What the Heat is Driving Us To: Everyday Magic, Day 593

The squirrel with a nut as big as his head just stood in the drive and stared at us as our car approached. We just about had to hit the brakes before the squirrel would move — walking in slow motion — out of the center of the road. This is what the heat has driven squirrels as well as humans to lately.

Today’s high: 107. Strange things happen when the temperature lingers here, such as these moments. At Target, where we went to get our big dogs a supply of rawhide to chew on while we’re on vacation (they’ll have a housesitter too), we saw three women each buying enormous bags of chocolate. Each had a look of fierce determination in her eyes, having driven whatever distance it took to get to a big air-conditioned box of a store and buy major chocolate.

At home, the cat will only wake up to eat small amounts of food and meow loudly at us, as if the weather is our fault (which it actually is when you consider climate change). Furthermore, the squirrels around our house are largely sprawled along our deck railings, stretched to capacity, and begging us to shave them.

Meanwhile, the heat is driving our family to drive away from the heat. We go to Lake Superior along the Minnesota coast, leaving early tomorrow morning (when it might be down to a luscious 90 degrees) to drive north. Will we lose our acclimatization? Absolutely. But then again, I’m sure Kansas will re-introduce us to real heat soon enough upon return. In the meantime, we will do our best to direct the big rains that have caused so flooding around the Great Lakes westward, where we all need a break in the drought and the heat.

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