It is hot. It is stupid hot. Not to mention stupefyingly hot.
Go outside. Walk to the compost pile beside the garden. Feel like you might vomit.
Go outside. Water the porch plants. Feel like you might have a heart attack.
And you know what? It's a hell of a lot hotter in some places than it is here.
Someone in a parking lot asked me today if it was hot enough for me. Actually, truly asked that.
God, yes, I said. I was too hot to come up with anything snappy.
Okay. We can handle this. We are Floridians. We have been training for this our entire lives.
That's a lie. I mean, yes, we are Floridians. But no, we probably are not going to be handling it well. People without air-conditioning or even fans are going to die. That's just a fact.
But hey! Here I am, sitting on my back porch where it's only 92 degrees and oh, so shady! With my Vornado fan blowing at high speed directly on me from about three feet away. Still, sweat drips down my back. I just filled the bird bath and am waiting to see if any cardinals come to take advantage of that. I hope they do. Mr. Moon is at the river now. He mowed the grass today, not having had time to do it last evening. I didn't go because I'd just gotten back from town and had to catch up on some things. I'm wishing I'd gone though. I'm wishing we lived right on the river. I'm wishing that with all my heart.
So yes. I went to town today. Mr. Moon's birthday is Thursday, as I have mentioned. What to get him? I never know. He can and does buy himself whatever he needs or wants. So I went to Bass Pro Shop. I've always called it Bass Pro World which Lily pointed out to me recently is not the name of it. "It's not Disney World," she said. In the most loving way possible.
Point taken. I'll probably still call it Bass Pro World most of the time anyway.
Getting Mr. Moon stuff at Bass Pro Shop is like buying him a gift certificate. I went in and found him some shorts and a shirt. Maybe one of the pairs of shorts can also be worn as a bathing costume. I don't know. It doesn't matter. And I got him a big bag of soft peppermints. Everyone loves soft peppermints, right? And whatever he doesn't like or want he can take back and exchange for something that he does want. Like a gift card.
And then, I did something horrible.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
I went to Walmart. It was right there. I wanted to look at pressure canners because if I had one of those, I could can my green beans without pickling them. For low-acid foods one needs a pressure canner to preserve safely. So I found one and I bought it. I feel like a real grown-up now. Why have I waited so long to buy one?
Eh, well. Who knows?
The hand towels I put in the bathroom off the kitchen are used constantly and I'm down to about three and two of them have holes in them. I've been meaning to buy new ones for a long time but I never go to places that sell towels except for Costco and they only sell hand towels in bundles with washcloths which I do not need. But Walmart has them! So I went down the towel aisle and I got four new ones, all white so I can bleach them (this is probably why the ones I have all have holes in them) and I got Mr. Moon a new bathroom rug and also, new bath towels. I hate the bath towels he uses in his bathroom. I cannot remember buying them and I cannot remember a time when we didn't own them. They are a sort of dark orange which is not a color I would buy. Maybe a rust. Whatever. And I got Mr. Moon two new hand towels to match the towels. And rug. They are gray.
They will do. And I swear- he's going to have to take those rusty orange towels out to the garage to use as work towels. I do not want to see them in my house any more. What they spark is not joy but irritability and annoyance.
I also got a dress at Walmart. It is all cotton and it has pockets and since it cost $14.97 I won't mind wearing it when I can green beans.
I kept finding things that I've been vowing to go shop for and just haven't because I don't like shopping at all. So hell. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound.
When I went to check out, I didn't see any checkout people except for a rather largish group of employees who appeared to be doing nothing except standing by the self-check-out places, mostly talking to each other.
"Are there any humans?" I asked one of the standers.
"No," he said. Well, he was a human but he knew what I meant.
I often use the self-checkout at Costco and the employee who stands in that area is all over the place, helping people, scanning items that are heavy, making sure that everyone is okay. One guy did come over to me when I was checking out today. One of my items had given me a message that it hadn't scanned. I was dealing with it. He wasn't sure that I was. Then he pointed to the canner in the cart and said, "Did you scan that?"
"Yes," I told him. "I did." He didn't bother to check.
I could have stolen half the shit in my cart and no one would have checked or cared. Walmart doesn't pay them enough to go to that much effort. And then, when I walked my cart to the door, I passed TWO human checkers.
And then I went to Publix to get Mr. Moon a birthday card and me a sandwich because it was almost three and I was hungry. I guess I totally forgot that Walmart must surely sell birthday cards. They sell everything else.
Before I left Walmart, a woman noticed the pressure canner box in my cart.
"I have one just like that!" she said. "I bought it last week!"
"Do you like it?" I asked.
"I do!" she said.
And then we stood there and talked about canning and stuff. She's from Madison which is a little town some miles to the east of here. "If we lived closer, I'd give you all my quart jars," she said. "I don't use them anymore."
She told me how many pints of okra she'd put up and I told her about rattlesnake beans. She learned to can from her grandmother. Her mother was afraid of poisoning people with canned goods so she never did it. A lot of people feel that way and I'm sure it could happen and I'm sure it does happen but frankly, I've never heard of anyone dying from improperly canned food. Not personally, at least.
So that was my big adventurous day. I am hot and I am sticky and the cardinals haven't found the birdbath water yet. The crickets are singing chorus after chorus of the It's Hot song.
Tomorrow I will make a prune cake which is what Mr. Moon wants for his birthday. "Like the one you made May," he said.
I know which one that is. I can do that.
And hopefully, I will can some green beans. Or, as the lady from Madison called them- snap beans.
If I had any doubt before, I do not now.
I am an old southern granny. I put up snap beans.
Or at least I will.
Funny to think that this is where I've been heading my entire life.
And that's okay.