weather

It’s that time of the year again…

Actually, it’s not quite that time yet in Germany. Lately, the weather has been beautiful… lots of sun, cool breezes, and blooming lilacs scenting the air. Sure, I’ve been sneezing a lot because of spring allergies, but since we no longer live next to a big field, my allergies haven’t been as bad. I have yet to see a field of rapeseed up here. Apparently, I am very allergic to that, even though the bright yellow fields are enchanting to look at.

I’m referring to warm weather, of course. I know that in any of the southern states where I’ve lived, it’s already warm, verging on hot. I’m sure Texas is like summer now. The extreme heat and high energy bills are just a couple of things I don’t miss about living in that state. The endless blanketing of super nasty pollen is something I don’t miss about Virginia, Georgia, or the Carolinas. However, although we do currently have four seasons in Germany– mainly thanks to global warming– summer can be pretty uncomfortable here.

I remember when we lived in Germany the first time, it never really got hot until late July. We had a couple of weeks of unpleasantly hot temperatures, but then things quickly cooled off. By September, we needed jackets. There was a joke that Germany only has two seasons: winter and autumn. These days, there’s definitely a summer and spring.

The last four years we’ve been here, the summers have been much warmer. In our prior house, we eventually ended up buying two air conditioners. I hated to do it, but there was just no other way to make parts of the house bearable to be in during July and August. I remember July 4, 2015. Europe was in the middle of an extreme heat wave. We went to the hardware store to get an air conditioner to make my computer area temperate enough to work in. I would run the air conditioner long enough to cool the room down to a somewhat comfortable level. But it was a very large room, so I could only cool it down just so much.

Ordinarily, I might have used rolladens or a curtain to achieve cooler temperatures, but that room wasn’t equipped with them on the sunny side. A curtain would have had to be custom made. I’d have to drape towels over the top of the window to keep the sun out of my face during the morning hours. After I’d walk the dogs, I’d come back radiating heat, turn on the AC, and let the cold air blow under my boobs. Then, I’d get an herbal pack I bought from a masseur in Portland, Maine. I kept it in the freezer, so it was ice cold. On hot days, I’d put it on my shoulders. It was a very effective tool for cooling off quickly, although it could also be heated in the microwave for heat therapy. Now that I think about it, I probably should see if I can find that wrap and prepare it for the hot days that are surely on the way.

We almost managed to get by with just one air conditioner, but we broke down and bought another one last summer because of another intense heat wave that made our bedroom extremely uncomfortable, to the point at which we couldn’t sleep. That room did have shutters, but they didn’t stop the room from getting so hot at night that we’d wake up sweaty and feeling like we’d been lying in a hot frying pan.

The new house we’re in has rolladens for almost every window, as well as large doors that can be opened on either side that lead to generous balconies. We can get a nice cross breeze with them. I’m hoping we won’t need to use the air conditioners in this house, although I suspect we will. It’s a pain to install them, and an even bigger pain to remove the glue residue that comes from hot air stoppers that have to be used to keep the cool air from escaping.

I notice that more and more businesses in Germany are installing air conditioning. I suspect that pretty soon, more homes will have it. In fact, we looked at a house in Wiesbaden that the owner was renovating. He was installing air conditioning to go with a beautifully outfitted, modern kitchen and a bathroom with a “washlet” installed. I liked his house and we strongly considered renting it, but I wasn’t crazy about the very congested neighborhood it was in. I also had concerns about whether or not our furniture would fit. The one room I knew could accommodate our beds was on the top floor, which didn’t have a bathroom. I didn’t want to have to worry about going up and down stairs to get to the toilet in the middle of the night. Also, we’d have to go outside to access the laundry room, which I knew would get old in the winter. Still, I was sad to see that house go to someone else. I liked it a lot.

In any case, we’re very pleased with the house we ended up with. It has almost everything we need. The only thing it’s missing is a good walking trail for the dogs, although I’ve heard there is one. We just haven’t discovered it yet. We’ll see how it handles the heat of summertime… but I’m still hoping this year, it won’t be so freakin’ hot. I’ve already ordered some anti-chafing products in anticipation of the weather. I’ll share a link for the interested. Supposedly, the stuff is “the bomb” for us large breasted types. I haven’t yet tried it myself, though, so we’ll see if it lives up to the hype.

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