Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hot? Cold?

My comfort range has decreased steadily since youth. As a child I happily paddled along the shores of Lake Michigan when the air was chilly and the water just above chunky, wondering why Mom stayed sitting on the sand while there was WATER! in which to play. In the 1980's I recall trotting quite happily along desert trails in Arizona as the mercury edged over the 3 digit mark.

Those days of tolerating extremes of heat and cold are long past. My inner thermometer wiggles madly over and under the "Just Perfect" point, estimated at 70F. and I don flannel shirts and furry slippers as it slips below 68F and begin stripping as soon as it nudges 72F. On again, off again, and repeat both day and night.

I tend to blame the aging process alone, but add menopause and a home in coastal Oregon and there is no coping mechanism complicated or strong enough to compensate for the swings in system status. Coastal Oregon (simplified) is too chilly and windy in winter for anybody over the age of 50. Summer, the time between "rain is almost over" and "rain is on the way back" is notable for high sun-killing fog punctuated by brief sunbreaks of intensity sufficient to evaporate moisture instantly. If I venture forth to sit in the Great Outdoors I end up leaping between shade and sun. Chill and sweat. As for menopause, does it need any explanation?

Hormones and climate are part of the mix but age is the major culprit. Take a look at my kids. They thrive in the humid heat of Eugene where the summer days range upwards from 80F, a point at which I have drooped and begun melt.The daughter, after one year of residency in Oregon called this week to say she misses the rain. Misses the RAIN? Like, misses the coldwetdampsoggy weather we have nine months a year? That coldwetdampsoggy weather wherein the granddaughter chooses to wear shorts and the grandson is gleefully naked except for diapers while Grammy hunts for yet another blanket to wrap in?

Come to think of it I do have a Sixty-Plus friend who lives in Phoenix. She might remove her sweater when the day warms to the mid-90's. And there is the friend in Fairbanks who only puts hers on if the outside temp nudges -20F. I'm doing the same at 72F and 68F. Okay, okay. It's me!