Thursday, June 27, 2013

A hot spell of unknown duration - is it too hot for Gloria to turn on the oven?

Royalty free stock photo of dry teas, from 123RF.
The meeting and subsequent visit of Robert Apotienne and Jack Guscott, in the company of Gloria, deserves further exploration, which it will receive in good time.  That door has not closed.  Other matters call.

As they have been known to do, the winds buffeting Billington's Cove ceased abruptly while our friends were indoors, mostly indifferent to the weather.  No only had the wind stopped, the temperature rose in an unforeseen fashion and, had the Cove been a sailing ship, it would have been stalled, becalmed there in the now-still sea for who knows how long.  Investigations would have been made into the state of provisions, especially drinkable water.  Fortunately, any vessels well off-shore as the elements shifted had engines or motors that would see them safely back to port.  On land, most dwellings and establishments had ceiling fans at the ready for such times.  No air conditioning unit had ever been installed in the Cove, or, if it had, it was hidden, silent and never spoken of.

When Mr. Apotienne left the shop for his calorie-balancing walk, the first thing he noticed was how overdressed he was and removed his all-weather coat, this being perhaps the one weather for which it was poorly suited.  He rolled up his shirtsleeves, unbuttoned his collar a daring two buttons and put on sunglasses.  Mr. Guscott, whose inland-rented car was air conditioned, offered him a lift wherever he was headed but understood the desire and need to walk.  The next thing The Reading Man noticed was an upsurge of foot traffic along the road and the surf line.  A startling upsurge.  People in shorts.  People in bathing suits.  People carrying striped canvas beach umbrellas to shelter themselves from a sun suddenly too hot.

The fishermen's outfitter was housed in a salt-stained one-story wooden structure from which an equally weathered pier led a short distance into the bay.  Mr. Apotienne quessed they would have some information - either scientific or anecdotal - about this meteorological anomaly and might be eager to speculate on the turn of events.  He was not mistaken.  "Is there  a name for this phenomenon?" he asked, stepping into the shop.  "Is this normal?"

"You should have been here in '74," said the owner, Reggie Doland, whose name appeared on a carved sign by the cash register.  "First everyone ran out of ice and then the power failed.  We got that taken care of.  Hasn't happened since.  We just call it the other side of summer.  Looks like you dressed a bit too warm this morning.  Got caught off guard."

"Can you tell when one of these is coming?" TRM asked.

"Not from very far away, maybe half an hour," Reggie said.  "Not much warning."

"No," agreed THRM.  "No, it's not.  Can anyone guess how long it will last?"

"Not from any farther than a half hour," he was told.  Accordingly, Mr. Apotienne thought himself into flexible mode, trusted all would be well on land and sea, felt a bit cooler immediately and was glad he had brought clothing for every occasion and change of climate.  Wisely, one did not take anything for granted in Billington's Cove.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

Billington Cove sounds more and more like a place I know well. We are currently sweltering, and wondering where our normal cool fog has gone. I was cagey enough to not wear my all-weather coat this morning.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - It is a place you know well, and I know sort of well, that helped me envision the vicissitudes of Billington's Cove. Smart woman, left the all-weather coat at home. An inefficiently named product, if you ask me. Stay cool. We are trying for the same. xo

Lisa H said...

I threw all modesty and semblance of good taste aside here in Colorado's version of Billington Coves heat wave, and wore a sleeveless black shirt. Arms EXPOSED.
The ghosts of my family's elegant women are appalled.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - My hope is that ghosts are forgiving, not being here and now and having to make your choices. I say bravo and cannot imagine anything amiss about you going sleeveless. You can bet they make the most of hot days in the Cove, just short of baring all. Elegant women, alive and not, are throwing their aprons over their faces. xo