From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Sun Sets on a Very Hot Day

Extreme heat and humidity



Wednesday, August 4, 2010, was a very hot day in Christian County, KY. The temperature reached 101°F, and a light-but-suffocating fog of humidity intensified the heat. The heat indexes were in the 106-110° range. The National Weather Service issued an "Excessive Heat Warning" that began on the morning of the 4th. It continues through 7:00 pm on August 5.

The air-conditioning repairman's truck was parked outside my workplace when I arrived. The repairman worked on the system for a while and said it was fixed. The store stayed hot and very humid all day, but it was cooler inside than outside. Who dared to tempt the fates by complaining?

One of my customers said that she found an older lady wandering around the parking lot in the heat. She was looking for her car, and she had forgotten where she parked. My customer persuaded her to come inside and call her daughter. She was afraid that the lady's mental confusion was a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Another elderly lady told me that she became a little dizzy as she walked across the scorching parking lot and into the store. She said a nice man opened the doors to the store for her and told her that she looked wobbly. He said that she should sit down until she cooled off -- so she did. She felt much better in a few minutes, and she was able to walk around and do her shopping. I hope her guardian angel helped her get back home safely,  too!

I heard on the radio this evening that a workman collapsed in the upraised bucket of a utility truck yesterday, as he was installing fiber optic cable in Clarksville, TN. His co-workers administered CPR but he died later in the hospital. The cause of death was unknown, but it seems very likely to me that heat stress played a part in it.

This weather is dangerous. Please be careful. Stay inside if you can. Don't take chances. Check on your pets and your neighbors, and be alert even for strangers who may need a little help.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.