It’s Swinter. Or Wummer.

I spent my first 28 years living in upstate NY, Boston, and Providence. Each winter, usually in January, there are a couple of weeks where the outside temperatures are so cold that you just give up and stay indoors. You can tell it’s time to surrender when you can feel the inside of your nose freezing.

Temperatures in the DC area rarely get into the single digits Fahrenheit, so we don’t experience these winter doldrums. Instead, we get a sort of inverse winter or swinter or wummer. It gets so hot and muggy outside that you simply shelter in air conditioned place for a while.

I’ve still been riding my bike but doing work in the yard is out of the question. After five minutes you’re drenched in sweat. It’s totally gross. Today I spent ten minutes pruning a lilac bush and I thought I was going to die. I can’t imagine working on a road crew or roofing in this weather.

I suppose we could look at the bright side. The South has this weather for months on end. Here, at least , it comes and goes.

Our air conditioner had been conking out every few months for the last couple of years. It was over 15 years old and, to make matters even worse, sounded so loud that we couldn’t sit on our deck for the noise. So a couple of weeks ago, we replaced it, along with the furnace and the water heater. (My wife’s childhood bedroom was in the basement. One evening the water heater burst. Let’s just say she has water heater PTSD.)

The new AC is so quiet I sometimes don’t know that it’s on. The new furnace has a blower on it that blasts the cold air out of our air ducts. It’s super comfy in our house.

Another way you can tell it’s oppressively hot out is the cicadas. Their activity level increases with the air temperature. I was standing outside waiting for my wife’s car to be emissions inspected today. I was hit by cicada after cicada. I wasn’t anywhere near a tree. They were just bobbing around in the air, totally stoked by the hot air.

I think the 17-year cicadas are very cool but I am getting tired of feeling like the smooth side of velcro.

The forecast calls for a high temperature of 69 on Friday. Then it’s swinter again.

Pass the ice cream.

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