Summer Heat? No Sweat


Yes, we have the slush left from six inches of a late March snow storm, and it’s been as cold as a witches…well it’s been colder than usual for this time of year. And everybody I know is complaining about the cold.

I like winter less than I used to back during my immortal-invincible youth, but make no doubt I like summer heat even less. I don’t sweat and we use only trees for our AC.

But what’s harder to take than heat alone is the humid heat I knew so well working outdoor jobs in the Alabama summer. It has felt more and more like ‘bama a even in Floyd County’s coldest spot (as I claim it anyway). Last summer, July on Goose Creek felt like July in Dixie.Where is mah glassa sweet tea, deah?

And the future bodes ill for HHH phobes like me. But if you don’t “believe in” climate chaos and say “bring it on!” to heat, haze and humidity, the trends in this global “hoax” called climate change promise increasing humidities along with the heat. And you’re gonna love it.

Seriously. I think I have some degree of anhidrosis–the inability to sweat. It shows up most when I play (or once played) sports like tennis or racquetball. My opponent’s shirt would be dark-wet with sweat.

Me: not a drop. But my face looked like something you’d see on X-Files or Fringe, as if I were about to experience spontaneous human combustion or sudden liquifaction and become an uncomely puddle of protoplasm. And even if I was winning, I’d throw the game half-way through to avoid this certain outcome.

So when I whine about the HHH come mid-July, yes I’m a heat sissy, but I also panic thinking I just might melt like the WWW. 

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. You inherited it. I don’t sweat either but my face will turn blood red and my lips turn white. Rather unattractive wouldn’t you say!

  2. We (Fred, his mother, and I) must be related. I don’t perspire enough to provide any cooling and my face turns red; but, my forehead could help solve any natural oil shortage. (My physician and dermatologist exclaim over how dry my skin, other than my forehead, is each time that I see one of them. I slather on baby oil each day.)

    OTOH, Hunky Husband breaks out in a sweat that forces him to mop his face at the dinner table – while consuming food that isn’t the least bit spicy. When he runs, he returns soaked and must wring out his clothing. His bed must be aired each day to rid it of the night’s perspiration. I tell him that if he did not radiate so much heat, he would feel warmer, himself. As it is, he constantly feels cold.