Jun 122022

Somebody asked me what it was like coming from the hot, dry desert of Arizona back to hot, humid, central Florida. I lived in Arizona for many years and never believed any of that “it’s a dry heat” nonsense they tell you about the desert. Hot is hot. It’s dry inside an oven, too, but I don’t want to spend any time there.

At least here at home, I can cope with the heat like a civilized man, by staying inside with the air conditioning running full blast while sitting around in my underwear. I don’t know what the problem is with my mother-in-law, but it seems to offend her when I do that. I think she’s worried about her electric bill.

Of course, that didn’t work out too well yesterday evening when the power went out sometime around 5 o’clock and didn’t come back on until almost 11. I suggested to Miss Terry that she might get a couple of palm fronds and fan me with them like they used to do to Egyptian pharaohs. She wasn’t buying into that at all. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.

For most of my adult life, my friends have referred to a phenomenon called “pulling a Nicky.” This refers to my ability to do really stupid things on a regular basis, which I seem to have a PhD in. For example, there was the time I got out of my friend Mike Howard’s International Scout on a remote desert road west of Tucson and slid halfway down a steep hill because I didn’t realize how close to the edge we were on that narrow dirt road.

Or the time I stepped out of our MCI bus conversion alongside Interstate 10 somewhere around Willcox, Arizona, and guess what? I did the same darn thing, sliding down the hillside next to the road while Miss Terry looked out and asked, “Nick? Where did you go?”

Or the steep hill I managed to drive the same bus conversion up, while going the wrong way on a one-way street on a Sunday afternoon in Bremerton, Washington, proving that you can drive a bus conversion up a hill so steep that your front wheels are on the pavement and your back bumper is on the pavement, but your drive wheels are several inches up in the air.

When you do that, it takes a very large tow truck to get you unstuck, as well as the police department to block off the road, and the fire department hazmat team to clean up the many gallons of antifreeze that poured out onto the street when the tow truck managed to nick the bottom radiator hose in the process. Do you see a pattern here with me and steep hills?

Even with all of that, I made it home in time to pick up Terry and our friends Jesse and Jennifer to go to dinner at Boston Fish House in New Smyrna Beach. The sky had been dark all day, and while we were eating, it began to rain hard. Fortunately, by the time we finished our excellent meal it tapered off to just a sprinkle. We got home and were only there a few minutes when a transformer blew down the street and we lost power, which brings us back to home is where the heat is. A lot of houses in Florida have swimming pools, but probably many more don’t have them. But one thing they all have in common is that when the power goes out, they all have built-in saunas.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I guess even the Amish have to obey the traffic laws.

Thought For The Day – What kind of doctor is Dr. Pepper? A fizzician.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Home Is Where The Heat Is”

  1. Our ER had a Dr. Pepper. When you have an emergency and you have to trust a Dr Pepper it immediately shakes you out of your worry/pain into humor mode.

    An old aquaintance, drunk, went into the bushes in the dark for you know, made a bunch of noise as he slid down the hill. Next we hear “Didn’t spill my beer”.

  2. I’ve on occasion had the same problem. Like when I slid down a steep, muddy, and slick, embankment all the way into the cold, cold, Buffalo River.
    We’re in Sarasota now…so experiencing about the same weather you guys got going. Did I say the Buffalo River was cold? That suckerbill will freeze off your whiskers.
    Why is it still overcrowded here in summer? Have other people discovered Florida summers are no worse than summer in the rest of south? Drat.
    We bought a little place – actually a park model mobile home- here in Sarasota so we can come down anytime we want.
    We sold our motorhome. It was a sad-glad day.


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