10 February 2014


I know that many of my Northern Hemisphere readers are freezing right now, suffering under ice and snow and sleet, looking for whatever it takes to keep warm. I remember what it feels like to be chilled to the bone. I remember unplowed streets, canceled flights, and shivering, shivering, shivering all the time. I’m with you. I f-f-feel your pain.

But for those of us down here on the flip side, it’s been blisteringly hot, scorchingly hot, too hot to do anything. Too hot to go on errands. Too hot to talk. Too hot to write a blog. It’s just too darn hot . . .

(Ann Miller’s performance of Too Darn Hot, from Kiss Me Kate)

Most of Brazil is experiencing the hottest, driest summer in 20 years. In some parts of Rio, temperatures have soared as high as 57 C (134.6 F) with no break in sight, not one measly drop of refreshing rain. Yesterday ran to 43.2 C (109.76 F), and today they predict a mere 39 C (102.2 F). Tomorrow? Who knows. Who cares. I’m melting.

It’s too hot to eat anything but salads and sandwiches. The stores are running seriously low on bottled waters. On the up side, there are always cold, crisp, white wines and chilled rosés! Our freezer is stuffed with bottles of beer. We have to pray that our electricity holds.

As I drip through each day, all I can remember are those nightly Johnny Carson jokes, you know the ones where he’d come out and say, "It’s so hot in Burbank today that . . ." And then the audience would shout, "How hot is it?" And then, the feeble series of jokes, ba-dum-dum. Well, here, watch for yourself:

That’s how hot it is here. But at the end of the day, we have our pool. (Although some days, even the temperature of the pool water has been too hot!) It’s the only time of day I feel human anymore.

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