• The Air

    IT IS HOT!!!

    I've lived in Maryland since I was 6 years old.  It can get very hot and very humid.   Now we are not talking jungle levels of heat and humidity.  But it is distasteful enough that folks from other states sometimes comment "what's the deal with your weather?"  I think the issue is this - if you aren't living by the ocean, or on a mountain, or on a farm, or in a forest, anywhere that makes the heat manageable - you are just meat cooking in the sun.  That's what it feels like here this week.

    I was raised without air conditioning and lived without it until I was married - so I know it is possible to live without it.  And with time I know I would adjust to no air conditioning again.   But in my area - high heat and high humidity creates another problem that I can't just "get used to."  Poor air quality!

    I didn't always understand about air quality.   About 10 years ago on a hot humid day,  I went out for a walk.  I had been walking regularly.  I was in pretty good shape.  The report said the air quality level was Red.   I couldn't see anything wrong with the air ... and besides ... air quality alerts were for the elderly and for people with chronic problems.  So I headed out.

    I got about 1/2 mile down the road, and I couldn't seem to take a deep breath.  My lungs filled but the exchange of gases just wasn't doing it.  My energy lagged and I began to feel sick.  I slowly walked home wondering if I was coming down with something.  I got back into our air conditioned townhouse and sat down.  Almost immediately I began to feel better - like I had an oxygen mask on!

    And it happened again today - that "can't catch my breath" feeling - only I was just out running some errands.  While I was in the air conditioned car I was fine.  I was fine in stores.  But trips through the parking lots - not good.  I don't know what the air quality was today, but my lungs said it wasn't good enough.

    What is crazy about this is - I am not an ex-smoker.  I don't live with a smoker.  I don't have a history of chronic lung disease like asthma or repeated bronchitis.  I am older so maybe age is contributing to my struggle to breathe in these conditions.

    I am not knowledgeable about the topic of air quality and weather.  But I know the way we live has caused most of these problems with our environment.  That topic has been well researched and proven.  Makes me sad that the air which we breath is tainted at times by our own actions.

    But on this day, and at my age, I am grateful beyond measure to the invention of air-conditioning.  I might be able to adjust to warmer temps, but I need to be able to breathe.

    So how is everyone else doing?
    Extreme heat in your little corner of the world?  
    And has your air quality been acceptable?  
    Do you live in an area where air conditioning is needed? 
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