"It's not that we don't like the heat," said one local mom of three, "But folks here are just not equipped to deal with high temperatures several days in a row."
She is right, folks here are not equipped, in the practical sense of the word, as many homes lack the one vital item necessary to keep pets and children cool when the temperatures soar into the 80's and 90's: air conditioning. Most Pacific Northwesters idea of air conditioning consists of a whirling fan placed behind a bowl of ice cubes, which just doesn't cut it in record-breaking heat.
Making the heat even a little more inconvenient was the fact that it arrived during one of the busiest and most bustling weeks of the year, a week full of baseball tournament games, field trips, and ansy children awaiting the final day of school.
"They just can't seem to focus, and it's hard to get them to bed when it is still so hot in the house." Mrs. Stop Screaming said, drinking her 8th cup of coffee. "I try to get them to bed at a reasonable hour, but the fans just barely take the edge off and they have school in the morning, so sleeping outside is out of the question."
She is not alone. Many, many parents in our region feel the same way. "My kids were up til 11," said a friend of Stop Screamings, "On a school night!"
Heat advisory after heat advisory only worried the local mother more, as she thought they would never make it through the heat.
To cope and to cool the kids down, she would let them swim in the lake much later than normal, and her sprinkler had never seen more action. The kiddie pool purchased last year had already suffered a tear that cannot be repaired and all of the local stores were completely sold out of new ones. More popsicles were made and consumed than over the entire summer of 2008 and it was not uncommon to find a child, and perhaps a dog, laying on the cool tile of the kitchen floor "just to cool down."
"We aren't wimps when it comes to heat, we just aren't made for it." Sighed the mom, in response to statements made that Washingtonians "don't know what real heat is and are acting like babies" made on several news websites.
"When you mix heat and high humidity with people who are unprepared, you bet we are going to complain," she said.
Although she is facing the arrival of summer with open arms, the local mom is grateful for the respite that cooler weather brings, on this last full week of school.
"The house finally has cooled off so that it is comfortable to sleep at night and my kids are arguing less, which makes life so much better," she said pouring what appeared to be her 9th cup of coffee.