Yes, I'll admit I'm a summer person. I'll whine and bitch about being cold most months of the year, but you will NOT find me complaining about summer heat, even at its worst.
Sure, I get hot. I sweat. Makeup slides off my face and my daily walks are a lot less energetic. But, as my friend Ron Trull says, you don't have to shovel heat or scrape it off the car. You can step outside without stopping to put on extra clothes. You don't have to worry about energy costs as you nudge the thermostat up.
"Ha!" I hear you say. "Air-conditioning costs money, too." To which I reply: Only if you use it. I prefer not to, and resort to it only when it stays in the high 90s for several days running, the cats are using my emery boards to sharpen their claws and teeth, and Tom's movements are reduced to two: bend elbow to sip drink and mop brow with handkerchief. My family hates me in the summer.
But if you spend all your time hiding from the heat, how are you going to know it's summer? How can you catch a firefly, bite into a warm tomato just off the vine or spit watermelon seeds? (No, into the kitchen sink doesn't count.)
I think people are far too spoiled by air-conditioning, and the more we use it the less tolerant of normal summer temperatures we become. Indeed, in the islands, where most houses have only window units, usually in one bedroom, there seems to be a lot less complaining about the heat.
Yes, there are trade winds on North Caicos and no large breeze-blocking buildings. But I've also noticed that people react to the really hot days -- the sizzlers -- in a different way.
First, no one talks about record-breakers or heat indexes. No one gets bombarded by advice to drink plenty of water, limit strenuous activity and use sunscreen. That's all just common sense, so no one makes a big deal out of it. The most you'll hear is a "Man, it's really HOT."
Second, everyone slows down. Old women in big straw hats swing their hips as they saunter down the road. Older women sit on porches with sweating glasses of mango juice as they flip-flip paper fans provided by churches. Construction workers still build, but with a measured step as they haul concrete blocks into place. Children head to the beach. Cats and dogs find cool spots in the bush or dig themselves dirt spots.
It's a marked contrast with the U.S., where we try to deny the weather with AC while talking about it incessantly.
My preference is the island way. I believe extreme heat is Mother Nature's way of telling us to slow down. And we should always listen to our mother.