Melting Away in McKinney, TX

I don’t do heat well. Never have. Didn’t notice my lack of tolerance for temperatures above 90 degrees until my family moved from Minnesota to South Carolina when I was nine.

The first several days following our arrival to Charleston, I would wander outside to explore my new surroundings so unlike anything I’d known before. What was this weird land we’d journeyed to?  The bright red, sticky, clay earth was so very different from the black soil back “home”.  The new fauna and flora was intriguing too. I wanted to explore further, but was stopped by two things that had me quickly heading back indoors.

  • One – It was late August, the days were muggy and tortuously hot. I had never experienced such hot weather and detested it immensely.
  • Two – The annoying, loud, droning, machine noises that NEVER seemed to let up. It unnerved me. Finally, I ventured to the end of our townhouse complex to locate the source. Before me stood an array of metal boxes. Air-conditioners I was to learn. Egad! Their noise blocks the best of nature’s outdoor symphony! They are seriously annoying machines, but dammit!  For most of my adult life, I’ve lived where these cooling boxes are needed spring, summer and fall. Sad face. I have had to rely on them for comfort and a good nights sleep ever since.

For me, being outside is vital for my soul. Time outdoors feeds my soul in ways that nothing else can. I can tolerate very cold temperatures, but not anything above 90 degrees for long. Above 100 degrees and I’m suffering big time. I had heat stroke when I was 22 years old, and ever since, I’m even more sensitive. If I get overheated, I can be ill for days – achy, weak & listless. So…summer in Texas sucks for me.

Hopefully, this background better explains the poem I wrote this spring while sitting on my back porch – my favorite place to be.



The insufferable is approaching!
I feel it’s searing breath
Prying into the bright
Springtime light.

Soon now the insufferable
Will rob from me
my joyful step.
Hold me back.

The insufferable will force me
Into sealed interiors
cooled by machines.
Isolate me.

The world will be out there
While I shall be caged in here.
All because of the insufferable,
Texas summer heat.

A new ARTitude art project I’ve begun is the creation of “Biography Blocks” representing my journey through life as a creative being. They are the Building Blocks of ME.

The block representing this poem also references my thankfully brief childhood fascination with placing crayons in hot places (like the back window of my Grandpa Torgerson’s car!!!), then gnawing and chewing on them afterwards. Hold your finger wagging! This was VERY IMPORTANT scientific research you must understand. Did different colors or different brands melt differently? What did yellow taste like? Blue? Practicing ARTitude requires a healthy dose curiosity!

And me, I was expressing ARTitude before I ever had a word for it.  So there.


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