Heat and the Writer

As I turn the air conditioner down another notch and feel guilty, I confess I'm not capable of doing my best work, or any work, for that matter, when my wrists stick to the wrist support and sweat dribbles off my nose onto the keyboard. I fight the hothouse flower syndrome, mostly because I can't stand the transition from hot, humid Southern summer into freezer-cold houses, but now and then I give up. Mostly now I've surrendered to the AC. The year's longest day was just forty-eight hours ago, and I'm ready for fall. For fall planting - there's a mock orange I never got into the ground, and more bulbs I've collected over the past few months - and for the promise of cooler nights and crisper days. The September race that sets the field for the Chase. October in Martinsville, the small track roaring. We'll collect our racin' child from her university and keep up the family tradition of weekends with Nascar. Right now, I'm packing for Daytona and the 400, adding extra sunscreen in the suitcases, loading the tailgating gear.

I thought it was hard to write in the summer when my children were little, but it's just as hard now. I can find a zillion other projects demanding my attention. Hours spent watering the Viette day lilies, the zinnias and geraniums, the pikake and impatiens, weeding the garden and mulching it, are well spent, but not conducive to finishing a book. Sigh. I'll get it done, but only if I can't find any more excuses to pull me away from the office. Now that I've given in to the AC, I can't complain that it's too hot to work at the computer.

But I can worry about the Mountain Laurel I put in the ground two weeks ago. Maybe I'd better check on it, see if it needs more water in this heat.