Heat, ayuh

The breezy morning on the pond are delightful, as are the evenings on a wooden porch chair spent staring up at a sky of a million stars. But the days are something different.

The heat wave that’s swept over the eastern coast, right up to Maine, has put a bit of crimp in our fantasies of lolling around the cabin with fat hardcover novels while the kids turn the walls into a crayon art gallery of the loons and butterflies they’ve seen.

The digital thermometer reads no lower than 91 indoors, and sometimes hotter than the outdoor temperature by a degree or two. The ceiling fans are no help. And it’s not like we can pop into a little book shop on the corner to cool off. This morning I write from the nearest coffee shop, a funky, friendly place with big couches and good music and a little old lady wearing a tie-dye Deadhead shirt and a hand-painted Obama hat–but it’s a full thirty minutes away.

(Want to meet me here? It’s 1.3 miles up a dirt road, left at the farm house, 11 miles to the stop sign, right at ORIGINAL CHAINSAW SAWYER NIGHTLY SHOWS AT 7PM, past 6 signs for fresh blueberries and the dead porcupine in the road, then turn onto Coastal Rt 1 down the hill towards town. On a clear day you can see Home Depot.)

The Mainers can be heard saying things like Ayuh, Ah never remember a summah like this one…nope, can’t remember a summah like this all. 

Indeed, the cah is pretty cool. So that’s where we spent most of yesterday.

We took the Acadia Park loop around Mt Desert, past Bar Harbor, with brief stops at scenic overlooks and rocky bluffs that quite literally take your breath away. Even with toes in the cool water at Seal Harbor, it was still too hot for the kids (and uh, me) for more than a few minutes.

A movie sounded like a good idea.

Add to the list of things they never prepare you for in Lamaze class: Driving 90 minutes to a second-run showing of Cats and Dogs. 

Of course when I tell Thalia and Sage the story in years to come, I will tell them I did it for them, like a Chuck E Cheese party or a life’s savings spent on preschool. But it’s only partly true. I did it for the air conditioning.

That sweet, blessed air conditioning.

With more than an hour still to kill before the showtime, we crossed the highway to my first ever Tim Hortons for maybe the worst iced coffee ever in history (now making it my last ever Tim Hortons too). We passed the final half hour playing Guitar Hero in the theater’s arcade (Holiday in Cambodia!) and letting my kids buy about 65 Dum-Dums with the tickets they won from Skee Ball. Our body temperatures had begun to return to normal, and we were no longer insisting that the kids drink water every four seconds.

“As bad as the movie will be,” my mother and I kept reminding each other, “it will be air conditioned.”

Finally, finally the theater opened and we gathered the troops and prepared ourselves for the kids’ complaints about the delicious cold.

Nate entered first, stopped in his tracks, and turned to look at me with eyebrows raised and eyes as wide as moons.

The theater wasn’t air conditioned.

It didn’t even pretend to be air conditioned.

I spent the next ninety minutes trapped watching a crooked projection of Kill Me Now in a hot, humid, smelly theater’s squeaky seat, with a sweaty 3 year-old on my lap who alternated between telling me she was hot, she was bored, and wondering why cats were evil.

It’s not that cats are evil honey – it’s just the producers of this movie that are evil.

Thalia liked the part where the cat went onto the satellite. I liked the part where we got back into the car.

We arrived home in time to spring open the cabin windows and let some air circulate while we settled onto the dock for a glorious sunset.

The girls blew bubbles and threw stones. I sipped a glass of white wine from a chipped cup. We fixed the girls peanut butter sandwiches and cold carrots for dinner. The night was perfect.


24 thoughts on “Heat, ayuh”

  1. Oh, that DOCK! What a glorious view.

    Your vacation reminds me of our trip to Bar Harbor many years ago– heat wave! I insisted on taking our mountain bikes everywhere. It's a wonder Jamie didn't melt.

    I hope Earl blows some cool air to you.

  2. We stopped in Ellsworth for lunch last week – at Cleonice – totally wonderful and worth checking out.

  3. Last winter, I went to see “The Princess and the Frog” with my 4 year old, her best friend and best friend's mom. It was in the middle of our 3 months of temperatures under 32 degrees – which is really unusual for Virginia. Snow stayed on the ground from mid December until March!

    We were all looking forward to the movie, and when we arrived, there was a big sign saying that their heat was out. In our small town, there was no where else to see that movie.

    So, what else are you going to do with two 4 year olds who are all psyched up to see the new Princess?

    We sat in the freezing movie theater for 1 1/2 hours. But, the girls loved it.

  4. As a Canadian, I have to suggest you give Tim Hortons a second chance. True, the iced coffee sucks. I would never suggest trying that again. But Timbits?!? No child should go without knowing them. And a double-double (that may be a term only Canadians use at Tim Hortons for coffee with two milk & two sugars) is really a fine cup of inexpensive coffee.

  5. Try Ogunquit next vacation. My husband (from Boston–yes, it's me, the REd Sox fan) has taken the kids and I there several time when we've been visiting back East. It's where he vacationed as a child.

    Wonderful town, beach, usually a cool breeze, and good coffee @(Bread and Roses).

    Hope you cool off soon!

  6. At least it will be a good family story?

    If someone tried to build a non-air-conditioned movie theater in Missouri, they'd be run out of town on a rail. But that's because 95 is a totally NORMAL August high temperature here. Which reminds me — if you ever come to visit my fair city on the very humid banks of two rivers, come in November.

  7. On the bright side, you're on the coast – it's about 8 degrees hotter over here in Western Maine but also no AC. I actually drove 3 hours each way to Bang-ah on Tuesday for lunch – just to live in the ac for the day!

  8. Ooof. You sure you don't want (I mean “need”) to head south a few days early? We have AC AND wifi. And, as you know, more than enough kid-entertainment. ; )

    We were in NH last week and it was so cloudy, rainy and cool, we were dying to see the sun. However, if I were there this week, I would've been soooo bummed b/c it's just too hot to do much of anything outdoors.

  9. I am totally laughing at your reference to the locals' comments. It is pretty much the same thing I heard all day in my western Maine classroom, where by the way, the temperature actually hit 97 degrees inside by 4th period.

  10. No one has residential air conditioning here, but pretty much all businesses have it. And definitely all movie theatres. I can't imagine anyone would ever go there without it. That sounds horrid.

  11. Oh you poor, poor thing. I actually knew that Maine could be hot, hot, hot. So we always go here- even at the worst of times have NEVER been hot as the breeze just comes on in…. plus there have almost always been kids for our munchkin to play with (when she was younger)

  12. I don't know how you made it through that movie without weeping openly. That photo though, so beautiful. I'd love to have a dock to sit on right about now!

  13. Your description of the movie theater sounds like my house every day this week. This kind of shoot-yourself-in-the-head kind of heat makes me wanna run right out and buy a full roof of solar paneling, you know, as soon as I win lottery. Damned global warming.

  14. As you know we were in the same neck of the woods last week. And we are insane. We went hiking twice. Up Great Head one day, and 1/2 mile short of the top of Pemetic Mountain another.

    When Thalia & Sage are older I highly recommend the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor. They have a fun scavenger hunt for kids. We did it our last day there.

  15. My mom lives in Somesville (just a little ways from Park Loop road.) When we were there in July '09 it was 50 degrees and raining the whole time! That's WINTER weather for us here in the Carolinas. Actually if I'd packed a sweater it would have been nice, in cozy kind of way.

  16. I echo what Annie said. NEVER order the iced coffee. Double-double and a chocolate glazed. Happiness.

Comments are closed.