Summer came late to Orange County. Yesterday’s temperature peaked at 111 degrees. My brother posted this lovely picture from the back patio at his house in Fountain Valley, where the cool ocean breezes blow.
Granted, this was taken in direct sun, but you get the point. I don’t care what they say about dry heat or humid heat. 111 degrees is stupid hot! It’s hellfire and brimstone hot.
The day started out fine. The A/C was pumping and I was cool as a cucumber at home. Then it came time to pick up the kids from school. I opened the front door and it was like opening the door to a blast furnace. Making two trips back and forth from school in a car with the A/C on the fritz was when things started to roll downhill. I came back in the house and collapsed on the sofa with a glass of ice tea, desperately trying to cool down.
I always try to make the best of every situation, so I thought it would be fun to conduct a little experiment. I’ve always heard the phrase “hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk,” and figured this would be the perfect day to see if it could be done.
I wasn’t kidding when I said it was hot. The poor little egg was sweating before we even started.
We decided to try our experiment on two surfaces, the lighter colored sidewalk and the darker blacktop of the road. In case you’re wondering at this point, yes, my kids do think I’m nuts and I have absolutely no idea what my neighbors think when they see me cracking eggs out on the street.
Well, my kids might think I have a few screws loose but they still joined in on the fun.
We cracked our two eggs and there was no immediate sizzle, so we set our timers for half an hour and went inside to escape the scorching sun.
By this time, I think the heat was starting to get to me, and I started hatching a plan for another experiment.
Half an hour later and our sidewalk egg looked the same as it did when we first cracked it. Our road egg was beginning to look a bit more promising however, so we left it out there to simmer for a bit longer and went back inside.
After about an hour and a half, the yolk of the egg was cooked. This picture may not show it, but it is firm. The white of the egg didn’t change color much but that egg was definitely cooked.
While all this egg cooking was going on I started wondering about crayons, so we set up a little experiment in the backyard to see which color of crayon would melt the fastest.
Now, yesterday, as I was doing this, it all seemed perfectly normal to me. Today, as I sit at my computer and write it all down and look at the pictures I realize how strange the whole thing really is. Sometimes something sounds so good in my head but then when I say it out loud or tell somebody else…
Anyway, this is what I really and truly did yesterday. I’m blaming the heat, because things didn’t get any better. After an hour of cooking in the sun our little black crayon was starting to look like a little black puddle. The red crayon and orange crayons were beginning to sweat and the white crayon was as cool as a cucumber.
This is when the A/C quit.
The rest of the evening is a blur. We sat in the house for a while praying it would come back on.
Because of the high energy use all over southern California, there were rolling blackouts. When the temperature inside our house hit 90 degrees we abandoned ship and headed for cooler pastures (our local Mimi’s restaurant,) where we tried to cool off with gallons of ice water. But even in the restaurant the air conditioner was having a hard time keeping up with the heat. Our poor waiter was looking very wilted and when we were done we headed back home praying that the air was back on.
By this time however, the heat had done it’s damage. My fun little experiments with eggs and crayons were nothing compared to what the heat had done to my family.
The rest of the night literally melted down. Homework and life just became more than anyone in our household could manage. I wanted to curl up under a fan and sleep for a year. But that wasn’t possible. The heat had short-circuited our brains and our emotions and we all wound up in a blubbering overheated mess.
Last night we turned that A/C up high. There was an Arctic breeze blowing through the house and it felt good. We woke up with our parkas on and I’m praying that this hot spell is over and that sanity returns to our home.
(I wonder if you could make s’mores by melting marshmallows in the sun?)