Fall Weather

My son, Rob, is a mechanical engineering major at Clemson. My husband and I were chatting with him about classes, specifically one called Heat Transfer.

“How can there be an entire class on heat transfer?” I said.

“Who are you to talk?” my husband said.  “You got a theology degree and had an entire class on the Psalms.”

“There are a lot of Psalms,” I countered.

“There’s a lot of heat transfer,” Rob said.

Three and a half years ago, Rob graduated from high school. I realized I would miss him when he went to college, so I offered him the chance to stay home and I could homeschool him in university level mechanical engineering. With my background in theology, how hard could it be? I’ll read the text book; we’ll build a diesel engine or take apart a toaster in our garage. My son politely refused my offer, and there we were, packing him off to Clemson in 2017.

Speaking of heat transfer, we’re getting ready to have a lot of that in South Carolina as summer turns into autumn. South Carolina is transferring its heat to Australia.

Now I have to start wearing more layers. I’m cold-natured, so it’s September 24 and I’m already wearing two sweatshirts in my own house. By February I’ll be wearing three sweatshirts, a long-sleeved t-shirt and long underwear. At one time. And since I know this is your next question, no, we don’t have our heater set on 55 in the winter. It’s set on 70.

If I pull on my three sweatshirts and I’m still cold, I’ll bump it up to 72.

You hot-natured people think I’m a weakling because I need so many layers. But I could just as easily say to you in August, “You wimp, you’re turning on the AC? It’s only 95 degrees outside.” The root of this is I grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia is famously hot in the summer.

Some of you know the Columbia proverbs: “My son, forget not the wisdom you learned at your mother’s knee when she said unto you, ‘There’s a screen door between hell and Columbia, and someone left it open.’ And behold, my son, the state legislature meets there as well. That’s why Satan moved away. He could take the heat, but the heat PLUS debates in the General Assembly? ‘I’m going to hell,’ he pronounced as he packed his bags. ‘It’s nicer there.’”

On top of the temperature, humidity hovers around 105% in Columbia.  I got used to the sticky heat. Then I moved to Greenville, South Carolina, which is a bit cooler than Columbia. People here complain about summer heat, and those of us who grew up in Columbia call them amateurs. On the other hand, when I tell native Greenville folks I grew up in Columbia, they mumble, “I’m sorry,” as if I just told them my grandmother died. If you’re not a South Carolinian, you may not get that joke, but every state has a city like Columbia where the weather is bad. Now imagine that this city is the state capital, too, where government makes all kinds of crazy laws. It’s purgatory at best.  

I hope the cool fall weather will be nice, but it’s 2020, so you never know. With our luck an asteroid will smash into the earth and knock us out of orbit. I don’t know if that would make Earth hotter or colder. I’ll have to ask my son if he learned about that in his heat transfer course.  Come to think of it, Satan would be a good guest speaker for that class. Because of Covid, he’ll have to wear a face shield when he lectures. Not sure how a shield fits over your head if you have horns.

Stick a pitchfork in me. I’m done.

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