Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weather the weather

Evidently New Haven is experiencing one of the hottest summers on record.  With temperatures pushing 95 for the past three days, and more of similar severity to follow to close out the week, the sun is reveling in the dampened spirits, and brows, of these usually placid folks.  While I do sympathize with the locals, I chuckle a little when they complain about the heat.  Don't get me wrong--it's sweltering and my "new" air conditioner (a $10.00 rummage sale steal that I could probably set outside and sell for $100.00) is working overtime--but I am pretty sure my family and friends in Georgia and Missouri would appreciate a string of days with a heat index of only 100 in comparison to tipping that scale closer to 105.  One considerable difference between Connecticut and those states, however, is that most people in Georgia and Missouri are prepared for such heat.  Here it has been unexpected.  College students clamor into bookstores and bars because they have no air-conditioning at home.  While reading a little Chaucer at a coffee shop yesterday afternoon, I listened as patron after patron lamented how the sultry conditions have impacted their sleep, their exercise, and even their libido.  Last night the air conditioner at Anna Liffley's, a local pub where my favorite Chaucerians and I dominated bar trivia, broke, bringing tension to the festive crowd of Jeopardy contestant wanna-bes.  (Did I mention that I dominated the 6th round of trivia, the one in which the trivia guru played a song and we had to identify the artist? My siblings can attest to the fact that I SUCK at this game.  Yet last night, I knew the Charlie Daniels Band, pulling in major points for my team.  I will attribute my success to the heat and many Saturdays as a young girl cleaning house while jamming to Dad's records.)

To add injury to insult, the rising temperatures has led to a contamination of the local water supply.
Okay, so maybe that's a bit of a Canterbury tale*, but despite the reassurance of the Regional Water Authority (RWA), I am not comfortable drinking the water with "stuff floating around in it."  Thankfully, I filled my water bottles yesterday morning, before the impurities stirred through the pipes, but if the soot doesn't clear out soon, I'll have to break down and buy more bottles.  I hate buying bottled water.

*The phrase "a Canterbury tale" refers to the stories (usually lies) real pilgrims (as opposed to Chaucer's fictionalized versions and not to be confused with those of Plymouth Rock) would have told after returning from a real pilgrimage to Canterbury.  (Yes, Canterbury is a real place.  Archbishop Thomas Becket was wrongfully murdered there in 1170.  For more information see   Chaucer used the common phrase as the title for his work.

The temperature in London today is 71--a far cry cooler than in New Haven.  If the Pilgrims were gathering in Southwerk today, they would be pleasantly comfortable starting the journey.  As it was, however, they started their travels in April circa 1380ish.  The dampness of the season, coupled with the horse travel over mud-covered land, would have made the journey tedious.  Most likely it would have rained on the Pilgrims who would have had no escape from the elements, save holding up under a tree.  Each day of this heat-wave I have had the luxury of coming home and changing into non-perspiration drenched attire.  However, the Pilgrims would have had no change of clothes to put on when the torrent passed; they would have sat in their musty wetness, surrounded by other reeking masses. And even with all of this, the journey would have been a great escape for the Pilgrims because it gets them out of the house where they have been cooped up all winter with nothing but their libidos to keep them warm.  It also would have been a sacred experience, not counting the raunchy story telling, for them.  They believed in the journey and the penitence and the tribute and thus they would have done it despite the weather.

And so I weather the weather in search of higher learning just as the Pilgrims did in honor of Thomas Becket. 

***I dedicate this blog to Susie Gauzy, my mom and fan of weather everywhere.***

1 comment:

Dr. Susie Gauzy said...

I equate the weather with attitude. A sunny disposition can make a torrential rainfall into a blessing. "Weather the weather" is a wonderful approach to life.

MOM (aka Dr. Susie Gauzy and mother of the saucy wench)