live on the River could do the same thing. The humidity is here, big time, and it appears it’ll stay for a while. So what else can I do but expect it, accept it, and of course make maximum use of the AC when I can.
And when I can’t? Well there’s no use taking it out on others now is there? It’s always this way this time of year and this season, like all seasons, will eventually pass. So relax, try to enjoy yourself and – I mean this quite literally as well as metaphorically – just don’t sweat it.
If none of this helps you then repeat after me, “It could be worse, it could be Haiti!” Now that ought to help.
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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit the website HERE.