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My hopes for cooler weather melted in sizzling Kansas

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I got out of my car after the 13-hour drive and wondered: Why is it so hot here?

I thought Kansas would be cooler than the Texas Gulf Coast. I went to spend a few days with my daughter and her husband in their new house, and was hoping to also get a little break from the Texas Gulf Coast heat.

I didn’t mind the drive. My wife, Sharon, and I shared it. It was just a matter of sitting and holding the steering wheel. A cousin commented that such a long drive doesn’t leave much time for resting. I replied: “The drive is the resting.”

It’s boring, but so is sitting on a plane and looking at the clouds.

I thought about flying, but either way, the day was shot. So, we decided to drive. Not only is it cheaper, but I can take my office with me.

I also didn’t have to get picked up from the airport or rent a car. I just pulled into daughter’s driveway, and we decarred (like deplaned, but from a car). That’s not even a word, just like deplaned shouldn’t be, either. Anyway, we got out of the car.

If she lived a little farther, we would have flown. Kansas is right on the border of my tolerance of sitting in a car and holding the steering wheel or riding and get ting on Facebook when I get bored or looking out the window.

Many years ago when I was in college, the first thing I noticed getting off the bus at the New Hampshire stop was the smell of cool pine air filling my sinuses. I had a summer job there.

It was a great smell after sitting on a different smelling bus for hours. The pine smell was then taken for granted for the rest of the summer, but missed profusely when, after a couple of months it was once again replaced by the dirty city smell.

There was no pine smell in Kansas. The first thing I noticed was that daughter has a nice house, but it was surrounded by hot dry air. It was blowing against my face as I hurried in the house for hugs and greetings.

I’m not one to complain about heat. As I have written before, I don’t mind it as much as the bitter cold, but I was looking forward to sitting outside and catching up on things while enjoying temperatures below our usual Gulf Coast weather.

There were heat warnings for every day of my stay. I did not need a jacket or sweater while enjoying the KC Royals baseball game on what should have been a cool, if not chilly night. A dome and air conditioning would have been nice.

We went to Colorado in September several years ago and played in the snow on top of Pikes Peak. That was about all the snow I needed for a decade at least. It was 85 degrees at the foot of the mountain and snow at the top – the best of both worlds.

I was hoping for a repetition of this on a lesser level, like warm during the day and sweater weather in the evening.

Daughter had on a jacket as she left for work on one of the mornings, complaining that at work they keep the air conditioning at polar bear temperatures.

I should have taken one of my portable heaters that she could have stuck under her desk to keep warm.

Overall, I liked Kansas, except for the weather. It was just too darn hot. I was glad to return to a somewhat cooler, although more humid Texas Gulf Coast. Ironic, isn’t it?