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It is hard to dress fashionably in HOT degree weather
THE CLOWN DAYS OF SUMMER
Musings on a summer day by Kathy Novelli
Summer in SE Kansas can be a bear! Hot hot hot! Brutal heat without relief because, unlike summer evenings on the West Coast of California near the Bay Area where cool nights prevail, the temperature does not drop during darkness here in the Heartland. Nope! Not in the middle of August when the wind ceases to bring soft night time breezes which cool the air. No!. The height of summer in Independence, Kansas can almost be a “deal breaker.”
Thankfully, though, (with the exception of THIS year - 2010) three out of four of the summers we've experienced in this part of the country are not as drawn out as in other areas; peaking for only a few weeks, then the bell curve begins it’s descent. We saw this on a graph provided on the internet, but had not yet experienced it. Sure enough; July was quite tolerable with cool nights and highs that topped out during early afternoon and subsided quickly; bringing cool, breezy evenings.
Then, August arrived like the Lion it is. Unbearably hot into the wee am hours. We’d awake to find that the am “low” had reached an icy 80 degrees! And not a waft of wind to be felt. Retiring at night with AC humming or fans whirring; it is still extremely difficult to sleep through hot, sultry nights. What is amazing though, is how quickly one acclimates to this crazy weather, “learning” to feel, somehow, cooled in the balmy 80 degree mornings. After a while, and many nights of coverless, shallow sleep, this new low is a welcome relief.
Then, as surely as the calendar changes from August to September, the weather does, likewise. Almost overnight (as the saying goes), the cool evenings return, winds whip up and the comfort level is back.
During the weeks that the weather beats us up like this, though, the fewer articles of clothing one wears, the better. I hadn’t experienced Heartland weather before, not in a permanent way as now, so this was news to me. But with little exposure, I quickly decided that, in order to survive and remain sane, I had to wear as little as is legally possible. It is, thank goodness, a little easier to get away with minimal garb around the farm where no one would ever see; ever care.
Unfortunately, cool, loose fitting and comfy clothing does not usually come in high style in middle America. The choices here are supplied primarily by locally owned, “mom & pop” shops offering the latest styles the ‘60’s had to offer! Bright colors, large prints, strange fabrics with lovely gathers, ruffles and tucks. Not Nob Hill selections to be found here, I can assure.
As a result, in order to be cool and comfortable while maintaining a modicum of self respect and human decency, I found myself purchasing several choices (!?) of clothing which I would not have been caught, well, you know.. wouldn’t have worn elsewhere or otherwise.
Bright, baggy, garish and loud, I caught my reflection one day. The only thing that came to mind was that I looked like a rodeo clown. The type who draw attention to themselves and away from the hapless rider who landed on his keester on the ground. I laughed out loud. "If only they could see me now;" I thought; fashion icon I consider myself to be. Or to have been. Oh boy!!
It is surprising, to what lengths one will go when forced to face reality. And really really hot weather! Reality here, in mid August, is that shedding clothing is the necessity du jour. And choices for the remaining threads is sparse. But, oh the freedom! from sweaty, clinging clothing. Ah, to savor the feeling of air between cloth and skin! If dressing for comfort and ease is what is called for then, bring on the Clowns! Let there be the Clown Days of Summer!