Today, for the first time in years, I was out the door and walking before 7:30 a.m. That’s quite a departure for a guy who has never been a morning person.
But I’ve been forced into it. Even though the official first day of summer was just a couple of days ago, here in the Sunshine State it’s been summer since about April Fool’s Day. By “summer,” I mean that season when the local dress code reverts to shirtlessness and flip-flops for anything short of funerals. Around here, a hat and a pair of cargo shorts are all the wardrobe you need until about Halloween. Fishnet tank-top optional.
Especially after the solstice. Besides the temperature, the weather app on my computer also shows what it “feels like,” accounting for factors like 98 percent humidity, no breeze and a fair amount of rotting trash and dog shit along my route. A couple of days ago, it reported that although the temperature was 94, it would feel like 104. After wading through a few miles of molasses in the early afternoon, I revised the estimate upward to about 140.
At the crack of dawn, on the other hand, I see that it can be as cool as 80! So now I hope to be early riser. It won’t be easy. After decades of working a swing shift, morning torpor is still hard to conquer. On the other hand, waiting until afternoon carries an increasing risk of heat stroke, and an even larger one of me saying “to hell with it.”
Which, at this point in my life, I really can’t afford. Regardless of the weather, the FitBit must be fed its daily ration of steps. See you at sunup. Just don’t expect me to be smiling.