|On this street we lived for four air-conditioned years|
The whole family felt much the same. We kept the house central air conditioning temperature set very low and spent a lot of time inside except perhaps in the evening or to go to a nearby pool. When we had to go out we ran to the Oldsmobile, which normally had its AC cranked up so high that the noise of the fan made it difficult to talk. Sometimes the kids battled over who got to sit in front between Mom and Dad, where the center vent blew freezing air into the lucky kid's face hard enough to make one's hair fly. We loved that.
Thanks to my parents' ability to afford our electric bills, we survived in Florida for four years. Then we moved back to Alaska, and I did not expect to live in another hot place, ever again.
Now as a ten-year full time resident of Mérida, it's interesting to see how I have adapted. Until just a few months ago I have lived here, a place hotter than South Florida, without air-conditioning at all. Now that I have AC in the bedroom, I still use it only occasionally.
My sister came around, too. After a few decades of feeling always cold in Alaska, she and my brother-in-law moved back to Florida several years ago.
Now, strangely, I find myself looking forward to my visits to see them in Florida as a respite from the heat. Particularly this time of year, when the Yucatán temperatures hit their peak.
The weather in Mérida has been reaching about 39 - 40 Celsius (102 - 104F) lately, and the forecasters say it will get quite a bit hotter later in the week, possibly as high as 45C, which is around 113 on the Fahrenheit scale. Today's edition of Mérida's Diario de Yucatán featured the banner, "Yucatán arderá," "Yucatán will burn." This morning's headline story tells us that record temperatures will be set in coming days.
I find it interesting that I often look forward to a Florida visit as a cool break from the Yucatán's blast-furnace heat. It points out how flexible we can be, and how much I've changed.
Text and images copyright 2015 by Marc Olson