Steamy Shed

It’s unclear how useful the writing shed will be in summer. We turned on the AC in the house yesterday — the forecast now says high of 94, feels like 100. I am normally an avid proponent of keeping the windows and doors open (hooray for screens) and the fans going to provide a cross-breeze, but there comes a point where the whole family wilts and we concede defeat and turn on the AC. None of us can sleep when it’s too hot, so that’s the real breaking point.

Temperature regulation is a little complicated for me, as I’m hypothyroid, so my body doesn’t adapt all that well to temperature extremes. But I keep thinking of when we went to Sri Lanka in 1995, and I was miserable in the heat, and demanding to know how my mother survived it. And she just looked sort of bewildered and said, “It’s not so bad. Your body gets used to it. Drink some tea.” She and the aunties drank lots of hot tea; there was some sort of theory that it heated you up and then you sweat more and that cooled you down? Like your own personal swamp cooler.

There’s no AC in the shed — so far, we’ve only put in electricity. I could get a tiny swamp cooler for around $40, which was effective in my Salt Lake City apartment, where it was dry, but I’m not sure those work as well in the humidity of Chicago.

For right now, I have a fan, and I came out this morning (currently 85, feels like 95), leaving the cool of the house, a little shocked by the transition. But I’m sitting in the shed typing right now, and the fan may actually be enough. I’ve turned my chair to get out of the sun, and the fan is blasting right on me. (I actually stole this fan from another room in the house, and it will go back, but I have ordered a pretty fan for the shed, will be here soon.) And I’m drinking my tea (yes, Amma), though I’m not sweating yet. So far, so good.

Time to turn off Facebook and write a little.


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