As we started to get ready for our annual family campout I remember listening to the nightly news the night before we left with sort of half my attention. When they predicted record temperatures I didn’t think too much about it. I threw an extra fan in our fifth wheel and purchased a box of popcicles, thinking I did a little extra preparation.
When we arrived at our campsite in the mountains it was quite comfortable and I thought we “beat the heat”! We didn’t even need air conditioning at night as we breezed right through with just the vents open. I felt we were so lucky to be where we were, content and enjoying nature to its fullest!
We awoke the third morning and I could already feel the difference and the temperatures were soaring. We all headed for the river, which was just at the edge of our campground, just to cool off a little. That was a “God’s send” for sure as each person found his/her relief in the water. Adults, kids and dogs found solace in just getting wet. It is the first time we all participated together splashing, dipping, throwing rocks, swimming, tubing or just dipping our toes at water’s edge and will be remembered in a special way.
When we returned to our campsites and feasted on ice cream and just hung out under the shady trees it was obvious everyone was wilting and trying to seek their own level of comfort. “Heading for home” was on our minds, too, as the reality was sinking in as to the phenomenon we were experiencing. Was our home base okay and will our plants survive? Should we leave at this point or wait until our scheduled return in the morning?
As it turned out we stayed the last night but got up early and headed for home. This was to be one of the record temperature days and we did not want to be caught with unloading and physical efforts in mid afternoon. By the time we got everything settled and watered the yard we nearly collapsed. It was just too much. Just sitting in the cool air conditioned house was the haven we sought. We were not really hungry and all we could do was simply “hang” and pray the electricity stayed on and the air conditioner kept working.
The following day was another record breaker exceeding 115 degrees so we spent most of the day periodically spraying down our plants, which wilted almost as fast as we tackled them. We would take turns watering so not to get over heated ourselves. Even with that we had a percentage of plants that were sunburned and most all of the blooms on our potted plants just dropped off. The oppressive heat permeated every part of our house as it creeped deeper and deeper into its core. Even the freezer door in the garage was almost too hot to touch.
Never have I ever in all my life experienced the extent of a heat wave such as this one. Yes, we have hit 100 degrees many times in my life in Oregon but this was different. Other parts of the country deal with sky rocketing heat every summer for which they prepare themselves. We simply have been the destination for those people to escape it. The tide was definitely turned this time. On the heels of the wildfires last summer, the ice storm earlier this year and the historical year of Covid, my attention is peaking! There is a pattern forming as our resilience is being tested. What next lays down the road and what message is God sending us?
f know now we must be prepared for whatever comes as best as we can. Putting off buying that generator or air conditioner as well as putting together an emergency kit might jump up the list of priority. Sticking our heads in the sand just doesn’t work when we really need it.
And for me, I come to a place where I am so thankful for what I have and appreciate each day. With so much unrest in the world we must all stop and realize what it is we can control……..and that is gratitude and positivity! “Woe is me” never got anyone anywhere……except maybe down and depressed!