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The Heat Wave in New York

“Which do you prefer, hot weather or cold weather?”

“Cold weather,” my wife says, “because you can always resolve it by wearing more clothes.”

She stood to reason. We have been experiencing hot weather the past few days. The heat was so unbearable, my wife said, when she went out for lunch so that the young lady walking in front of her suddenly removed her blouse, wrapped it around her waist, and continued walking with only her bra on, as if it were nothing unusual.

Summer in New York. Everybody’s reeling from it except my pet cat Kit Kat who’s been trying to get inside my room to play, but I keep ignoring her. I’m in no mood to do anything, not in this unpleasant weather.

A couple of days ago, I was at my niece’s house in Far Rockaway Beach where my brother and his family are presently vacationing. The temperature there was in the upper 90’s, but it was like 106 degrees F (about 41 degrees C) because of the high humidity.

While enjoying the central air con and watching TV, I invited my brother to a paseo to nearby Stop and Shop to buy some avocados.

“Dae na. Grabe an init sa luwas,” he says.

That coming from someone who just came in from the Philippines.

So I go out all by myself to buy some cherries and a pack of sugar free Klondike ice cream. No avocados. It is about 2pm and the heat is on. I hurry back to the house.

The cool air conditioned house welcomes me back. Hardly have we finished eating ice cream, however, when brownout hits us.

“Huna ko dae nag ba brownout sa America.” My brother exclaims.

“It happens everywhere,” I tell him, “even in New York.”

We brace up to a house getting hotter by the minute, but before it turns into an oven, the power is back. I ask my brother to adjust the air con. I want it cooler. He wants it warmer. Seniority wins, so he grabs a sweater.

Last Friday my wife’s family clan held their reunion in Mohonk Mountain Resort in upstate NY. I tagged along hoping to experience a cooler climate. We did, the hard way. My wife and I had to hike towards higher ground to get to a cooler spot.

We were both perspiring and exhausted as we hiked but when we went around a bend in a place covered by large rocks and trees, it suddenly became cool, as if an air conditioning vent blew in that glade of the forest. Finally.

The pleasure was short-lived. A thunderstorm rumbled in the distance. It was time to descend. The drizzle that met us invigorated everyone. That’s nature, I said, always soothing, like an old friend.

I am amazed at how life goes on regardless of the weather. No one as yet has ever invented a machine that can control nature altogether. Volcanoes erupt, earthquakes strike, snow storms happen, rainstorms devastate, hurricanes destroy, and so on.

As I lie down in bed, I wonder how the Eskimos live. And how about those who have no heaters or air conditioning units during extreme weather?

Meanwhile, my pet cat Kit Kat sneaks inside my bedroom, leaps onto her favorite chair near our bed, licks her paws, and falls asleep in an instant. Hakuna matata.

One could do worse than learn the art of living from Kit Kat.

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