Dearest Rachel –
Of course, the standard follow-up to that proposition is that you need to ‘get out of the kitchen.’ That, along with the expression about the buck stopping with him were among the most quotable lines from President Harry Truman (partly because much of what he said had to be sanitized for public consumption, as the old Missourian had a tendency toward profanity that wasn’t exactly in line with the sensibilities of the time. Today, he’d probably either fit right in, or seem rather quaint in terms of the expressions he used).
In the context in which he used it, it was more of a figurative expression – if one cannot abide conflict, one should stay away from where conflict might erupt (perhaps one more reason to let the television make all the noise in certain settings – or at least to confine one’s discussion to certain topics, and avoid various hot-button issues); or, in keeping with his other great maxim, to stay away from responsibility if you’re unwilling to shoulder blame if things go south on your watch (a lesson his current successor seems to not have learned, or, if he did once upon a time, his brains have turned to such a mushy consistency that he cannot remember having learned it. Or maybe he’s not in charge at all, and wonders why he has to be the fall guy for whatever those behind him telling him what to say have set in motion. Which, if true, make one almost feel sorry for him. Almost).
Of course, there are more literal applications of the expression. Certainly, the body’s own pain reactions are generally its way of telling the brain to extricate its meat armor from a situation in which said armor is literally suffering damage. It’s a signal saying “getoutgetoutgetoutGETOUTGETOUT!!” to the mind controlling it. This can include all manner of injury or discomfort , including and up to actual heat itself.
And that brings us to the situation at hand. Since the power is to be shut off in the house so that the electrical team can install our new circuit breakers, I’ve advised Daniel that he ought to join me at the folks’ place today, because it’s likely to get fairly oppressive here at home. It would appear that the temperatures we were enduring in Tennessee were not exclusive to the south this time around, and while it’s not in the neighborhood of triple digits here either, it may well get every bit as close here as there. Although, according to Daniel, it did rain – pretty strongly, in fact, which goes to show just how soundly I managed to sleep last night – last night, so that may result in relatively lowered levels of heat and humidity. Then again, there’s a certain point at which a few degrees of difference are hardly noticeable.
You’d probably remind me that, once upon a time, our house didn’t have anything in terms of air conditioning back when we first bought it – another reason why we managed to get so much house for relatively little money. And while that’s quite true, now that we’ve gotten accustomed to it (and, for that matter, other things that require electricity, such as the internet), why stick around when it’s not available. When home doesn’t offer ‘all the comforts of home,’ is it really ‘home’ at that point?
At any rate, the folks’ place will not – barring something unforeseen and widespread throughout the area (and given the sunny weather that’s causing the heat to be so strongly felt in the first place, that’s not particularly likely) – have any issues with their power today or tomorrow. And additionally, the basement, where I have my ‘office’ set up, has the added advantage of remaining that much cooler than the rest of the house, so it’s the best place to be to deal with weather like this (indeed, when everything is said and done, it’s probably the best place to be in case of any kind of severe weather, apart perhaps from a once-in-several-centuries flood – it did get an inch or two during that one time when we got an inch an hour for an entire day, and people were canoeing in parts of the street).
Indeed, there have been some days when I’ve been downstairs and it’s felt like I could use an extra layer of clothing on in order to work down there comfortably, which seems ridiculous when it’s over 80 degrees on the surface outside. Who even thinks of wearing a coat – or even a jacket – in weather like that? Maybe Daniel, but he’d insist that his hoodies don’t function like jackets – and in any event, he’s not as well-insulated as I am, being only skin and bones as he is, which is a fair point. Still…
Anyway, he managed to wake up in time to head over to the ‘office’ at about the normal time I would prefer to – which, given that his sleep cycle is roughly in line with what yours was, is an impressive feat – so we’ve made it over, and I’m settled in down here, where it’s nice and cool, and there’s no construction noise (or any noise whatsoever, for that matter) to deal with. So, that’s how the day begins; let’s see if it can be at all productive.
Wish that in mind, wish me luck, honey, I’m going to need it.