Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in my corner of west-central Florida on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. It’s a cool late autumn day – by Florida standards; the current temperature is 71˚F (22˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 70% and the wind blowing from the north-northeast at 9 MPH (15 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 69˚F (21˚C). We are experiencing a warming trend; today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 78˚F (26˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy and the low will be 60˚F (16˚C).
Back when I lived in Miami, this was the time when Mom and I turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows to let some fresh air into our townhouse. This being Florida, and Miami being 250 or so miles to the southeast, it was usually a bit warmer there than it is here, and thanks to global warming, we’d have many days when it was so hot that we’d have to turn the air conditioning back on.
My mother and I always looked forward to Florida’s dry season, which usually runs from November to April. Not only could we turn off the air conditioner and cut our electric bill by about $30 to $50 a month, but – before Mom got sick in 2010, anyway – we could go for walks around East Wind Lake Village between 4 and 5 PM and get some exercise that way. This was a habit we got into when we owned a gorgeous, friendly Labrador retriever named Mary Joe Cacao (1995-2003) and had to walk her twice a day. Of course, once my mother lost her mobility 11 years ago that bit of our daily routine was kaput, but I still went for an early evening walk as often as I could during my last five-and-a-third years in the townhouse.
Here, we don’t do that. The Caregiver keeps the air conditioner running 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round. Part of it is because J, her middle adult child, is highly susceptible to heat. He lives in the upstairs floor, which is the hottest part of the house. And because two story houses often don’t have equal distribution of air conditioning, we have to keep the thermostat at a too-low-for-me temperature of 72˚F permanently. So the air conditioner is never turned off, and the house is never aired out.
I would love to be able to go for walks in the evening, but since the Caregiver – a term I use with more sarcasm as time passes since she does less for me on a daily basis – still has not taken me to a nearby Walgreens or CVS to get me vaccinated, I don’t dare go out for a walk, masked or unmasked. I, therefore, look a bit paler and more unkempt than I should, since the person who once swore she was my best friend and caregiver only thinks about her new boyfriend and her next cocktail doesn’t want to be bothered with such things as taking me to get my “Fauci Ouchie” or trimming my beard.
So, yeah….I feel tired, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I didn’t even bother trying to do the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge that officially started on November 1, that’s how low my self-esteem and creative energies have sunk. I’m way behind, too, on my screenplay for the movie I am working on for Juan and Adria in New York. It’s hard to be creative when you don’t feel energetic or “psyched,” even when it’s a project you initiated and want to see produced. (So, on top of angst, resentment, and ennui, I feel guilt over not being terribly productive.)
Oh, well. It could be worse. If I were still in Miami, I’d be worried about crossing paths with my duplicitous older half-sister or living in smaller, more cramped digs than I do now. And the family dog, Sandy, loves me, so at least I have one loyal friend here.
I’m sorry, Dear Reader, if this post is less than cheery or full of escapist stuff about books, movies, music, or, God help me, Star Wars action figures. But I have to vent somewhere, y’know?
 This was especially true when Mom was sick and confined to a hospital-type bed 24/7. Her room was tiny, cramped, and faced due west, so the afternoon sun that made it through the heavy tinting we had on her bedroom window was still strong enough to make it uncomfortably hot in there.