From the Editor’s Files: Heat is more than most of us can take

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By Paul Rhodes, publisher and editor

The minute I sat down Tuesday evening to write my column for this week, a message popped up on my phone:
“103 degrees in Goddard tomorrow. Four degrees warmer than today.”
Wonderful. Today (Monday) was miserable, and I immediately told myself that four additional degrees of heat would certainly be enough to keep me indoors for the entire day.
The reprieve from the heat that we got at the end of the week last week was delightful. Delightful…but painfully short. It was just two days, but I can’t complain. Those were two back-to-back days that would have been horrible, otherwise.
One of those days was spent doing deliveries for the office, and the other was spent doing some cleanup work in an un-airconditioned building. In both cases, the drastically cooler temperatures kept all of us involved from croaking in the heat.
Now for the bad news…four of the next six days are forecast to be 99 degrees or higher. You would think we Kansans are somehow conditioned for this kind of additional heat, but most of us are not.
The heat this summer has been more than just awful to endure…it has been damaging in several ways. Two things that have happened in my life are damage to a 20-year-old pine tree at my house that doesn’t look like it’s going to make it through the rest of the summer, and a dead battery in my car.
This pine tree was special to me…it was one of six pine trees I planted around my yard when I built my house two decades ago. I’ve pampered all of these trees over the years, picking off bag worms, treating them for tip blight, and spraying for insects.
This year has been rough on my trees.
Earlier in the year, a horrible windstorm blew over one of my pine trees. Yep…right to the ground. I cut the tree up into logs, hauled off the brush, pulled out the stump, and filled in the hole.
Now, an even bigger pine tree is about to bite the dust.
Maybe it will be time to replace the trees with heartier deciduous varieties.
As the heat returned to the heartland Monday, I had an errand to run at my mechanics shop. I paid my bill and went out to start my car. Nothing.
The diagnosis was a dead battery, killed by the excessive recent heat. My credit card was still warm from the first repairs when I swiped it again to pay for a new battery.
Okay, it’s official. This heat sucks, and I’m ready for fall.
Any other takers?