It’s not the heat, it’s …

The humidity? You were thinking “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”? That’s what I thought for many years, living in Oklahoma. Yes, summer humidity is a thing in Oklahoma; the Dust Bowl was a long time ago. But now that I live in Colorado, humidity is no longer a thing. In fact, we are constantly reminded to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.

So, it’s not the humidity. But the heat? Definitely a thing. It can get downright hot here in the summer. 100°F is common in many parts of the state. High desert, etc. And I don’t do heat. Haven’t for many years. You see, if it’s cold you can always put on more clothes. But if it’s hot, there’s a limit to how much you can take off. And birthday suits don’t come off.

Thankfully, there’s air conditioning. I couldn’t survive summer without it. So, if it’s not the humidity or the heat, what is it?

NOISE! I’ve concluded that for me the greatest irritant in the summer is the noise — “noise” being sounds generated by others and not under my control.

I sit here in the morning, half awake, sipping my coffee, and then RRRRRR!! A neighbor fires up a lawnmower. I get it. One mows early to beat the heat. I did that myself for many years. But it’s noisy. And it’s not my noise. My noise is sound I choose to create. I can crank up the volume for video games (more immersive that way). I like my music loud enough to shake the walls (gotta feel that bass). I turn on the dishwasher or the washing machine at times of my choosing. Those are all sounds I control.

Lawnmowers. Speeding cars. Roaring trucks. Kids screaming. Dogs barking. Air conditioners. Illegal fireworks. The sounds of summer. I expect them when I’m outdoors. But they are uninvited intruders in my home.

In the winter, people and pets stay inside where it’s warm. Traffic is minimized when the roads get bad. And snow, beautiful cold white snow, muffles all sound. You can wake up in the morning and actually “hear” that it snowed overnight.

So yes, I’ve decided it’s not the heat … or the humidity. It’s the noise.

10 thoughts on “It’s not the heat, it’s …

  1. Ah,I get that. I love very close to a river and it’s very busy with humanity and rafts and kayaks from Memorial Day until Labor Day. The rest of the year it’s very calm and serene

    1. There are few things more soothing than the sound of a river — provided you hear only the river and not a lot of man-made noise. (Can we still say “man-made”?)

    1. We hear that around here, too. But our dry heat is not as hot as Phoenix’s dry heat. And Denver doesn’t often reach 100°. That’s usually out on the plains somewhere. I can’t imagine living in Phoenix.

    1. Yep, I really used to hate it when I was enjoying nature on a quiet solitary hike and along comes a group of people laughing and talking and scaring away every living thing within a mile (except, of course, all the other laughing, talking people). I realize public places are … public. But still, a little consideration?

  2. Agreed, I too would like two-cycle engine mowers to go away. I found this intro to a study from Princeton:
    “In America, over 40 million acres of land are covered by lawn, or, more specifically, turf grass. While lawns can function as “carbon sinks,” soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, this benefit is often outweighed by the heavy carbon cost associated with the maintenance of these lawns. Rather than alleviating climate change, lawns may be contributing to it. The main culprits are lawn equipment, specifically gas powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers, and synthetic fertilizers. Ultimately, Americans should consider alternatives for the technological and chemical ways they are treating their lawns, and even consider the potential of changing the structure of their lawn entirely.”

    1. I’ve seen a number of stories recently suggesting everyone should abandon lawns and install xeriscapes. In this part of the country the concern is saving water, although it would also eliminate the noise and pollution from lawnmowers, etc. I always wonder who is going to convince the HOAs that such changes must be allowed.

    1. It wouldn’t be my first choice because green grass is, to me, cooler and friendlier than rocks, cactus, and yucca. I guess builders here were sort of splitting the difference when they put 3-4 foot wide borders of river rock around all the grassy areas. It cuts down on the amount of lawn to be watered.

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