Beating the Heat

How do you keep cool during the dog days of summer?

When I asked this question to the hound and other foxes, I figured most of us would be huddled in our air-conditioned homes right about now. Or going to the beach. I remember sweating through August, going outdoors only in the early morning or after dusk, unless I actually needed to be somewhere. But our weather forecast for this week is for relatively mild temperatures, with today being the hottest – at a predicted high of 82 degrees farenheit.

In Michigan, we are never more than six miles from a body of water, and never more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. The water keeps things pretty temperate. And living in the northern part of the contiguous 48 states, we don’t often get the 100-plus temps the weatherman tells us about. But we used to hit 90 degrees regularly and once every few years it would hit 100 in the summer, and to us that was unbearable. But it seems we’re not getting the heat like we used to. In fact, two weeks ago we had one 90-degree day – our first in over two years!

Looking at the extended forecast, it appears the mild weather trend is going to continue. Between now and September 10, high temps will range between 75 and 82. After September 10 we’ll be lucky to hit 70. Our in-ground pool has had one brave swimmer in it since we opened it the week after Memorial Day. Since I like to swim in water that’s nice and warm (like bath water), I probably won’t try it.

So…no dog days here, other than that one day in July when it reached 90 for a few seconds. I guess I’ll have to resort to a “back in the good old days” kind of post.

Wading poolBack when I was small, my brothers and I would keep cool by running through the sprinklers my dad had set out in the yard. We also had the plastic blow-up wading pools. I remember picnic meals in our back yard under the big maple tree, drinking lots of Kool-Ade and lemonade, and eating popsicles. The ice cream truck would drive through the neighborhood several times a week and we’d usually beg Dad for a couple of dollars to buy a treat.


Rackett Pool. Photo from

Later on, I would walk up to the high school (four blocks away) to go swimming. My high school had both an outdoor and indoor pool – we took lessons in the indoor pool and had fun at the outdoor one. There was always a lifeguard on duty, and we looked out for each other, since Mom couldn’t swim. A lot of our friends went to the beach – we’re only twenty-five minutes from Lake Michigan – but my family didn’t do that, so we took advantage of the school facilities.

I went to college way down south in central Illinois. I only spent one full summer there, and it was hot enough to send me back north. My roommate and I kept cool by drinking LOTS of iced tea. Once in a while when it got really hot (for me) I’d take a nap during the hottest part of the day and then get up to do most of my studying at night when it was cool enough to concentrate.

Version 2The kids came along and we installed an in-ground pool. The girls both became great swimmers and we put a nice three-season porch on the back of the house so I could watch them from the comfort of the shade. We often get a nice breeze blowing through, so unless it’s really sunny, the porch is a comfortable place to sit. The kids often invited their friends over, and we considered ourselves lucky that we always knew where our kids were.

Nowadays, since both hubby and I are retired, we don’t have to be anywhere during the day. We have central air, and can keep the house as cool as we like. If I was in charge of the controls it probably wouldn’t run so much. But hubby likes it a lot cooler than me, so I normally have to wear long pants and a sweater when I stay home. So my dilemma this summer was not how to keep cool, but rather how to keep warm!

How hot does it get in your neck of the woods? And how do you stay comfortable?

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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13 Responses to Beating the Heat

  1. jeff7salter says:

    Weather here (in S.E. KY) has been relatively moderate — compared to what I see in the headlines across the country.
    I love the notion of your three season patio. We use our front porch during fall and spring, but in summer it’s too hot and too much direct sunlight. Plus bugs.
    I’m surprise you have your own in-ground pool — in Michigan?


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      The in-ground pool wasn’t my idea, but hubby insisted. And there are two pool service companies in this suburb, so apparently it’s not unusual in Michigan. He said he’d rather stay home and swim instead of going to the beach. The three-season porch is all screened in, so those nasty bugs aren’t so much of a problem there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        I’d agree with hubby that it’s easier to stay home to swim than to pack up and travel… but the maintenance (hassles & cost) would SKEERE me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are very fortunate to have cooler weather than here, Patty. This summer has been extremely hot…and humid. A/C is the way to go!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. melissakeir says:

    My hubby likes it warmer in the house, but with this weather, I’ve just needed the fan. I do miss having a pool (or a hot tub) and like you, it was where I was during the summers. From learning to swim at the YMCA to the pool uptown, I was always in the water. Today, I like my pool warm so I don’t go out to the local pool. It’s too cold. Maybe if I lived in a little warmer climate….oh well I can dream!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Swimming is kind of a necessary skill in a state with so much water, isn’t it Melissa? Thanks so much for visiting!


  4. We go to my parents and I take a long sleeve shirt. My kids will drink hot chocolate there in the summer. My dad worked for several years in the computer room where they had to keep the temp at a certain level so they would not overheat. He got so used to that temperature that it is only slightly above that at his house.
    So I understand you having to figure out how to keep warm. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Oh my! I’m shivering just thinking about it! Fortunately, hubby turns the AC to a more comfortable level at night so I’m not shivering after he goes to bed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. coryellsusan says:

    Our “lake effect” here in S. VA keeps us warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Couldn’t ask for much more! Nice post.


  6. Alicia Dean says:

    I’m sooo jealous of your weather! Here in Edmond, Oklahoma, we’re experiencing 100 plus temps. NOT fun. I just try to stay under the AC as much as possible. Great pics!


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      After watching the weather report each morning, we’re thankful for our weather, too! If I were in Oklahoma I’d definitely stay indoors in the AC. Thanks so much for visiting!


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